· Joe Girardi said that Hideki Matsui will not play any outfield in spring training because of his knees. He also conceded that once the season starts, Matsui would only play the outfield in an emergency. They want him working on getting knees healthy enough to run the bases. I guess now we know why Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher are still on the team.
· I asked Girardi what young pitchers have caught his eye. He mentioned Christian Garcia and Eric Hacker. He also loves him some Andrew Brackman. “The Triple-A and Double-A staffs are going to be very good,” he said. “We have some great arms.”
· Derek Jeter talked for a long time about A-Rod and the game’s drug issues. I’ll post the audio later. But in summation: He’s disappointed in Alex but believes he is sorry for what he did. Jeter also is angry at the time he played being known as the “Steroids Era” because everybody didn’t do it. He wishes that he had spoken up to the union years ago but its too late to go back and correct that.
You can certainly understand Jeter’s frustration. He doesn’t want his accomplishments overshadowed by what the cheaters were doing.
· Jorge Posada had something to do with his kids yesterday, that’s why he left the press conference.
· From what I could tell, A-Rod received a warm ovation from the fans, although one guy in the stands yelled, “Tell them the truth next time!” I followed him around all day (as did most of us) to try and gauge the reaction.
A-Rod did not grant any interviews today. People were at his locker after the workout but he walked past. “Talk tomorrow, guys,” he said.
· Damaso Marte has stiff hamstrings. Nothing serious.
· Francisco Cervelli (illness) is expected back on Monday.
· There will be no intrasquad game this year because of the games starting on Feb. 25.
Those are the highlights. Teixeira signed a lot of autographs and bantered a lot with fans, as did Swisher. They seem like good guys. Swish is a big Ohio State football fan and was thrilled to learn that Triple-A conditioning coach Lee Tressel is Jim Tressel’s nephew.
· Shelley Duncan and I talked about our iPhones and when he left, he punched me in the shoulder. It still hurts. If he tries that again it’s go time.
· Speaking of which, the iPhone photos today weren’t half-bad. Am I right? I’m working on it. The idea is just to give you a little sense of what it’s like here from my perspective.