The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Looking back: The randomness of spring training

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 30, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Working on some year-in-review stuff led me to reading through some random spring training blog posts. Reading those nuggets led to this list of stuff you might have forgotten — or wish you could forget — about the Yankees 2013 spring training.

Al Roker, Brian Cashman• Brian Cashman broke his right fibula and dislocated his right ankle after jumping out of an airplane. It was that kind of year.

• After the injuries to Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, Cashman reached out to Derrek Lee, Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen about coming out of retirement — or postponing retirement — to help the Yankees plug the holes. Instead, the Yankees traded for Vernon Wells and signed Lyle Overbay.

• Johnny Damon made a pitch to join the Yankees, thinking he could help fill the outfield hold. “I love Johnny, a lot of leadership and everything else, but it’s just not going to fit our needs,” Cashman said. “It’s the same reason we didn’t bring him in last year. We need somebody who can play the outfield every day.”

• There were so many guys in camp, some had to share uniform numbers.

• When camp opened, there seemed to be a good chance that either Juan Rivera or Matt Diaz would make the Yankees as a platoon hitter who could play some outfield and get some time at DH against lefties. Then Curtis Granderson was hurt (opening more chances for outfielders) and Mark Teixiera was hurt (opening at-bats at first base) and still neither Rivera nor Diaz made the team. Diaz was one of the first cuts, and Rivera was one of the last. Oh, and David Aardsma was a heavy favorite to make the team until the very end.

• Phil Hughes had that back injury during the early spring workouts, and he actually started on the season on the disabled list before being rushed onto the active roster to make a start.

• Joba Chamberlain had that awful mustache. Just brutal.

Chien-Ming Wang• Chien-Ming Wang was back in pinstripes for a while. The Yankees signed him during spring training and gave him a look in Triple-A. On the day he showed up at the minor league complex, there was a massive group of Taiwanese journalists to document his return.

• Melky Mesa backed out of the World Baseball Classic because he thought it would help him take advantage of an opportunity to make the big league roster. But he hit .228 in big league camp and got just 13 big league at-bats all season. Andy Pettitte was also asked to play in the WBC, but the Yankees didn’t want him to waste his innings and Pettitte agreed.

• The Yankees kept making errors in the early spring training games. With several guys hurt, and others playing in the WBC, the Yankees were using a lineup of almost all young infielders who kept making mistakes in the field.

• After leaving Florida, the Yankees made a memorable trip to West Point. I remember the trip well — I’d never been there, and the place was incredible — but I’d completely forgotten about it until I saw an old blog post about it. Still have the pictures on my phone.

• Chris Stewart got ejected from a spring training game for arguing briefly about a bang-bang play at first base. “I’m just trying to make a team,” he said afterward. “I didn’t feel like I did anything to deserve to be thrown out of the game.” It was odd.

• There was that goofy Kevin Youkilis controversy when he said, “I’ll always be a Red Sock.” Derek Jeter even joked about it during his opening press conference, saying Andy Pettitte told him to say something controversial to get Youkilis off the back page of the tabloids.

• Alex Rodriguez wasn’t there. He was an ongoing storyline, but his absence managed to at least somewhat minimize the distraction.

Associated Press photos





39 Responses to “Looking back: The randomness of spring training”

  1. blake December 30th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I want to read some emails between Levine and Jeter :

    Levine: hey Jete….how’s the rehab coming?

    Jeter: dude I can’t take you seriously with that hair even via email

  2. Tar December 30th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Y’s— 50 games


    I also want to thank you for the link. I had a family member who was in that battle. All I ever got from him was he was there, it was cold, and he got wounded by shrapnel. Didn’t want to talk about it they were the greatest generation.

    Randy Levine again proves what a mess the Yankee FO is. He is a joke and should not be affiliated with the NYY.

  3. Can of Corn December 30th, 2013 at 3:24 pm


    Great link thanks. Unreal some of that crap :)

  4. Tar December 30th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    BTW if I’m in Cano’s camp I’m furious right now.

    Have a good day all.

  5. blake December 30th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Tar says:
    December 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm
    BTW if I’m in Cano’s camp I’m furious right now.

    Have a good day all.

    He’s already got his money ….wonder if those comments would have had any affect on his market had this come out before

  6. Can of Corn December 30th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Ys Guy:

    161 games for ‘Aboy’

  7. Patrick December 30th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    blake that link to the Levine/A-rod emails is unreal. Love it

  8. AAA December 30th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    BTW if I’m in Cano’s camp I’m furious right now.


    If I’m in Hal Steinbrenner’s camp I’m furious right now, as I’ve just learned the president of my multi billion dollar organization is a dimwitted tube steak.

  9. blake December 30th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    “If I’m in Hal Steinbrenner’s camp I’m furious right now, as I’ve just learned the president of my multi billion dollar organization is a dimwitted tube steak.

    He really should have already knew that

  10. Patrick December 30th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    He really should have already knew that


  11. Your Worst Nightmare December 30th, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Maybe Levine should have Jeter shave his head and turn over a new leaf ?

  12. pat December 30th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Without an “lol” after it, I can’t be sure Levine was joking. :wink:

  13. AAA December 30th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    He really should have already knew that


    Well the tube steak part, yeah. But he’s supposed to be a smart guy.

  14. RadioKev December 30th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Fangraphs common sense says Tanaka gets 6/120m. That’s what I thought too.

    So of course he’s going to get more. Jeez louise.

  15. RadioKev December 30th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

  16. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Mrs. T gets a monthly newsletter from her dad’s chapter of the VFW. He was a life member and captain of a LST in the Pacific, and was there for fourteen! landings. He also “acquired” an ice cream machine from some rear area officer’s club, and became the most popular LST commander in the Pacific.

    Anyway, each issue contains some jokes, mostly pointed at Southerners.

    The latest:

    “A Georgia State Patrolman pulls a man over, and says to the driver, “do you have any ID?” The driver responds, “Bout what?”

    “The owner of a Georgia golf course was confused about an invoice. He asked his secretary for some mathematical help. “Y’all graduated from UGA. If I was to give you $20,000 dollars, minus 13%, how much would you take off?’ She replied, ‘Everything bur my earrings.’”

    “A young man from my town came running into the store and said to the boss, “Somebody just stole your truck!’ Bubba replies, ‘Did you see who it was?’ The young man replied, ‘No, but I got the license plate number!’”

  17. RadioKev December 30th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    As a general rule, the crowd has been consistently too low on large contracts; missing on Cano by two years, missing on Ellsbury by one year and $3M in AAV, missing on Choo by two years and $3 million in AAV, and missing on McCann by one year and $2M in AAV. If this estimate follows the trend of previous forecasts for big contracts, maybe a more realistic projection would be 7/$154, or almost exactly equal to the Ellsbury contract. Toss in the $20 million posting fee, and that would put him at $7/$174M, or $1M shy of the extension signed by Felix Hernandez.

    Either way, Tanaka is about to become a very rich man.

    Yep, that sounds ridiculous enough.

  18. MG December 30th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I just read the Post article about Levine’s emails with Arod.

    If the Yankees have any class and smarts they fire Levine’s ass today, what a bozo.

  19. bigdan22 December 30th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    You know what’s really embarrassing? Is how low the media has sunk.

    I’ve worked on numerous government investigations and high profile corporate litigation and nearly every one of those matters turned significantly on email. I’ve hired special contractors with sophisticated programs that can scan millions and millions of email for later review. On a 1-10 scale of embarrassment, these Levine-Arod emails rate about a 2. You should see the stuff corporate execs talk about and attach to emails. It will blow your mind.

    But what’s really wrong is why NY mag is publishing this story. First of all, publishing someone’s email is just wrong, unless you have a real good reason. I can understand if you are doing a story of investigative journalism and certain email becomes highly relevant. I get that. But look at the title of this article “The A-Rod E-Mails.” What exactly is the point of this article other than to simply embarrass two people?

    Right now, some really serious issues about the role of privacy in this country are being played out in this whole Snowden/NSA matter. This is actually a good example of how email surveillance can be misused. Chad and others start doing the right thing. Don’t play this game. There was a time when journalism had standards. It’s not too late.

  20. blake December 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    @ChrisCotillo: Johan Santana is moving closer to signing a minor league deal somewhere, as @nickcafardo reported.

  21. Your Worst Nightmare December 30th, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Ys Guy …….

    211 games for ‘Roidboy’

  22. blake December 30th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Certainly wouldn’t mind the Johan if it’s a minor league deal

  23. joeman December 30th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    blake December 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    @ChrisCotillo: Johan Santana is moving closer to signing a minor league deal somewhere, as @nickcafardo reported.
    that has been around all day…

  24. joeman December 30th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    ARod is going to get 65 games

  25. hardwired7 December 30th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Heaven help us if Levine gets Tanaka’s email address.

  26. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Never send an email from an office computer or a company phone that doesn’t relate strictly to business.

  27. joeman December 30th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    looks like the NFL is going to raid the college ranks for HC

  28. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    No one liked the jokes?

  29. J. Alfred Prufrock December 30th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Hard wired – lets hope he doesn’t understand English.

    But lmao re Levine. People are surprised he’s a jerk? Um -
    Where y’all been??

    Hal sanctions Levine and Cashman’s running mouth is vintage Levine.

    These are
    The people who run this team. Not exactly a news flash. Levine isn’t going anywhere.

  30. Your Worst Nightmare December 30th, 2013 at 5:13 pm


    ‘Bout what’ ?

    LOL !

  31. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Levine saved them a few million bucks during the new stadium negotiations. Keep him out of baseball, though.

  32. J. Alfred Prufrock December 30th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    They’re not going to “keep him out of baseball.” George was a loose cannon and imperiously Obsessed with HIS team.
    Hal is a novice whose main concern is profit margins.’Meanwhile they have an uncharismatic and largely ineffective GM who tries to pass
    Of his smack talk as leadership. Who exactly is keeping Levine out of 0vaseball decisions” ??

  33. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Except if he realizes the profits that Tanaka will bring, which is a lot.

  34. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    What exactly did you just say?

  35. J. Alfred Prufrock December 30th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Baseball decisions.

  36. J. Alfred Prufrock December 30th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    iPhone. Leaving restaurant.

  37. tomingeorgia December 30th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Hope you got your money’s worth.

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