Mark those calendars. The Yankees play the Tigers on March 10, and Johnny Damon will be there. The saga finally ends with a one-year deal worth roughly $8 million. Meanwhile, in Tampa…
There were a few Steinbrenner sightings at the Yankees spring training complex today. Hal Steinbrenner and Felix Lopez met with Joe Girardi before the morning workout, then George Steinbrenner himself stopped by the stadium to watch his grandson’s high school team play a game. The Daily News has a picture of The Boss sitting in his private box.
As for the morning meeting between the manager and the managing general partner, Girardi didn’t go into specifics, but said they talked about last season, the coming season and some of the new players in camp.
“When Hal comes down, conversations are very meaningful and right to the point,” Girardi said. “We talk a lot of baseball. It’s great. I feel like we’re always on the same page. He’s very open, and conversations are usually very constructive.”
• No plans for personal, postseason catchers this time around. “Jorge (Posada) is going to catch (A.J. Burnett) in spring training,” Girardi said. “We’re going to do that. There are times, I know for me personally, it took me longer to learn some pitchers than others… We’re going to put them together and we’ll approach it as Jorge is going to catch every day in the season.”
• Andrew Brackman did not pitch today because of a small cut on the pointer finger of his right hand. Brackman said it’s no big deal, and he’s planning to throw his bullpen tomorrow instead.
• The plan to hold the Yankees starters back at the beginning of camp came after a series of discussions, beginning in December, between Girardi and Dave Eiland. They talked about having them make one less start, but decided that was too drastic, and finally settled on this plan. “This wasn’t something that we formulated in one day,” Girardi said.
• Francisco Cervelli said it feels “special” to be in camp as the favorite for a big league job. “I felt really comfortable last year,” he said. “I think the key was my teammates. They always said, you can do it. Just worry about catching, don’t worry about hitting. We’re going to hit for you. The only thing we need is for you to control the pitcher and play your game… (But) you want to be like them. You want to be a part of the festival.”
• Former Yankees beat writer Ed Price posted a picture of Melky Cabrera on Twitter. Cabrera’s sporting a bit of a beard now that he’s playing for the Braves.
• Pitchers who threw today:
First group: Aceves, Gaudin, Mitre, Sabathia
Second group: Albaladejo, Robertson, Sanchez
Third group: Pope, Ring, Segovia
Fourth group: Arias, Duff, Hirsh, Sanit
• First group pairings: Cervelli caught Aceves, Rivera caught Gaudin, Romine caught Mitre, Posada caught Sabathia. New addition Jose Gil caught Segovia and Hirsh.
• After today’s workout, there was a letter from Major League Baseball posted in the clubhouse. It listed 12 new performance enhancing substances and 30 new stimulants now banned by the league. One of the stimulants was Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a 29-letter word for “50-game suspension.”
Finally, it was pretty cool to see Yogi Berra standing in the doorway to watch the bullpen sessions this morning. Most of the catchers would shyly move past him, but Jorge Posada had several conversations with him.