Babe Ruth was born on this date in 1895. He played his final Major League game in 1935, and he remains — in my opinion — the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I’m not sure anyone else is going to have an opportunity to prove himself as both a hitter and a pitcher like Ruth did (and his hitting performance alone probably makes him the greatest of all time even without those years of exceptional pitching). Random upcoming Ruth event: The city of Fayetteville, N.C. is about to celebrate Ruth’s first ever professional home run.
A few other notes and links on this Thursday night…
· Nice story from John Harper about new Yankees catcher Brian McCann, who was apparently compared to Thurman Munson while the Yankees were discussing whether to go after him this offseason. “As a dad, that was pretty cool to hear because (Munson) was one of my all-time favorite players,” McCann’s father, Howie, told Harper. “And Mr. Steinbrenner said when he heard that, he said, ‘Go get him.’”
· Jon Morosi brings up an interesting factor that could be impacting the market for Stephen Drew: Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz should be eligible to sign before the end of the month. The Yankees have been at least loosely connected to Diaz.
· David Phelps is shooting for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation, but he could fall back into a bullpen role this season. “I would obviously love to be a starter,” Phelps told Anthony McCarron. Have to assume that Phelps is a near lock for the bullpen if he doesn’t make the rotation. Michael Pineda, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno are seen as the other candidates for the fifth starter job. Pineda is, of course, getting the most attention of that group.
· Speaking of McCarron, he spotted Dean Anna, Scott Sizemore and Cito Culver going through infield drills with Derek Jeter today. Jeter, of course, went through his usual routine of batting practice and ground balls.
· Manny Banuelos told ESPN New York that he feels just like he did before undergoing Tommy John surgery about a year and a half ago. “It feels normal, just like before surgery,” Banuelos said. “I feel ready to go.”
· Worth mentioning our best wishes to Curt Schilling, who announced this week that he’s been diagnosed with cancer. I’m sure he’s not the most popular guy around here, but I certainly wish him nothing but the best while trying to fight such a disease.
Associated Press photo