Clearwater, FL, March 5 — As in life, so in baseball. There are myriad decisions to be made by a fan attending Spring Training, and this Yankee fan may have selected wisely Wednesday. We could have chosen to rise early and make the 90-minute-plus trip to Orlando to watch the Yankees/Braves. But there’s something about fleeing the frigid Northeast to fly to a peninsular state surrounded by shimmering water and bathed in dazzling sun, and then driving inland. Simply, we chose not to. Continue reading
Clearwater, FL, March 1 — Yankee fans have a lot of change to adapt to in 2008. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are replacing their aging father at the helm. Joe Girardi slips into the manager’s chair, vacated by Joe Torre after 12 years. And the team opted not to trade young pitching for an older experienced stud. Continue reading
Clearwater, FL., March 4 — A lot of good things happened as the Yanks won their fourth straight spring game Saturday, 10-5 over the Phillies in Clearwater. Carl Pavano pitched two effective, though not dominant, innings. Jeff Karstens and Luis Vizcaino threw well later in the game, 18-year-old outfield prospect Jose Tabata showed some signs in left, Melky Cabrera notched his first three hits of the campaign, and Kevin Whelan posted his second save is as many appearances. Continue reading
Clearwater, FL., March 3 — The 11-10 barnburner of a ballgame the Yanks lost to the Phillies in their spring home opener in Clearwater Friday afternoon had something of everything except for good, crisp play. This may not explain why it was very entertaining but it rarely got boring. At three hours, 20 minutes it eclipsed the running time of Thursday afternoon’s loss by the better part of an hour. The game exploded early on the Yanks, and the man who detonated the charges was Phils first baseman Ryan Howard.
Tampa, FL., March 31 — We witnessed the alpha and the omega, the yin and the yang, the long and the short of spring baseball, on this our last day under the hot Florida sky. After surviving a three-hours-plus, nine-inning tie in Clearwater under an 89-degree sun with high humidity, we weren’t sure what to expect when we arrived in Legends Field this evening for the second half of a two-city doubleheader. In the early game, the Blue Jays and the Phillies had battered each other and 10 pitchers for 18 runs, six home runs, and 24 hits. Not only were we getting weary, we had dulled the points on all of our pencils.
Clearwater, FL., March 25 — My first major league game of 2005, and it goes an extra inning and has a balk call too. And with the Yanks ready to trot out a totally revamped rotation, this one featured newbie (to Pinstripes) Carl Pavano vs. Jon Lieber, who made a mark in the Bronx last year before signing with the Phils.
Clearwater, FL., March 4 — One of baseball’s undeniable charms is its simplicity, an aspect that has lent itself to some great writing. It is not a pursuit that lends itself to long tortured, multi-claused sentences, but rather short bursts of descriptive prose. The words writers use to describe the action of the game, the tools employed, and the results on the field of play all lend themselves to straight, to-the-point reportage.
Clearwater, Fla., March 8 — First, it is vacation after all, and Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater is 10 minutes from our Gulf-front headquarters, rather than the 25-30 minutes to Legends Field, not to mention the one hour to McKechnie Field in Bradenton where the boys were playing today. Second, we had just picked up our nephew from Philly at the airport, and although he has rooted on the Yanks with us many a time, how could we keep him from watching his hometown heroes in Clearwater at least one of his three days? (If you can’t relate to a boy — or girl — and their hometown heroes, you may be a great fan, but not one like me.) And last, the opportunity to see ex-Yank Ricky Ledee in his new environment was too much to resist.