Jason from Connecticut writes: Does Ben Davis have a chance making the team as a backup? Coming up he had all of the tools but could not put them together. How does he look?
Answer: I don’t think he has a chance. The backup to start the season will be Todd Pratt, Wil Nieves or (maybe) Raul Chavez. Davis will be in Scranton hoping for a chance later in the season. He seems healthy now, so maybe he will get his shot. Tremendously nice guy.
Ian writes: What is a “normal” day like in Tampa? When do you get to the complex? When do the players arrive? When do you write and when are your deadlines? Does everything happen in the morning? Do you get any free time or are the players there seven days a week.
Answer: Good question, Ian. The clubhouse typically opens to media at 8:30 a.m. I get to the park around 8 a.m. Some players are already there, most of them show up by 9 or so. The workouts usually end around 1 or so. We talk to the players we need and Joe and then it’s lunch time. There’s a little cafe at Legends everybody goes to. My deadlines can be as late as 10 p.m. for first edition but I try and finish by 7 or so. Then it’s an all-night party with my good friends Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. Either that or dinner with some friends and sleeping by 11.
Shelley writes: Brian Cashman should not be playing games with Mariano. I think the Yankees should write a check for whatever Mariano wants.
Answer: Nice of you to spend the Yankees’ money so freely. Cashman is being smart and Mariano understands that. Everything will be fine.
Fred writes: So why can’t Giambi learn how to play first? The Yanks have a guy named Mattingly on staff, a coach I believe, who may be able to teach a thing or two. If he could actually play first with Mientkiewicz, wouldn’t it solve another problem by allowing the Yanks to dump Phillips and keep a roster spot for Bernie Baseball?
Answer: It’s not that Giambi can’t play first. It’s that he easily gets injured doing so. Plus he has the range of the Empire State Building. And nobody with the Yankees is looking for ways to keep Bernie Williams. They’re looking for ways to say good-bye.
Brittany writes: You’ve mentioned several times in your blog that certain players are “good guys.” What are you basing that on?
Answer: Another good question. Well, I’m largely basing that on how they act when the media is in the clubhouse or around. To be honest, a lot of times we in the media write or say that somebody is a good guy without really knowing. Just because somebody is respectful to reporters and fans doesn’t mean he’s not out getting drunk and cheating on his wife or whatever else. I personally try to never write that an athlete is a good person unless I have proof. I can judge whether somebody is a good teammate or a good player. I’m not qualified to say anything more. None of us are. So be careful picking your heroes. It’s always safer to root for the uniform than the person inside.