Normally, pitchers are a sullen lot on the day they’re pitching. They show up late, go about their business quietly and generally steer clear of interactions with anyone else.
In spring training, though, everyone’s a little more relaxed and Javier Vazquez was grinning as he walked into the clubhouse this morning. You could then hear him literally whistling as he pulled on his socks. Today is his first start of the spring and, obviously, Vazquez is ready to get going.
Today should also be Nick Johnson’s first appearance in a game since last week. The oft-injured Johnson was oft-injured yet again when he tweaked his back, but he took batting practice yesterday and is in the lineup for the home game against Philly.
For those who are wondering why Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson would be playing in Bradenton today as opposed to at home, it’s probably because they made a trade – a shorter road trip today in exchange for not going on the long ride to Viera to face the Nationals on Friday. Such are the perks of being a veteran.
Speaking of Rodriguez, the vigil to find out when he’s speaking to the FBI continued this morning. As he headed to the parking lot, a few of us writers approached him and asked (yet again) if anything was new. His response was succinct and bilingual:
“Nada. Nada. Nothing.”
UPDATE, 10:17 a.m.: A few other firsts: Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte are throwing live BP right now. Actually, Marte is throwing and the great Mariano is signing an endless line of autographs.