As position players wandered in and out of the Yankees clubhouse this morning, Derek Jeter found out that Kevin Youkilis had already landed himself on the tabloid back pages with his “always a Red Sock” comment.
“Pettitte just told me,” Jeter said. “He told me to say something controversial in this press conference so I can get (Youkilis) off the back pages. I’ll let him have it. Welcome to New York.”
As you might expect, Jeter didn’t say anything controversial this morning. He didn’t comment on his contract or Alex Rodriguez’s situation, and he said his only focus has been getting ready for Opening Day. He doesn’t expect to play in the early spring training games, but Jeter said there’s still plenty of time to get ready. So far, he has only run on a treadmill, but he’s expecting to run on the field tomorrow.
“I’m on Mo’s schedule,” Jeter said. “Five innings and I’ll be ready to go.”
“I’m not concerned with re-injuring the ankle,” he said. “… I know I won’t be playing when they start playing in a week. You can write that down. I’m not playing in that game. I don’t think you necessarily need all of spring training to get ready. There have been years when I’ve played inn the WBC and missed the majority of spring training and was still able to get ready. I don’t know exactly the date that I’m going to play, but it will probably be somewhere there after a couple weeks.”
At this point it’s all about doing the regular work on the field, and that process will resume tomorrow. For now, it’s one more day with only the pitchers and catchers working out. First full-squad workout is tomorrow.
• Travis Hafner said he literally does not go through any sort of defensive drills anymore. He technically owns a first baseman’s glove, but it sits in his locker unused. “I haven’t really thrown much over the last five years or so,” he said. “It’d be something that, I don’t know, maybe just try it out and see how it goes, but I’m not sure at this point.”
• David Adams is in big league camp. He said his back was a little sore this winter and the Yankees gave him an epidural last week. He’s roughly a week behind schedule but should be able to fully participate soon. The back hasn’t bothered him in a few days. “I feel pretty good,” he said.
• Among the highlights on arrival day: Ichiro Suzuki showing up wearing a cap with the letters NY — not the Yankees logo — in blue glitter. Photos aren’t allowed in the clubhouse, so I couldn’t take a picture. Just trust me, it was perfectly amazing and uniquely Ichiro.
• Random observation: Luke Murton is a huge dude. Looks like the kind of guy who hit 25 homers last year. We might get a chance to see quite a bit of him with Mark Teixeira going to play in the WBC.
• Asked Ronnier Mustelier how to pronounce his first name. It’s basically the way it looks — Ron-ee-ear — except he rolls the R at the beginning. So start doing that when you say his name, just because it’s kind of fun.
• Greg Bird. Nice guy. Had a random conversation only because of his locker placement at the end of a row. Feel free to make him a favorite. He just has the look of a guy who should hit. He said he played quite a bit of first base when he was younger, so the transition away from catcher has been fairly easy.
• A lot of guys throwing batting practice today.
Facing Slade Heathcott, Luke Murton and Cito Culver
Ivan Nova (to Chris Stewart)
Joba Chamberlain (Stewart)
Matt Daley (Austin Romine)
Mark Montgomery (Romine)
Francisco Rondon (J.R. Murphy)
Jose Ramirez (Murphy)
Mike O’Brien (Francisco Arcia)
Corey Black (Arcia)
Facing Greg Bird, Kyle Roller, Tyler Austin and Ronnier Mustelier
Cody Eppley (Francisco Cervelli)
Bryan Mitchell (Cervelli)
Chase Whitley (Bobby Wilson)
Preston Claiborne (Wilson)
Josh Spence (Gary Sanchez)
Branden Pinder (Sanchez)
Shane Green (Kyle Higashioka)
Kelvin Perez (Higashioka)
• Catchers batting practice groups (these changed around a little bit to match up with the BP sessions)
Arcia, Stewart, Romine, Murphy
Cervelli, Higashioka, Sanchez, Wilson
Cell phone photo