And So, The Pre-Season Begins

According to LoHud, the biggest news out of Tampa today was that Albaladejo went from this…
albaladejo0904.JPG.jpeg
…to this.
skinny-guy.jpg
Yep, he lost 30 pounds during the off-season. Was it the Jenny Craig diet or the Brian Bruney plan? Either way, I hope he’s effective out of the pen this year.
Also, Girardi told the media he wanted to head north for Opening Day with a set lineup.
lineup_wideweb__470x304,0.jpg
Good plan, in my opinion. Slotting Jeter in the leadoff spot last year was a genius move. Why not get everybody accustomed to their place in the lineup sooner rather than later. To me, that means putting Granderson in the #2 spot, not Nick Johnson. Why? Because Granderson is fast and Johnson is slow. What’s more Granderson had an actual press conference at Yankee Stadium when he was signed, with the whole putting-on-the-pinstriped-jersey thing…
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…whereas Johnson didn’t even rate a conference call with the beat writers, as far as I know.
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What else? Let’s see, there was talk about the identity of the fifth pitcher in the rotation, about whether Granderson or Gardner should play center, and about the need to avoid complacency in order to repeat as champs. 
It’s the latter point I really care about. I can’t imagine any member of the Yankees walking around going, “We won last year, so we don’t have to try that hard. La la la la la.” Not happening. Once you get a taste of winning, you only want more. As a fan, that’s how I feel. I never want the Yankees to relinquish that trophy. It’s ours and we’re not giving it back. Not ever. La la la la la.
jeter.trophy.jpg

21 Comments

BASEBALL!!!

As I stare out my office window at 9 am I see the foot of snow that fell Tuesday covering everything in sight. (still better than mudslides or earthquakes) As I close my eyes I see freshly mowed green grass (I know you can see that now with your eyes open), crisply painted baselines, blue skies and I hear the crack of balls hitting bats. Ah, spring training has finally arrived. Two weeks from today I will be driving to Clearwater from Tampa to see the Yanks and the Phillies (and enjoying a great philly cheesesteak sandwich at the park). Hope Michael will be able to try one when you are there. Life has come back to life and it’s good again! It matters not this day what Jonathan weighs, where Johnson bats, who plays left, who’s number 5 starter or who signs Damon. Today all that matters is that there is baseball!

I think Jeter better stay put at number one in the order (btw, I too think it was a genius move but I’m loathe to give credit to Girardi… at least, right now I am)… because believe me, you Yankees fans will soon hate Granderson if you slot him in at number one and he strikes out as much as he does.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Love that bottom picture – I have one just like it hanging on my office door. But there’s room for another just like it, or 2, or 3…… I think this quote from Girardi – who as we all know has switched to uniform #28 to send a clear message – should tell you his feelings on complacency: “The expectation here is the same every year, so in a sense you’re supposed to repeat every year,” Girardi said. “That’s the expectation.” From the top down – so it is said, so it shall be done.

Random thoughts bouncing out of the Noggin of Nanook…
— if Albaladejo has slimmed down his BOD, then why not slim down his big fat name too, to…Dejo? Then he has a built-in, ready-made Yankee Stadium cheer: “DAY-HO! Day-ay-ay-ho!” Whaddya think?
— Yup, I like Grandy at #2 too. Although Ol’ Nick may be more consistent at putting bat on ball (as in less K’s)…it’s worth trying ‘em both out right now, and see what works…
— I am SO jealous/envious of you-all goin’ to Spring Training, esp. since I’ll be in F-L-A ahead of you, but with too many fambly & friends’ obligations (my only glimpse of the west coast will be Marco Island…no beisbol there…) but we bloggers CAN’T WAIT for your breathless (she-fan-cam) reports, not to mention the ronday-voos with other bloggers!!
— And here’s one last morsel to chew on: in our lifetimes, boys and girls, Did You Know that the times when our Yanks won just one single solitary champeenship, and didn’t string them together, are RARE? Look it up: only in the season following 1996 (for many of you kids, who weren’t around in the ’50s) did they NOT repeat…even in the ’50s, any OTHER team would love two outa three…and then, look at what happened in the next few years…!!!

Me personally, I think Nick should bat two…but Grandy certainly should be given a shot to prove me otherwise. It’s a good problem to have. I like Nick in the 7 spot too for a bunch of reasons.
Good Luck this year defending that trophy and have fun.
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

Hey Jane and fellow fans ..

I prefer Nick in the 2 spot also. I love the OBP…third behind Mauer and Pujols …not too shabby to say the least. I’m not that worried about his speed as he will have plenty of big boppers behind him driving him in with homers and long doubles including Grandy which many believe will hit more than his last year total of homers (30 I believe). I prefer Grandy in the 5th or 6th spot flipflopping either way with Posada. Unfortunately the Yankees don’t consult me on these moves but I’m sure they will do a good job figuring it out without my input… :o). Either way …Grandy or Nicky in the 2 hole should work out fine …

I’m dying to see a pic of Dejo (like that idea Dave especially since I have a hard time with his name…almost as bad as Johnny D had with Tex’s name ..lol). That’s a lot of weight to shed in such a short time….I want his secret !!!

I’m DEFINITELY with you Jane …Never, never want to give it up (to quote Barry White ..may he RIP)…that trophey is OURS !!!! Forever and a day ….

Go Yankees 2010 !!!!

Sometimes these guys are better off fat. Look at Brian Bruney. Sid Fernandez used to lose weight and with the lost weight, so went his fastball. The Mets told him to get fat again; once he did, his fastball was back.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

Yes, cheshirecat. BASEBALL! WOOHOO!

Very poetically put, John. (Sorry about the snow, but hey, it’s winter in the northeast.) I will tell Michael about the philly cheesesteak sandwich but he’s pretty stuck on hot dogs. I just can’t wait to get there and wish we were going at the same time.

Jeter’s not going anywhere in the lineup, Jeff. What’s up for discussion is the #2 spot, vacated by Damon, not leadoff. I hear you about Granderson’s k’s, but I do like his speed, not to mention his power.

I liked Girardi’s speech about complacency, ladyjane. And I’m sure the players got the message. No question there’s a lot of pressure on the reigning champs to repeat and it won’t be easy with every other team hungry for a trophy. But they can do it. They WILL do it.

I’m with you, Dave. Albaladejo should change his name to Dejo and make it easier for us fans as well as the broadcasters and official scorers. Let’s just hope he pitches well enough for us to care one way or the other. :) And your info about the Yankees’ tendency to repeat is very heartening.

I like Nick in the 7 spot too, Mike, but I think Girardi’s wise to play around with it and see who works best. That’s what spring training is for. Thanks and good luck to your Mets too!

I don’t see Grandy in the 5 or 6 spot, Peggy, despite his power numbers. I think Girardi envisions him either at 2 or 7/8. But, as you said, nobody asks us! Supposedly, Dejo said he did more running in the off-season to shed those 30 pounds. While I’m sure he did exercise more and/or differently, he had to have changed his eating habits too. I bet the Big Macs went by the wayside.

“Daylight come, and me wan’ run home…”
Why, thanx, ladies, for going with the ‘Dejo’ flow…sounds just right to me!
Peggy — love your musical reference (you knew I would) — as Barry woulda put it, re: The trophy, “It’s Ecstacy (When You’re Next To Me)” — still love that rhyming couplet!
But Ooaa, our new Blog Poet, put it best: “life has come back to life and it’s good again.” Don’t know if that’s original, don’t care — it sums it all up. What an absolute joy it’s gonna be to see a ballgame again, after this winter. Jane, you attract a strange and wondrous (and knowledgeable) community, n’est-ce pas?

Bruney wasn’t better fat, Paul. He came to spring training much lighter and pitched great – until he got injured. He was never the same after that.

So true, Dave. This blog is like a round of parties where you keep running into people who share a common interest. Fun, n’est-ce-pas? (Aren’t we French today.)

I am just SO glad Spring is finally here! Yeah!!!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Jane,
I am going with the always popular Bronx diet regiment of the “Anti-C-food diet”. I know you have heard about this diet before in such dark and dank spaces as comedy clubs and even maybe a few NYC street corners, but the Anti C-food Diet” works wonders.
It is actually really simple and easy for even a guy in Boston or Chi-town to also follow with great results.
Simple instructions are written on the back of a bar nap. The basis of the program is to “See food, then walk the other way and get something healthy to eat”.
But the honest truth is that Albaladego might have had a offseason physical and his doctor advised him of the dangerous grounds he was entering.
Still wonder if there was ever a MLB player who went on the DL for gout?
Maybe next time Albaladego can buddy up with C C and maybe get him to miss a few AYCE clubhouse buffets.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Me too, Jenn. Me too. Are you going to the 3/17 game in Clearwater? If so, I’ll see you there.

You raise an interesting question, Renegade. I vaguely remember David Wells having gout and going on the DL for it. For years trainers tried to get him to change his eating/drinking habits, but he wasn’t exactly a willing candidate for your “Anti-C-food diet.”

Jane, you really should get Michael to consider the cheesesteaks at Bright House Field. I’m VERY picky about my cheesesteaks, and I have to say that theirs are pretty good. I’m sure I’ll have at least one myself while we’re there. The snow is still plentiful here, but I’m trying to ignore it and focus on the fact that it’s only 21 more days till FL!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

All the questions about the outfield, Hughes v. Joba, and the lineup will all be answered before we know it. I just know that I’m happy that baseball is finally back!! For some reason it seemed like an extra long off-season, despite the World Series victory…

Check out my Opening Day predictions when you guys get a chance. Not to brag, but I’m pretty proud of them :)

http://bullpointpen.wordpress.com/

I will definitely pass along your recommendation of the cheesesteak, Sue. And I share you excitement about getting to Florida already. As we get closer, we’ll have to figure out where to meet up so I can interview you on the She-Fan Cam!

Maybe it felt like an extra-long off-season because we had such a good time watching our guys win it all, ldansky. We got spoiled. But now they’re back and we’re in business. I just tried to check out your predictions but I couldn’t get on your site for some reason. I kept getting an error message. Will try again later.

“Today all that matters is there is baseball.”

Aaaaaaaah!!! and YAHOOOOOOO!

Melissa

Paul is right about Sid Fernandez!! Does anyone remember when David Letterman called Terry Forster (then pitcher with Braves, early 80s) “a fat tub of GOO”?

I can’t wait for Opening Day!!!!!! Baseball is coming up fast!!!!!!
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

I don’t remember Letterman calling Terry Foster that, Mike, but I sure remember George Steinbrenner calling Hideki Irabu a fat ***** toad!

Won’t be long now, gonzo!

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