On this final day of 2013, let’s take a month-by-month look back at the past year. I’ve divided the season into four quarters — essentially splitting things into the preseason, the first half of the season, the second half of the season, and the offseason. We’ll try to pick out the key event of each month along the way, starting with the first three months of the year.
The Miami New Times breaks the Biogenesis story
It had been a relatively quiet offseason for the Yankees — and Alex Rodriguez had just undergone hip surgery — when the Miami New Times published its January 29 bombshell report linking Rodriguez and others to a Miami clinic called Biogenesis, where a variety of athletes were allegedly acquiring performance enhancing drugs from a man named Anthony Bosch. It was, essentially, the story of the year in baseball, with the league issuing a statement promising: “Vigilance remains the key toward protecting the integrity of our game.” The league has been aggressive, and its fight against Rodriguez continues. Team A-Rod’s immediate statement of denial: “The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”
Worth mentioning: The Yankees agreed to terms with Travis Hafner, Juan Rivera signed minor league deal; Dave Robertson was the Yankees last arbitration-eligible player to sign; Rodriguez’s hip surgery; no one elected to the Hall of Fame
Curtis Granderson’s broken forearm
This was a year of injuries — an ongoing problem that helped wreck the Yankees season and largely defined their year — and it truly started with Granderson. Derek Jeter had been hurt in 2012, and Rodriguez had been diagnosed in 2012, but the first big injury of 2013 was Curtis Granderson being hit by a pitch on February 24. It was J.A. Happ who delivered the pitch, and Granderson was almost immediately diagnosed with a fractured forearm expected to cost him 10 weeks. It wasn’t a good sign. Not a good sign for Granderson, and not a good sign for the Yankees.
Worth mentioning: Brett Gardner given a chance in center; Abe Almonte traded for Shawn Kelley; Andy Pettitte turned down an invitation to the World Baseball Classic; Francisco Cervelli denied getting steroids from Biogenesis
Derek Jeter ruled out for Opening Day
Could make a good case for two key moments in March: The Mark Teixeira injury, and the Derek Jeter setback. While the Teixeira injury was stunning, it was the Jeter issue that largely defined the month as the Yankees prepared for their captain to get healthy and ready for Opening Day. Of course, that never happened. The final moment was March 24, when Brian Cashman made it official that Jeter would open the season on the disabled list after the first of many, many setbacks in his attempt to come back from ankle surgery. He played in five spring training games, but he was scratched from the lineup in late March and never got back on the field. As we learned, it was more than a momentary setback.
Worth mentioning: Mark Teixeira’s strained tendon sheath; Mariano Rivera’s retirement press conference; Lyle Overbay signed to a three-day tryout; Vernon Wells acquired from the Angels; Brennan Boesch released by the Tigers and signed by the Yankees
Associated Press photo