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.