Scattered thoughts jotted down while sitting in the sun …
· I’m sure there is some good business reason for this. But shouldn’t The YES Network cover spring training? They will televise 10 games from Florida, which is great. But why not have a 30-minute news show every night? If I can get 200 blog comments on a cheesy photo of CC Sabathia, YES can make money on a show from here.
· The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has jumped the shark. And the body paint thing is just stupid. We get it, you want to make 14-year-olds squint. They need a new hook.
· Did you know Joe Girardi was a big Seinfeld fan? Neither did I. He can quote lines from the show verbatim.
· The players parking lot is about 120 yards from the entrance to the clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field. But some guys take golf carts to and from their cars. Apparently the professional athletes don’t want to push themselves too much.
· Jose Veras has a Mac and he watches You Tube clips at his locker every morning while other guys gather around and laugh. Veras is quite adept with Mac software, too. I went over to ask him about the WBC last week and we ended up talking about iPhoto.
· The hotel I’m staying at is a block away from a combination gas station/Subway. How desperate do you have to be to get a sandwich from a gas station?
· I have satellite radio in my rental car. There’s a Playboy channel that consists of a male host describing how hot the girls are sitting in the studio while they giggle. I’m fairly sure this is why other countries hate us.
· Many people told me to watch Friday Night Lights and I never did. But when the Circuit City in my neighborhood went out of business I purchased Season One on DVD and then Season Two about a week later. Now I’m hooked. No offense to Derek Jeter, but Coach Taylor’s wife is the hottest babe on the show.
· Nick Swisher wore a ski cap in Fort Myers the other day when it was 85 degrees. He has a screw or two loose but if he gets on base, nobody will care.
· Eric Duncan, the former first-round pick, was not invited to major league camp. But he has been in Florida working out at the minor-league complex for more than a month. If desire counted, he would be a great player. But desire never trumps talent at this level.
· The Yankees have a pile of good arms in the minors and not many slots open in the rotation this year or in the years to come. It will be very interesting to see what becomes of guys like Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, Zach McAllister, Alan Horne, George Kontos, Jeremy Bleich, etc.
You can never have enough pitching. But if Brian Cashman wants to make a deal in July, he has a lot of chips.
· Watching Mariano Rivera sign a baseball is memorable. He takes the ball, slowly turns it to the right spot and oh-so-carefully writes his name in perfect script. Then he blows on the ball to make sure the ink is dry. Most guys can sign five balls in the time it takes him to sign one.
· From what I can tell, no home in Florida is built with a kitchen. Every restaurant is full every night.
· ESPN had a reporter around the Yankees every day from Feb. 11 to March 1. They finally disappeared today.
· The Blue Jays have a chance to really stink. Worse than the Orioles, even.
· Does one person you know care a whit about the WBC? But it’s popular in Asia, which is probably good enough for the MLB marketing people. A Japanese reporter I know said his paper has nine staffers covering the semifinals. Nine.
· If you think Tampa Bay’s 2008 season was a fluke, think again. One of their kid pitchers, Wade Davis, made the Yankees look silly the other day. They’re stocked.
· Paper Planes by MIA is a catchy song. But sampling Straight To Hell by The Clash is what makes it catchy. Those boys were way ahead of their time.
· Dry cleaners need to stop killing the planet. Just like my cleaner in New York, the one I use in Florida wraps four shirts in enough plastic to fill up a garbage can. There has to be a better way.
· I don’t believe Joe Torre realizes how many people in the organization feel betrayed by what he wrote in his book. Or, to be accurate, what Tom Verducci wrote at his behest. None of what he wrote was incorrect, but it was unseemly to betray so many confidences. Girardi comes off looking better now. He has quirks, sure. But at least he’s loyal.
· The average fan has no idea how hard guys like Dave Eiland and Kevin Long work. It used to be that being pals with the manager was how you became a pitching coach or hitting coach. No longer. Those guys are like NFL coordinators with all they do.
OK, getting back on the road to Tampa. Thanks to everybody for reading today.