Tag:Derek Jeter
Posted on: November 3, 2009 5:29 pm
 

What, no police escort?

NEW YORK -- A breathless Derek Jeter came hurrying into the clubhouse to dress for Tuesday's 4 p.m. Yankees workout, arriving at 3:42 p.m. and apologizing to reporters for having no time to talk.

The problem?

Same thing as happens to thousands of working stiffs throughout the land every day: Stuck in traffic.

"I didn't think I was going to make it, man," Jeter told one of the Yankees media relations officials while hurriedly dressing for the Yankees workout before Game 6 here on Wednesday. "I was stuck in traffic for, like, an hour and 15 minutes."

At least he was dressed appropriately, wearing blue jeans with a retro T-shirt reading "Genuine Ford Parts."

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 30, 2009 5:58 pm
 

Steinbrenner's health worsening

PHILADELPHIA -- The failing health of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, 79, is no secret.

But the depth of how rapidly Steinbrenner is deteriorating was dramatically on display following Game 2 of the World Series in Yankee Stadium. You just couldn't physically see it.

That's because the Blue Curtain dropped quickly and sharply following Game 2, with the Yankees -- or, to be more precise, a coterie of New York policemen and security guards working at their behest -- essentially placed on lockdown a main tunnel running outside of the clubhouses as the club moved Steinbrenner out of Yankee Stadium.

Not only do the Yankees not want anybody to speak with Steinbrenner, they're protecting his privacy so fiercely that they won't allow most people to even get a glimpse of him anymore.

Mechanized gates dropped suddenly from the ceiling to confine some officials to certain areas of the corridor -- including some surprised major league baseball officials who were not told beforehand and were suddenly trapped -- and keep them away from the vehicles transporting Steinbrenner. Temporary curtains were quickly set up as well to block views.

Security guards not only shut down the press elevator carrying media members downstairs to the interview areas until after Steinbrenner had departed, they also locked the doors downstairs, trapping several dozen media members in the stairwell.

One security guard shooing people out of the area, according to one official who was there at the time, said that they were "cleansing the hallway."

The Yankees also have gone so far as to tell major league baseball officials that they do not want Steinbrenner shown on television, according to one industry source.

As of now, Steinbrenner is not expected to return to Yankee Stadium if the World Series moves back there for Games 6 and, possibly, 7. Before attending Games 1 and 2, he had not been to the new Yankee Stadium since the home opener.

Likes: Derek Jeter saying before Friday's workout at Citizens Bank Park that he once dressed up as the singer Prince for Halloween back in Kalamazoo, Mich. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, working for the World Series for Fox television, promising to keep his potty mouth clean during his appearances on the tube: "I only curse when the Chicago media is around me," Guillen quipped. ... The Woody Allen sandwich at Carnegie Deli. Corned beef and pastrami, and thoroughly delicious. The giant pickles are delicious, too. ... Long walk in Central Park on Thursday. Gorgeous day, beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves and as an added bonus, they were setting up the finish line for Sunday's New York Marathon. ... The fall foliage along the Amtrak line Friday morning while going old-school and riding the train from New York to Philadelphia. ... The No. 4 train to Yankee Stadium. You really feel like you're in New York when you're on the subway. ... Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in Madison Square Garden on Thursday night sure looked terrific, and I can't wait to watch it on HBO Thanksgiving weekend. But it will be edited, not shown in its entirety, and I can only hope the network doesn't chop it up too much. ... Just because the World Series had an off day Friday doesn't mean there wasn't a big game: Best of luck to the Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central High football team, which hosts its opening playoff game Friday night against Harper Woods High.

Dislikes: Baseball on Halloween. Baseball should be finished by Halloween. Especially for those of us who really would like to take our children trick or treating.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"It was so easy living day by day
"Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
"But now I need a little give and take
"The New York Times, The Daily News"

-- Billy Joel, New York State of Mind

Posted on: October 21, 2009 5:22 pm
 

Ill Jeter still raking

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Derek Jeter isn't faring too badly in this AL Championship Series, batting .286 with two homers, three RBI, a .348 on-base percentage and three runs in four games.

Especially when you consider he's sick.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed at Wednesday's workout day before Game 5 on Thursday that his shortstop has been under the weather for several days.

"He has been," fighting a bug, Girardi said. "It kind of started ... what is today, Wednesday? I noticed it on Monday. And he was pretty sick.

"He was still pretty sick [Tuesday]. I'm hoping that he feels better, but it didn't seem to affect him Monday in his first at-bat."

Jeter cracked a leadoff homer on Monday in Game 3 on the third pitch of the game from Jered Weaver.

"That's just the type of player that Derek is," Girardi said. "He's tough."

Posted on: September 23, 2009 6:21 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2009 6:22 pm
 

Scioscia: 'The schedule's a joke'

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Over the past 10 days, the Angels have played the Yankees and Red Sox seven times, with a very good chance that they'll be seeing at least one of those clubs -- and possibly both -- when the playoffs start in less than two weeks.

Advantage or disadvantage for a club to be playing high-powered potential playoff opponents so close to the start of the postseason?

"The schedule's a joke," manager Mike Scioscia says. "You should be playing within your division at the beginning of the season, at the end of the season and in the middle of the season.

"The fact that we were back east [playing Boston] last week and that [the Yankees are] coming out West doesn't make sense."

Perhaps the root of Scioscia's anger is sleep deprivation. The Angels started last week's trip east with one game in New York on Monday, a makeup of an earlier rainout.

Traveling from Southern California following a Sunday game, the Angels arrived in New York around 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Then, after that night's game, they arrived in Boston around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday for the start of a three-game series.

Following the finale in Boston on Thursday, another night game, the Angels arrived at their next stop on the three-city trip, Texas, around 3 a.m.

Wednesday's home finale against the Yankees marked the end of a stretch in which the Angels played 20 games in 20 days and 41 games during a 43-game stretch.

"I don't know if there's ever been an off day more needed for this team than our day [Thursday]," Scioscia says. "The East Coast trip was tough."

Their reward, though, is just around the corner. Entering Wednesday, their magic number was five to clinch a third division title and a fifth in six seasons. While Scioscia says the schedule has been "a grind" lately, he's also learned something about his club.

"I think the depth of our team has surfaced," he says. "It's gotten us through what, looking back, has been a grind."

Likes: Still love the Rally Monkey in Anaheim. He's timeless. ... Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. The four Yankees who date back to 1996 remain class (and winners) today. ... Texas pitching Kevin Millwood to pitch the other night even though he was so close to it guaranteeing his $12 million option for 2010 was the right thing to do. ... Hey, with Minnesota chasing Detroit, we've got one race. Of course, the Twins have six games left with the red-hot Royals -- and are projected to face Zack Greinke twice. Hey, they wouldn't want to back into the playoffs, would they? ... President Barack Obama on The Late Show with David Letterman this week. Letterman remains the master of the late night. ... James Maddock's disc Sunrise on Avenue C has been a wonderful find. ... Big finish last week as the Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons held off New Boston Huron 20-19. Next victory for the Falcons: Friday night against Grosse Ile.

Dislikes: Rangers reliever Eddie Guardado, 39, considering retirement? Say it ain't so, Everyday Eddie. One of the game's true good guys.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Now the years are rolling by me
"They are rockin even me
"I am older than I once was
"And younger than I'll be
"That's not unusual
"No it isnt strange
"After changes upon changes
"We are more or less the same"

-- Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer

Posted on: March 8, 2009 7:51 pm
 

Aging Yanks need A-Rod

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The New York Yankees grew sick and tired of discussing Alex Rodriguez and steroids about 30 seconds after they arrived at Camp Steinbrenner this spring.

But given the choice of talking steroids with A-Rod in their lineup, or drifting away from the topic while A-Rod misses the first two months of the season while recuperating from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip?

Don't let anyone kid you, the Yankees would take the steroids conversation and A-Rod in a heartbeat.

General manager Brian Cashman said as much after the A-Rod press conference upon his arrival in Tampa. Nearly 20 Yankees attended, and when someone asked Cashman afterward whether he really believed the roll call was because of a true affinity for Rodriguez, Cashman, in as honest a moment as there was that day, demurred.

Some of them attended out of an affinity for A-Rod, Cashman said. But others attended because they know how vital he is to this season and they know they've got to do everything they can to make sure he's not a basket case.

"We've invested in him as an asset," Cashman said that day. "And because of that, this is an asset that is going through a crisis. So we'll do everything we can to protect that asset and support that asset and try to salvage that asset."

This is a team that ranked seventh in the American League in runs scored last season with Rodriguez. Yes, the Yankees added free agent Mark Teixeira. But they also lost Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu, a couple of solid on-base guys.

And catcher Jorge Posada and outfielder Hideki Matsui each is another year older and returning from surgery, and right now center field is an open competition between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner (no, neither will be posting Mickey Mantle offensive numbers).

And the club's most realistic in-house option as we speak to replace A-Rod at third is ... Cody Ransom?

A-Rod may have perpetual foot-in-mouth disease, but whatever "distractions" he brings, that the Yankees are a far better club with him between the white lines is unassailable.

Colleague Danny Knobler looked up some numbers the other day and came up with this: In five seasons with the Yankees, A-Rod has started all but 46 games. During that time, the Yankees were 146 games over .500 in games he's started and four games under .500 when he was not in the lineup.

The Yankees right now have two huge issues:

One, how in the world they're going to plug the leak while he's away in April and May (CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, time to step up!).

Two, what kind of shape will he be in when he returns? To expect him to come back from hip surgery, flick a switch and immediately post A-Rod-like numbers is completely disingenuous. Even the great A-Rod is going to need a period of rehabilitation, and odds are he will not be playing at 100 percent for a significant part of this season.

Consider this a stark reminder that, despite all the millions they spent this winter, the Yankees remain dangerously old in several key spots. A-Rod is 33, Matsui and Derek Jeter are 34, Johnny Damon 35 and Posada 37.

Somewhere, the defending American League East champion Tampa Bay Rays must be feeling younger and more limber than ever.

 

 

Posted on: February 17, 2009 11:57 am
 

Waiting for A-Rod

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Big Top, er, tent is ready and the podium is set.

Now, with disgraced slugger Alex Rodriguez expected to conduct his first public news conference at 1:30 p.m. EST today, want to know what a (Bronx) zoo this place is?

The parking lot at George M. Steinbrenner Field is jammed. So jammed that, a few minutes ago, a reporter left to make a Starbucks run and was warned by a security guard that he could not guarantee that she'd be allowed back in the parking lot -- that there'd be room -- when she returned. So she bagged the Starbucks run.

Meantime, before the Yankees' morning workout, their clubhouse was crammed with media. If you're the least bit claustrophobic, it wasn't a good place to be.

Veteran pitcher Brett Tomko, in camp trying to win a bullpen job, put it best as he threaded his way from the front door toward his locker in the back of the room.

"It's like going around landmines here," he said of dodging all the reporters. "It feels like playing hoops and you're making your way around defenders."

As of 10:15 a.m., when they closed the clubhouse and the Yankees prepared to go to the field, several key players, including Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon, still were absent. And there was no sight of A-Rod, yet.

Today is reporting day, with the Yankees first full-squad workout scheduled for Wednesday.

See ya after the A-Rod show.

Posted on: February 15, 2009 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2009 5:22 pm
 

A-Rod: Circle the date

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are bracing for Alex Rodriguez's arrival, expecting him to report on Tuesday and -- they anticipate -- hold a news conference that day.

Because their first full-squad workout is scheduled for Wednesday, and because they know know the A-Rod/steroids story will loom over them all season, they're hoping he can at least clear the air somewhat so they can hold Wednesday's workout in relative peace.

"Let me tell you, I'm really looking forward to getting beyond Tuesday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said following Sunday's workout, comparing the A-Rod situation with last year's Andy Pettitte scenario. "I think (the story) will linger a little bit, I think like Andy's did in a sense, and maybe to a little larger magnitude just becasue people stay around for a little bit.

"Everyone can't stay around forever. There's other stories in the world -- hopefully fairly quickly."

Last spring, Pettitte, who had admitted using human growth hormone after he was named in the Mitchell Report, was one of the biggest of those stories. And in a scene depressingly familiar with what is expected to transpire when A-Rod arrives, the Yankees hosted a press conference with Pettitte at the microphone that was part confessional, part apology and part therapy.

With A-Rod, the club has not scheduled anything official yet, but Tuesday is reporting day for position players. Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman, Pettitte, catcher Jorge Posada and shortstop Derek Jeter -- and likely others -- plan to attend A-Rod's session as a show of support. Cashman said Sunday that several players have asked when it is.

"He's dealing with the problem," said Cashman, who has spoken with A-Rod multiple times since the third baseman admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-2003. "He's trying to address it in the most honest way he can. His conversation with ESPN was an important first step."

Even though Rodriguez has yet to arrive, the story threatened to overshadow even the reporting of two marquee free agent pitchers on Friday, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. And so many other things are near afterthoughts.

As pitchers and catchers worked out for a second day Sunday, Chien-Ming Wang was back in uniform after missing half a season last year with a broken foot. Catcher Jorge Posada continued his throwing program after playing in a career-low 51 games last season because of a shoulder in need of surgery. Prospect Phil Hughes tried to regain his balance after last year's dismal flop.

And yet, even with little national media presence on Sunday, Girardi fielded nearly as many questions about Rodriguez as anything else following the workout.

"I will be there," Girardi said in response to a query regarding the spring's most anticipated news conference. "I support him. We understand he's going through a difficult time. I supported Andy last year. It's my job."

Girardi also said he thinks the symbolism of teammates attending is important.

"I think it shows the unity of the club," he said. "And I think that's real important. I think it's important for teammates to back teammates, and they're there for each other, and they know during difficult times they can lean on each other.

"Because, you know what? There's going to be something else that comes up this year that's difficult maybe for a player to get through."

Acknowledging that this undoubtedly is an uncomfortable time for Rodriguez -- "I think it probably would be uncomfortable for anyone" -- Girardi said he intends to speak with A-Rod upon the third baseman's arrival in Tampa just to gauge how he's feeling.

The manager also said he expects to monitor A-Rod all season.

"Only time will tell how he's handling it," Girardi said. "It could be that he's managing to handle it great. Who knows where we go from Tuesday. It's something I'll watch carefully."

Former manager Joe Torre, in his book The Yankee Years, noted that Rodriguez was the type of personality that needs constant approval, constant attention, day-to-day.

Asked whether that was his observation during his rookie season at the helm of the Yanks in 2008, Girardi said, "I have no personally felt that way with Alex. All players, including myself, need a pat on the back because it's a game of failure.

"I think all of us need to hear, 'Job well done', whether when you're working from your boss, or a son from a father."

As Girardi said of Tuesday, "It's a start. There are still things he's going to have to deal with during the course of the season, but it's a start. This is another step in a process."

Posted on: December 10, 2008 3:56 pm
 

Jeter on CC: "Intimidating factor on the mound"

LAS VEGAS -- As Derek Jeter pondered the prospect of new teammate CC Sabathia's imminent delivery Tuesday, he offered a valuable lesson in geography.

Sabathia's avowed preference to stay in the West?

"You can stay out there for six months in the offseason and still be a West Coast guy, right?" Jeter quipped as the Yankees primed for their latest elite-talent acquisition.

Out of respect for the process -- the Yankees aren't expected to formally announce Sabathia's signing until after the pitcher undergoes a physical exam and contract language is finalized -- Jeter declined to get too specific. He kept referring to "if" Sabathia does indeed land in the Bronx.

"All I can say is how great a pitcher he is," Jeter said. "Any team in baseball would love to have him. He's an intimidating factor on the mound."

Speaking after a press conference to promote the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Jeter also discussed a recent telephone conversation with Sabathia that most everybody but Jeter viewed as a recruiting call.

"I don't ever try to sell New York," Jeter said. "He wanted to talk. It wasn't a recruiting call. In free agency, you have to look at your options and make the best decision."

Jeter said that part of the reason many players with families express skepticism about living in New York is because they're concerned about the city, or worried about their families living in the city. Jeter noted that there are plenty of places to live in New Jersey, and he no doubt told Sabathia as much.

As captain of the Yankees, Jeter has an added responsibility, and, he said, "I take it seriously. I don't tell everyone (about the phone calls). I don't even know how this initially came up. My whole philosophy is, you don't sell New York."

When asked what makes Sabathia so difficult on hitters, Jeter replied: "Where do you start? He throws in the upper-90s, he's a big guy, a power pitcher, he's got a great slider. He knows what he can do. He's a great athlete. The list goes on and on."

Jeter also thinks Sabathia is strong enough mentally to handle New York.

"The only times players tend to struggle is when they put pressure on themselves," Jeter said. "It's still the same game in New York, Tampa, Boston or wherever. There's just more scrutiny.

"I don't think he'll have any problem."

 
 
 
 
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