Just a few minutes ago, the Yankees sent out an official statement mourning the death of Yogi Berra’s wife, Carmen, who died last night in Essex County, N.J. Yogi and Carmen were married on January 26, 1949, and they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary just last month.
“On behalf of the entire New York Yankees organization, we offer our deepest condolences to the Berra family,” Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Having known Yogi and Carmen for so long, it is almost impossible to imagine two people who complemented each other better than they did. We will always remember Carmen’s smile and sense of humor, and her kindness and generosity will be dearly missed.”
Yogi has not been in Yankees camp this spring.
Carmen is survived by her husband, as well as her sons Larry, Tim and his wife Betsy, and Dale and his wife Jane. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The Yankees announced that funeral services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center at 8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls, N.J. 07424. Donations also may be made at yogiberramuseum.org.
· Vidal Nuno last started a game on Sunday, and rather than pitch in a game this weekend, he will throw a simulated game this afternoon. Starts are getting a little harder to come by now that everyone is ready for games, and Nuno has always felt like the most fringy of the fifth-starter candidates. I suppose Nuno could get another start later in the spring with some split squad games, including those when half of the Yankees head to Panama.
· Slade Heathcott has been taking dry swings for about two weeks, but he’s scheduled to progress to hitting off a tee tomorrow. Heathcott is being eased into baseball activities after having knee surgery last season. He’s been running on a treadmill, but said he has not been allowed to shag fly balls just yet. Heathcott said he’s feeling no pain in the knee and everything seems to be going well, it’s just happening with some caution on the Yankees part.
· The Yankees are apparently getting their travel squad lined up for Panama. Dean Anna said today that he’s been asked to make the trip, and yesterday Dave Robertson — so surprise — told the Daily News that he’s going on the trip. We also know that Derek Jeter is planning to go. My guess has been that the long-time Yankees who know Rivera will be on the trip, with the additional roster spots filled by younger guys like Anna who can play both games and fill-in at various positions as needed.
· Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley, Manny Banuelos and David Herndon have each had Tommy John surgery at some point (there might be others in the Yankees clubhouse as well, I just don’t know everyone’s history well enough). Amazing how many pitchers, whether they knew Frank Jobe or not, have been directly affected by him.
· Four pitchers are throwing live batting practice today, but Mark Teixeira is not listed as one of the hitters. Could change, but right now he’s not on that list.
· Adam Warren and Matt Daley are each throwing bullpens today.
· Based on the listed relievers, I’m guessing Michael Pineda will actually pitched the fifth through seventh innings tonight, not the fourth through sixth. Dave Robertson is the first listed reliever. That usually indicates that he’ll be the first out of the pen to pitch immediately after Hiroki Kuroda. That said, could also be an indication that the Yankees want Robertson to enter in the middle of an inning before Pineda starts fresh the following frame.
· Living batting practice/simulated games:
Facing hitters Corban Joseph, Jose Pirela and Austin Romine
Vidal Nuno (to Gary Sanchez)
Jose Campos (to Jose Gil)
Shane Greene (to Pete O’Brien)
Bryan Mitchell (to Francisco Arcia)
· Today’s second string: C Francisco Cervelli, 1B Jose Gil, 2B Jose Pirela, SS Dean Anna, 3B Zelous Wheeler, LF Zoilo Almonte, CF Antoan Richardson, RF Adonis Garcia, DH Francisco Arcia
· Today’s scheduled relievers: Dave Robertson, Michael Pineda, Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne (with Jim Miller, Robert Coello and Yoshinori Tateyama listed as available if necessary)
· Batting practice groups:
Group 1: Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Ichiro Suzuki, Brian McCann
Group 2: Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Eduardo Nunez, Alfonso Soriano
Group 3: Zoilo Almonte, Dean Anna, Russ Canzler, Zelous Wheeler
Group 4: Adonis Garcia, Jose Pirela, Antoan Richardson, Jose Gil
Group 5: Ramon Flores, Brett Gardner, Scott Sizemore, Francisco Cervelli
Group 6: Kelly Johnson, Mark Teixeira, Mason Williams
Group 7: Corban Joseph, Yangervis Solarte, John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine
Group 8: Francisco Arcia, Pete O’Brien, Gary Sanchez
· Tomorrow’s travel squad for Kissimmee:
Pitchers: Manny Banuelos, Danny Burawa, Cesar Cabral, David Herndon, Chris Leroux, Fred Lewis, Jim Miller, Mark Montgomery, Ivan Nova, Chase Whitley
Catchers: Francisco Arcia, Francisco Cervelli, Jose Gil, Pete O’Brien, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Infielders: Dean Anna, Kelly Johnson, Corban Joseph, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte, Mark Teixeira, Zelous Wheeler
Outfielders: Zoilo Almonte, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Brett Gardner, Antoan Richardson, Mason Williams
Associated Press photos