Once Upon a Time

Tampa, Fla., February 24, 2017; Yankees 9, Phillies 4 — 2017 is going to be a strange year for Yankee fans. With much of New York assuming the Mets will charge into the postseason, the Yankees not so much, you’d expect to hear dire descriptions of the team and pessimistic predictions for their chances. But to all appearances, the fanbase is in a better frame of mind than they’ve been in in years. Continue reading

May Day

Tampa, Fla., March 7, 2016; Houston 1, Yankees 0 — Back in the days when the world stage was dominated by just two global powers; one of them, Russia, or the USSR, loved to show off its military prowess and armament on one day: May Day. If there was one thing a Yankee fan could be happy about on Monday afternoon following the team’s loss to Houston, it was the display of power arms, so many on one day. Continue reading

Armed and Dangerous

Lakeland, Fla., March 4, 2016; Tigers 3, Yankees 0 — “Five Yankee Pitchers Collaborate on a 2-Hitter” would be a nice headline for a piece covering the Yankee/Tigers tilt in Lakeland, but it avoids the painful truth. When Miguel Cabrera crushed a 3-1 Vinnie Pestano fastball in the bottom of the third, it was the lone scoring drive of the game, a 3-run home run to center field. Continue reading

Where Do We Go From Here

Tampa, Fla., March 2, 2016; Yankees 10, Tigers 9 — What are the chances that the first ever Yankee Classic from a Spring Training game to appear on YES television took place today? Hey, I get it. I’ve been attending Spring Training on each Florida coast for 3 decades now. For the teams, it’s applying practiced skills in game situations, and evaluating different levels of talent. While observing talented pros playing the game we love in warm environs after a cold, bland winter totally describes the fan experience. Continue reading

Baseball Among Friends

Sarasota, Fla., March 10, 2015 — The Yanks traveled south to play the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota Tuesday. The ballpark has been there for years, with several teams — including the White Sox and the Reds — serving as Spring tenants, but the city and the O’s have teamed to make an unadorned diamond into something of a jewel. But neither can take credit for the gorgeous blue sky, the white puffy clouds, or the 85 degree temps we enjoyed on a perfect day. Continue reading

The March of Time

March 9, 2015, Tampa, Fla. — The Yanks hosted the Tampa Rays Monday afternoon under bright sun, some high clouds, and 82 degrees worth of heat. The home team fielded what could be their opening day lineup, while the Rays’ traveling squad included several of the name players their nondescript offense will feature in 2015. Neither team knocked the cover off the ball, and each scored when the other was struggling on defense. The Rays out-errored the Yanks 2-1, and the Yanks won the game, 4-3. Continue reading

Cave for the Save

Kissimmee, Fla., March 7, 2015 — For five innings Saturday in Kissimmee, the Yankees were frustrating their fans with more of their 2014 attack. The Friday evening plan featured two singles until three eighth-inning hits produced a run; now a second-inning Mark Teixeira line single and a walk was the sole output. This stood in stark relief against what the Astros had done in their first inning against veteran righthander Scott Baker, a free agent trying to land a spot with the Yanks. Continue reading