The pop-up drill is always one of the highlights of camp. Accomplished professional baseball players look like Little League scrubs chasing balls around the field.
Today was even more amusing than usual. With a bright sun and no clouds, it was a tough sky to see the ball. And the Yankees had a new machine they were using to fire the ball into the air. They couldn’t get the speed right and the ball was fluttering like a knuckleball.
So the mighty Yankees missed the first six pops – six! – before Derek Jeter finally caught one. Alex Rodriguez laughed and raised both hands in the air and the crowd cheered.
In other news, Joe Torre had a meeting with Melky Cabrera to tell him their plans for getting him playing time. The plan is to use Melky in all three OF spots to give Matsui, Damon and Abreu time off or DH days. He also will pinch hit.
Once the exhibition games start, the Yankees will use the Melkman as a DH once in a while to give him a taste of what it’s like to be a pinch hitter.