23 Feb 2008
I have to say, as exciting as the concept of pitchers and catchers is, the reality can be pretty boring. How excited can you get about the 87th injury update on Hideki Matsui’s knee or Hankensteins 200th proclamation of the spring? I feel somewhat sorry for the newspaper guys who have to fill up a set space every day, I can just not write for a week. Then again, they are in Florida where the weather is usually pretty nice this time of year.
But, we are finally getting out of the tedium of spring and into the best part, actual games. We still have to wait until Friday for baseball, but we know that Chien-Ming Wang will open the exhibition season for the Yankees and that means he is on track to open the season for real. Not really a shock and the interesting thing will be to see who lines up behind him, but some concrete news.
Some other interesting tidbits that have come out of camp so far are:
1- Joe Girardi has no plans to play Matsui at first at all and he might look at Damon there occasionally. But, he thinks Giambi could play there a lot. It’s really too bad about Matsui not getting a look there, it would give the team more options. But, expecting Giambi to play a lot in the field is a foolish bet. Jason made it out to first 18 times last year and I wouldn’t expect much more from him this year. I know he lost 20 pounds and it is a contract year, but the guy is 37 and hasn’t played more than 140 games since 2003.
2- The bullpen is really as open a competition as you could have. Rivera, Hawkins and Farnsworth are the only guys definitely going North and Joba may or may not start in the pen. I suspect Joba’s role will be definied by how comfortable the Yankees are with their other options more than anything. That means guys like Veras, Ohlendorf, Jackson, Horne, etc., have a HUGE opportunity this camp.
We will see how the battle progress over the next few weeks, but for the first time in a long time, the names of the 25 guys heading North are not set in stone.