Pitching today: Phil Hughes followed by Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, Jon Albaladejo, Mark Melancon.
Rays pitching: Wade Davis followed by Winston Abreu, Calvin Medlock, Chad Orvella, Dale Thayer and Julio DePaula.
Notes: The game is on YES. … This is the first of 18 games at Big Stein Field.
UPDATE ON MARIANO RIVERA, 9:37 a.m.: Rivera has been playing catch and will get on the mound for the first time next week. That is not too far off what his usual schedule would be. “I feel fine. My shoulder is strong,” he said this morning. “No problems.”
UPDATE VIA iPHONE, 10:15 a.m.: Watching Wang, Joba, CC and Aceves in the bullpen.
It’s interesting to watch how effectively CC uses his lower half to drive the ball. It’s something Joba needs to improve.
Here are some shots from above:
UPDATE VIA iPHONE, 10:34 a.m.: Yogi Berra and Don Zimmer are talking behind the cage. There’s a little baseball knowledge.
UPDATE VIA iPHONE, 11:23 a.m.: Trying to confirm this, but it sounds like Alex Rodriguez either has met or will meet with the MLB investigators today.
UPDATE, 12:41 p.m.: Just spoke to Brian Cashman. He did not have any information as to whether Alex Rodriguez will meet with MLB investigators today.
I asked Cashman his opinion on Yuri Sucart driving his players to and from games.
“It has been handled,” he said. “That’s all I want to say, it has been handled.”
Asked whether Sucart would still be allowed to transport players to and from games, Cashman repeated that the matter had been handled.
UPDATE, 12:50 p.m.: George Steinbrenner is at his game. I also saw his daughters, Jessica and Jennifer. I’m assuming Hal and Hank are here as well but I have not seen them.
It’s a beautiful day in Tampa. Sunny, a few clouds and 73 at the moment.
UPDATE, 12:57 p.m.: They’re introducing all the guest instructors now. This could take a while. Big hand for Tino.
UPDATE, 1:03 p.m.: Lawrence Peter Berra received a standing ovation when introduced.
UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: Lots of Rays fans here, they got a lot of applause. … Meanwhile the Yankees had a fly-over of an Air Force transport as the anthem ended. They don’t do anything halfway here.
George Steinbrenner is sitting in the front row of his suite and received a big hand when he came out.
UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Bernie Williams just threw out the first pitch.
UPDATE, 1:28 p.m.: Phil Hughes hit Kennedy and Aybar but struck out Crawford and got Zobrist to pop to short to end the inning. He threw 18 pitches, 13 strikes. His fastball was 91/92.
UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Yankees went in order in the first. Tex fanned.
UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Good inning for Hughes. He walked Richard with one out but came back to K Riggans on four pitches then got Ruggiano to ground to second. He’s at 33 pitches and is probably done.
UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Three up and three down again, A-Rod and Cano fanned. Davis has made them look silly for two innings. … Phil Coke now pitching.
The line for Hughes: 2 innings 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 2 hit batters. I had him for 33 pitches, 22 strikes.
UPDATE, 1:52 p.m.: The new, extra-hustle Robinson Cano just ranged into short right field to track down a grounder and made a nice flip to first to get Aybar. 1-2-3 inning for Coke.
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Coke motors through another inning. He allowed a single but caught Richard looking to end the frame. 1-0 Yankees middle of the fourth.
The live blog could get a little spotty soon as we’ll be heading down to the clubhouse to speak to Hughes and Coke.
Jeter, Tex and A-Rod due up.
UPDATE, 2:19 p.m.: Still here. Tex singled with one out by A-Rod grounded into a 5-4-3 DP. Lots of Rays fans here. They booed him when he came up then cheered when he ended the inning.
Brian Bruney now chucking. Yanks have allowed one hit through 4 innings.
UPDATE, 2:24 p.m.: Brian Bruney just cruised through the fifth inning, hitting 95 on the gun. He’s got big-time upside in that 8th inning role.
UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Nady reached on a ground-rule double down the line in right. Then Posada doubled over the head of the center field. The ball hopped the fence or he might have reached third. 2-0 Yankees.
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: Marte on to pitch. Wholesale changes to the lineup.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: In a revolutionary moment for the interweb, here is audio from the starting pitcher before the game is over.
Phil Hughes talks about his two innings, how spring training feels this year when compared to last and what his goals are for this season:
Don’t read too much into Hughes hitting two batters in the first inning. Dave Eiland is big on working inside and pushing batters off the plate. I suspect Hughes was being particularly aggressive on 0-1 pitches. It’s not something he would necessarily do during the season.
UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: As I was leaving the clubhouse, Shelley Duncan hammered a three-run blast to left field. It’s 5-1 Yankees.
Now Mark Melancon, who is the man, is moving down the Rays in the eighth inning.