Mighty Miguel

Clearwater, Fla., March 1, 2018; Yankees 6, Phillies 4 — There was a lot to like about the Yanks’ 6-4 win over the Phillies in Clearwater Thursday, their second win in Spectrum Field in four days. They ran their Spring record to 6-1, got a midseason-quality two-inning start from CC Sabathia, and five solo home runs from young players not named Sanchez, Judge, Stanton, or Bird. CC was amazing, retiring six of seven around an error on 26 pitches, with three punch outs, two swinging. He mixed pitches well, with a fastball that averaged 87-88 mph, but he did hit 90. And he left after two with a 1-0 lead on the first of the series of long balls. Continue reading


Tampa, Fla., February 28, 2018; Detroit 9, Yankees 6 — The visiting Tigers and the Yankees played what felt like two games Wednesday afternoon, and the home-standing Yanks lost both. The good news is twofold: First, it counts as just one actual loss, setting the Yanks back to a 5-1 record in this Spring campaign; and two, one Yankee won the interim in blinding fashion. Continue reading

March 1 in Yankee History

  • For the second straight day, the Yankees posted a Spring Training win in a game in which they went up 8-0, though they would have to struggle to hold on for the 8-7 victory against the visiting Braves. Jacoby Ellsbury‘s first-inning jolt was the only home run among the 11 hits the Bombers used to build their big advantage, but Atlanta went yard three times in the seventh and eighth to plate six of their seven tallies in a just-short comeback. Pushed to a third inning, Jordan Montgomery weakened in the seventh, and J.P. Feyereisen, one of four players acquired from Cleveland for Andrew Miller in 2016, followed by surrendering back-to-back bombs. Lefthander Jaime Garcia, whom the Yanks would acquire for the stretch run four months later (from Minnesota six days after the Twins had traded for him), got the start for Atlanta. Continue reading
  • February 28 in Yankee History

  • Several springs ago, much of the Yankee controversy spun around the late George Steinbrenner and his criticism of Derek Jeter regarding his level of intensity and commitment to his game. It seemed a tempest in a teapot when they did a series of Visa commercials together lampooning the alleged late-night partying, and then suddenly, Jeter was named team captain. Although I’m sure no one knew that Alex Rodriguez would be joining him on the left side of the Yankee infield soon, the timing of Derek’s receipt of this honor before that trade was fortuitous. These musings flow from the fact that it was February 28 in 1991 that Don Mattingly became the 10th Yankee captain. Donnie, who served in that capacity through 1995, his last year in Pinstripes, arrived on the scene as hitting coach the same year Jeter began his first full season holding that title. Donnie served as Joe Torre‘s bench coach for the Dodgers in 2007-2009, then took over as manager, and joined the Marlins in that capacity in 2016. Continue reading
  • Walk On Walk Off

    Tampa, Fla., February 26, 2018; Yankees 4, Phillies 3 — Another glorious Florida baseball day Monday found us doing our second doubleheader, starting with a two-hour drive South to see the Tampa Rays host the Toronto Blue Jays, just a baseball game pitting two AL East rivals. Our seats were tremendous, fifth row behind home plate, where our Yankee gear stood out, and where the sun and the intense heat rendered us bereft of any New York chill; we babbled inanities, and watched both the game and the peculiar dance of the fanbases. Continue reading

    February 27 in Yankee History

  • Yet another bright prospect was heard from when the Yankees visited the Orioles in Sarasota on February 27, 2017. A low-scoring game, the teams were tied 1-1 through eight on a Greg Bird rbi double in the first and a Jonathan Schoop homer in the third. An effective Chad Green threw the first two for the Yanks. But uber-prospect Clint Frazier singled to start the top of the ninth and, following another single, infielder Thairo Estrada, five days after his 21st birthday, homered to left center for the 4-1 Yankee win. It is hoped that reports that Estrada’s injury from a gunshot wound from a perp attempting to rob him about a month ago is not too severe, and he will play most of the 2018 season. He worked his way up to AA Trenton in 2017. Continue reading
  • February 26 in Yankee History

  • With the birthday of the Warrior Paul O’Neill just yesterday and Don Mattingly having become Joe Torre‘s bench coach after several seasons as the Yankees batting coach during this time in 2007, and his replacement as manager with LA in 2011, it would be easy to wax nostalgic about the day some of our favorite players wore the Pinstripes for the last time. The fact that Donnie was wearing Dodger Blue with Torre in 2008 and 2009, and continued to until recently, adds to the reverie. But perhaps no day in Yankee history is as fraught with that form of bittersweet musing than February 26, 1935. That is the day the Yankees released the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, so he could sign on with the Boston Braves of the National League. Of his 714 career homers and 2,213 rbi’s, the Bambino collected six and 12, respectively with the 1935 Braves. Continue reading
  • Baseball Burlesque

    Clearwater, Fla., February 25, 2018; Yankees 8, Phillies 3 — The home-standing Phillies almost escaped a no-outs, men-on-second-and-third situation leading off their Sunday game hosting the Yankees — almost — but an Aaron Hicks soft popup to the third base bag eluded a sun-blinded Maikel Franco and fell in as Hicks reached first. The strike outs on either side of the Yankee DH’s fluke single should have ended the threat, but given an extra life, the visitors broke through on Danny Espinosa’s bases-loaded double. It gave the Yankees their second consecutive three-run Spring inning, each of which pretty much won them a game. Continue reading

    Doubling Our Pleasure

    Bradenton, Fla., February 24, 2018; Yankees 4, Pirates 1 — What better way to spend the second day of Spring Training than by attending two ballgames? Having traveled to Bradenton, Fla., to see the Yanks visit the Pirates at LECOM Park (known as McKechnie Field for decades before a recent makeover), we decided to make a day of it by slipping over to nearby Sarasota, where the Orioles were hosting the Twins. What started as a hot, sunny day in the mid-eighties morphed into a perfect summer-like evening under a mostly clear sky, with each game clocking in at roughly three hours. Continue reading