The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

A few random thoughts on spring training

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 18, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

As I wait for my laundry to dry:

This idea that the Andy Pettitte situation could distract the Yankees is comical. Pettitte will be distracted, no doubt about it. He already admitted that his workout routine was disrupted. But the other players don’t much care beyond wanting their teammate to be OK. Baseball is an individual game. Pettitte’s problems are his own.

Joe Girardi has handled his first few days well. The Yankees work hard but it’s not like he’s running around yelling at people. He also has been patient and forthright with the media, which is important in New York. He set the right tone with Pettitte and said the right things. You think it was some coincidence that three chairs for Jeter, Mo and Posada suddenly showed up?

Still to early to ask how anybody looks. The pitchers throw in the bullpen then they do fielding drills and conditioning sprints. It’s hard to screw that up. The best way to tell how a pitcher is throwing is to see him face hitters. That’ll come soon enough.

That said, Mike Mussina seems to have come to camp with a sense of purpose. Phil Hughes, too.

Shelley Duncan has been added to my list of players I hope do well because I enjoy their personalities. He’s not the most graceful dude but he’s out there every day taking grounders and working on his footwork. First base is much easier for lefties than righties but Shelley is trying to get it down. Get this: He and Mussina were wrestling the other day. If you can get an old crank like Mussina to wrestle, you must be fun to hang with.

If there is somebody on the team Joba doesn’t have a personal relationship with, I haven’t met the guy. The other day he wandered over to Matsui’s locker and tried on his batting helmet. Hideki, as you might imagine, has himself a large batting helmet and Joba looked like The Great Gazoo. Matsui was cracking up.

You know who’s a smart guy? Kevin Long. Chien-Ming Wang is a quiet guy by nature. He likes to sit and watch people. Former coach Larry Bowa used to kid around with Wang, just to make him part of the group. He’d always ask Wang how many runs he wanted the Yankees to score in his next start, things like that. Today, Long walked by Wang and said, “Hey, Wanger, how many runs?” CMW started smiling. “Six,” he said. Stuff like that makes a team.

Did you know Jeff Karstens speaks fluent Spanish? He regularly engages the Latin guys in conversation.

Keeping Jose Molina was a very good idea. Posada keeps himself in shape and he says he’s young in catcher years because he played infield as a kid. But he can’t stay on the pace he has been on forever.

Yogi Berra’s golf clubs arrived today. The man himself won’t be in for another week or so. The clubs were immediately placed in Girardi’s office. The manager of the Yankees has two duties in spring training: get the team ready and take good care of Lawrence Peter Berra.





65 Responses to “A few random thoughts on spring training”

  1. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 18th, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Oh Jesus, he better not hurt Mussina!! It sounds like this team is a TEAM!!

  2. Christa February 18th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Just wondering, if Hughes and Kennedy have lockers next to Mussina, whose locker is Joba’s next too?

  3. sfdc February 18th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    This is one of the real reasons I frequent this blog…Karstens speaking spanish?!! Sure the Pettitte thing is a PITA to deal with, but this stuff is priceless. Thanks Pete!

  4. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 18th, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    From what I’ve found so far he is next to mo. not sure who is on the other side.

  5. Josh February 18th, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Its posts like these that make your blog the best yankees site. i love it.

  6. Andrea February 18th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    This is why we keep reading.

  7. Peter Abraham February 18th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    the main pitchers are in this order in the locker room:

    Sanchez, Albaledejo, Hughes, Mussina, Kennedy, Hawkins, Farnsworth, Pavano, Traber, Pettitte, Wang, Bruney, Chamberlain, Mo.

    There’s sort of a little corner area where Mussina is.

  8. Doreen February 18th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Pete -

    So much for calling it a night. :)

    Thanks for this last entry, though, because this is precisely why I come here. For the stuff you don’t read everywhere else. Loved the stuff about Kevin Long and CMW. And the Great Gazoo visual!!! :lol:

  9. desti(NY) 2008 February 18th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    It may be too early to tell but this Yankee team is on it’s way to having some of the best chemistry it’s had in years.
    The young infusion of talent has loosened up a team in need of it. Add some veteran presence to the mix and this can be a fun season along with a winning one.

  10. Paul V February 18th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Nice post, Peter.

  11. emobacca February 18th, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Did Moose bust out the stone cold stunner?

  12. Rob NY February 18th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Yeah im going to put my two cents in and agree with the group. This stuff is what helps you feel like you really know the team. I know all the stats and player’s numbers and their ceilings but its when you can get a sense of personality from them that you really feel invested in the team.

    I feel like when I watched Andy up taking questions I was watching a guy i’ve known all my life having a rough day. Maybe thats weird? but it’s stuff like this that make “your” team more personal and helps me live and die by every game.

    Thank you Mr. Abraham.

  13. Ralelen February 18th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Man I can not wait until the season starts! My girlfriend got me season tickets for my birthday!!!

  14. CP February 18th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    I echo Doreen’s post, Pete. This entry is exactly the type of stuff that makes this blog great. Keep it coming. Thanks!


  15. Rob NY February 18th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    As weird as it may sound this is the type of stuff that makes me feel that connection with “Our” team that makes me live and die with every game. You feel like you get to know the personality of “your” guys and it makes rooting for them more intense, and more meaningful when they win or lose. It makes being a sports fan special.

    When I watched Andy up there answering questions I felt like a guy I knew was going through it. I live in Boston now for school and it makes me feel like im home hearing about the yanks.

    Thanks for that Pete.

  16. Tyler February 18th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    why the hell does Pavano need a locker?

    This is my favorite Yankees team since the dynasty years. Replacing guys like Sheffield and Randy Johnson with guys like Duncan and Joba makes a huge difference.

  17. Greg Cohen February 18th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Great stuff Peter!

  18. danyi34 February 18th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    This rare insight to the team I love is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Ask any fan and the one thing he/she wants is to be closer to the team. Thanks Pete for everything you’ve been doing with this blog. I would love to be beside you reporting and following the Yanks. But since I can’t this is the next best thing. I would love your job, but I know and can tell you already love your job and wouldn’t give it up to me or anyone for that matter.
    This post is the peanut in the peanut m&m’s that I love.
    Awesome Pete!

  19. Elizabeth February 18th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    This is seriously the best Yankees blog on the planet. Where else would we get these great nuggets of info?
    I love how the position players aren’t even there yet and this team has so much chemistry. The 2008 Yankees are going to surprise a lot of people in a positive way; mark my words. I loved the 2007 Yankees more than any other team since 2001, and I have a feeling I’ll love 2008 even more. Think of it this way: these are the same guys who won 51 games in the second half. Hughes, Joba, Ian, Moose, Andy, Wang. Those guys combined to win 38 games in the second half and start 7 more of those wins. For everyone who’s skeptical of the Yankees in 2008, I say: huh? Because this current team has proven they can win and NOW they’re winning as REAL TEAM.

  20. Mehdi thinks Bostondirtdogs are scum February 18th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    seems to me Pavano should be at one of the ends so there isn’t a big empty space.

  21. frits February 18th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Posts like this are why I read the blog, and why Bronx Banter called out LHY blog as one of the best Yankees blogs out there and the best done by a professional writer.

  22. EY February 18th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Best post of the day, Peter. This is the type of posts that fans are interested in reading about.

  23. pat February 18th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Yankee news and a Great Gazoo reference all in one place. Throw in an HR Pufnstuf reference and you’ll have hit the tri-fecta of my youth.

  24. Laura February 18th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Derek Strikes Out
    Posted Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 8:29pm by Jana Winter

    Derek Jeter spent his last weekend of freedom before flying to Tampa for spring training just as we’d hoped he would: living it up in Hollywood, hitting up day spas – and hitting on movie stars. Mariah Carey’s ex was seen Friday night at Villa, trying in vain to hit on Sienna Miller, an insider at the club tells

    Sienna was with actor Scott Speedman and a few other people, and wanted nothing to do with the pin-striped playboy. “Derek was trying to flirt with Sienna Miller but she didn’t know who he was and could have cared less,” our spy reports. “Also, he asked that people not smoke cigarettes near him.”

    Hmm… so our favorite major league ladies’ man struck out. Perhaps next time he should consult the scouting reports: Sienna has a serious boyfriend, Rhys Ifans, who she just came back from Mexico with, making her just a bit of a long shot.
    As it turns out, Derek’s on-field game was called into question the very next day, when he was declared (suspiciously, in Boston) the worst fielding shortstop in baseball.

    We caught up with him Saturday in West Hollywood, where he seemed to be recovering rather well from both affronts. The Yankee captain even fielded questions about his future acting career, and he couldn’t have been more charming.

    When he was asked, “Are we going to see you in movies after your baseball’s done?” Derek quipped, “Movies?” pausing to crack that famous megawatt smile. “I gotta act like a shortstop,” he said, lau strikes out

  25. FLM February 18th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Pete, as a frequent reader who seldom posts, I just wanted to echo everyone else’s sentiments. You are outstanding at your job, the insight into the clubhouse that we get here is second to none and has me counting the days until my first spring training trip (3/15-3/17)I won’t comment on what we paid for the tickets since it’s only money right!

  26. Patrick February 18th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Pete, this is the stuff that makes me come to your blog every day, thanks for doing a great job.

  27. Quantum of Solace February 18th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    This is the kind of posts we want. Not posts on steroid this and HGH that – garbage, garbage.

  28. Gil February 18th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I am a die hard red sox fan for the last 60 years
    A Yankee hater but let me tell you I will stand and root for Andy when he plays in boston I fully believe him and I am proud to see such a gentelman stand up I will cheer you when you beat the red sox
    best wishiss
    Gil Nason

  29. rodg12 February 18th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Ahhhhh, outstanding breath of fresh air about actual baseball!!! What a great note to end the night on. Being keyed in on this type of stuff must be one of the things you love about the job Pete (as opposed to the thing you hate as you mentioned earlier). Baseball, gotta love it.

  30. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 18th, 2008 at 11:42 pm


    Completely honest hear, reading this post, gave me chills. This is sportswriting at its best.

    I felt like I was there, in the clubhouse…

    Chills, I’m telling you, chills.

  31. rodg12 February 18th, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Good to know Gil. Thanks for stopping by with the kind words.

  32. Buddy Biancalana February 19th, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Excellent post Pete! You really know what your fan base wants to know about. Cheers!

  33. saucY February 19th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    thanks pete. you rule!

  34. Yazman February 19th, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but that was an AWESOME post, Peter.

    Seriously, thanks. Really appreciate the inner game stuff.

  35. andy-not so dandy February 19th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Why are people crying about our rotation this season i think that its much better than last year!

  36. Andy Hawkins February 19th, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Good stuff, Pete. But why do you think first base is much easier for a lefty to play? Maybe a little easier for the throw. But as long as you have good footwork and soft hands, you can play first base. Gold glove winner in both leagues the last three years was right-handed. Tino Martinez was, too.

  37. Little Chip February 19th, 2008 at 12:39 am


    I agree with everyone – loved hearing about the personal side of these guys. And, glad to hear that Yogi will be back again as he is my all time favorite Yankee.

  38. Greg Cohen February 19th, 2008 at 12:40 am

    I added some new shots of the new stadium over the past few days… check em out. Hope you guys like them.


  39. NYhunter February 19th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    ~~ Sanchez, Albaledejo, Hughes, Mussina, Kennedy, Hawkins, Farnsworth, Pavano, Traber, Pettitte, Wang, Bruney, Chamberlain, Mo. ~~

    Farnsworth sitting next to Pavano? isn’t that contagious?

    and Traber sitting next to Pavano as well… what is it? the area 51?

  40. Sherry February 19th, 2008 at 1:27 am

    You know who’s a smart guy? Kevin Long. Chien-Ming Wang is a quiet guy by nature. He likes to sit and watch people. Former coach Larry Bowa used to kid around with Wang, just to make him part of the group. He’d always ask Wang how many runs he wanted the Yankees to score in his next start, things like that. Today, Long walked by Wang and said, “Hey, Wanger, how many runs?” CMW started smiling. “Six,” he said. Stuff like that makes a team.
    Yes! Yes! I love it. Thank you, Mr. Abraham. I am a frequent reader/CMW’s fan/Yankees fan who lives in Taipei, Taiwan. This is my first to post up here.

  41. RSM February 19th, 2008 at 1:29 am


    Two main reasons why I check your blog at least twice a day, year round:

    First, posts like these. Nuf said.
    Second, the frequency of posts.

    There are an aweful lot of Yankee blogs these days, and yours stands head and shoulders above the rest. Like a few people posted earlier, I feel like I know these guys personally because of you, and that makes being a fan so much more fun.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  42. John February 19th, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Awesome post Pete!!!

    Keep up the good work!!

  43. Whatevered February 19th, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Pete, I got to admit this is a Great post. The details even the small ones are what the fans love reading. Thanks for this, hope to see many more posts like it. Good Night.

  44. LV Yank February 19th, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Pete, you do rule. Great post. You have a way of giving us all a feel on what really goes on with the team. Thanks again for the blog and the time you devote to it.

  45. hughes fan February 19th, 2008 at 2:20 am

    I gotta say I was crackin up about you calling Joba “the great gazoo”. Great reference.

    Also, maybe Duncan can put Moose out of his misery… and ours.

  46. Cloudy February 19th, 2008 at 4:31 am


    Just saw Ed Price’s blog, he drew a picture,that lockers located like… I wonder could you be so kind to complete that for all pitchers???

    Thanks advance…

  47. Ummmmmmmmm... February 19th, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Looks like Hank openend his mouth again. At least this time it made a little sense.

    I love how the NFL guy whoever responded by saying something like “The NFL conducts this much tests a year for steroids.”

    You realize we’re not that stupid, right? The issue is HGH.

    The best tests for HGH can only detect it hours after injection. This is what the Olympics use, and it sucks. Nice try though, I guess.

  48. Ummmmmmmmm... February 19th, 2008 at 5:48 am;type=lgns

    That’s what I was talking about, btw.

  49. Vader February 19th, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Good stuff Pete, Thanks.

  50. eyes of realism February 19th, 2008 at 7:22 am

    ESPN is clearly the National Enquirer of electronic media. If it’s fabricated, overblown, or hyped then it’s ESPN.

  51. Whatevered February 19th, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Good morning Pete. So what’s in store for today? Who’s pitching today? When are Cano, Cabrera, Damon, … coming in? When are you going to get a 1 on 1 interview with Joba, Kennedy, or Phil? Have a great day Pete.

  52. Scott February 19th, 2008 at 7:57 am

    To Andy Hawkins:

    Did Tino play the field right handed? Because he was a lefthanded batter.

  53. ElMaestro February 19th, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Reading this post makes me feel is baseball season again. Thanks Pete.

  54. dale d February 19th, 2008 at 8:35 am

    It’s kinda interesting to read posts from last year in the archives.
    Today last year the big story was Alex and Jeter

    and little did we know pavano was going to be the opening day pitcher.

  55. vrsce February 19th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Great post Pete,
    You have conveyed the initial stirrings of a unique Yankee team. this will be a year to remember and thanks to you we have a front row seat.

  56. Motown Yankees Fan February 19th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Scott – Duncan said the other day that he was learning a lot from Tino because he was right-handed.

    Also, I think Karsten’s mother is from Mexico–one of his parents at least–which would explain the Spanish. I remember reading a while back that he did some translating for some of the guys in the post game. Melky maybe?

  57. saucY February 19th, 2008 at 8:58 am

    that’s funny dale d. i was just thinking yesterday that that was the big news last year around this time. i remember driving back to pennsylvania and hearing it on the radio after signing the lease of the apartment i’ve been at for a year now (or just under a year)

  58. Paul February 19th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Pete — Great post. Letting us see the Yanks as people (and likeable for the most part) really makes a difference. It also reminds us that baseball is a game played by human beings on a field with balls, bats, and gloves, not on someone’s computer. As one example, the way Melky can pick up the whole team with his youthful hustle. So I hope you give us more of this fun — on and off the field — throughout the season! Looking forward . . . .

  59. OldYanksFan February 19th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    “Chills, I’m telling you, chills.”

  60. Paul February 19th, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Pete — One more question. At some point during spring training, can you give us your takes on the non-roster invitees and the folks we haven’t seen in the majors? Guys like Montero, Cervelli, Gardner, Horne, Marquez et al.? Many thanks.

  61. ryanloghry February 19th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Awesome post Pete. I’ve been waiting all winter for this stuff. I hope your saving more of these types of stories for a Yankees book someday. I’ll buy two copies.

  62. Felipe from Brazil - Steinfield!!! February 19th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    posts like this make this blog my favorite one!
    Thanks again Pete!

  63. Travis February 19th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Pete, fabulous tidbits! Thanks for sharing.

  64. The Lady February 19th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Re Jeff Karstens speaking fluent Spanish: I read online during the World Cup (or, whatever it was) that Karsten’s mom is Mexican.

  65. Steve February 19th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Pete, we all know that the arbitration for Wang has been quite rude though an ugly win for Yankees. To save USD600,000, Randy Levine, Brian Cashman, and another senior guy run to the hearing to assert that team’s most contribution pitcher is not worth for extra 0.6M. Sarcastically to know they are on behalf of Yankees, with team’s annual payroll more than 200M. I would buy it if Brian is in Marlins. Without CMW, Yankees could hardly go into playoff for the past two years. To think of how much has been spent in vain by Cashman on those stupid deals in the past few years, and if he is foresighted to have reached deals with Posada and Rivera, Yankees could save more handsome amount, so that they don’t have to spend four and half hours to “attack” CMW. Wang’s playoff record in 2007 was even challenged there, which made me think of Posada’s batting number 0.133, comparing with his regular season of 0.338. Posada, however, got annual payroll of 13.1M. CMW has been so low-profile that Levine and Cashman think it’s piece of cake to defeat him, reluctant to offer the compromise amount of extra 0.3M. CMW’s (46W18L) performance was even better than Dontrelle Willis (46W27L)in 2006. But Shallow-pocket Marlins were willing to offer 4.35M to avoid arbitration. This was the number two years ago. What’s annoying was Levine’s bold argument meaning that Yankees would spare no effort to go for arbitration when players’ request goes beyond the market”. In a word,this is ugly and discrimination per se.

Leave a comment below

Sponsored by:





    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.


Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581