Caption Contest: Big Al And Marky Mark

Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez

Courtesy of the AP

What could these 2 fellas be talking about during their time in the batting cage yesterday?  Give me your best guess.

P.S.- IIATMS overlord Jason took the prize the other day, both in terms of quality and quantity.  Don’t let him win again.

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No Cause For Concern: Tanaka Continues To Be A-OK In Early Spring

Masahiro Tanaka

Courtesy of the AP

The early morning headline from yesterday’s full-squad workout was Masahiro Tanaka throwing his latest bullpen session.  It was a step up in intensity for him, 40 pitches of harder throwing than he had been doing, and both Tanaka and Larry Rothschild felt good about how the session went:

Tanaka- “I think I was throwing with more force than the last bullpen.  As far as hitting the spots, the location goes, I think it was better than the last bullpen as well. … I feel that I’m on the right track. Going through the workouts and going through the bullpen today also, it does give me confidence that I’m moving in the right direction.”

Roth- “He threw great.  Everything is progressing the way we like, so we’ll just keep going. … No (restrictions). We’re just bringing him along at a pace that he’s more accustomed to. A little different schedule as far as not trying to put a lot of pitches on him in a three- or four-day period, but still get him built up and get the stamina built up.

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Yankees Co-Closers A Possibility?

A few days ago, Joe Girardi discussed the possibility of using Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller interchangeably as closer this season with MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of meetings about that,” Girardi said. “We’ll decide what’s best. We want to see how they’re both throwing the baseball at the end of Spring Training. There will be just a lot of discussion of how we feel our team is built. Could they be interchangeable? Yeah.”

Even as more and more MLB teams have moved towards using analytics greatly in their decision making, every team still uses the closer traditionally in the ninth inning. The notion in anlaytics is that it is smarter to use your closer –who is your best relief pitcher– whenever the biggest spot is in the game. That could be in the sixth inning with two runners on base in a tie game. They should not be saved for the ninth inning just because. No manager has had the guts to do this yet, because if it didn’t work out the backlash would probably be huge.…

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Who’s on first? Not Sabathia

Sabathia vs TB 2014

Courtesy of Getty Images

I fully understand that CC Sabathia gets paid to pitch. And him having a bounce-back season or even a somewhat decent full season is what is important for the Yankees in their quest for a playoff spot. I get all that. I also fully appreciate what Brad wrote yesterday about the big man’s weight. He was a great pitcher as a big guy and can be a good pitcher as a big guy. The one irritant for me during Sabathia’s tenure with the Yankees is that he pitches with only eight fielders because he is not one of them.

During Sabthia’s abbreviated season in 2014, the Yankees’ pitcher recorded only one putout. That would be an unfair statement if 2014 wasn’t the fifth time in his career that he recorded only one putout for a season. He has a string of three of those seasons in a row. Sabathia does not cover first base very well.

The only putout Sabathia recorded in 2014 was on a Robinson Cano dribbler to first.…

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McCann And Teix Talk About Dealing With The Shift (And I Rant About What Teix Said)

With more and more players getting into camp, there have been some more stories trickling out among the A-Rod nonsense; meaningful, baseball-related stories.  Like Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira being asked about their thoughts on facing the shift this season and the approaches they want to take to beat it.  Quotes via Chad Jennings.

McCann:

“I want to hit the ball where it’s pitched. It’s not necessarily that I’m going to try to go up there and hit the ball to left field. If it’s away from me, it needs to go to left field. If they come in on me, I need to be able to pull it, but pull correctly. If you pull correctly, you create back spin which is going to help you hit home runs. … If I hit two or three singles in a row to left field, they’re going to continue to play the shift because that’s where my power is. That’s just the way it is and whether that takes a couple of points off my batting average, if I take the approach I have day in and day out for 500 at-bats, at the end of the year things will be there.”

Pretty reasonable if you ask me.  …

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On CC Sabathia’s Weight

This was a story over the weekend, but I wanted to touch on it briefly before it got completely washed away under the tidal wave of A-Rod coverage and early ST reports on other players.  CC Sabathia drew some attention when he showed up at camp heavier than he was the last few springs.  Some estimates had him at 305, and while it wasn’t nearly as blatant as the negative spin that everybody puts on their A-Rod tweets, I got the feeling that some people were trying to paint that as a negative and a reason for added concern with CC.

Here’s the thing.  His weight doesn’t matter anymore.  It doesn’t matter if he’s 305, 295, 275, or any other 5.  At this point, the difference in pounds isn’t going to make a difference as far as his knee health is concerned.  The damage is already done there, and if it does turn out that his knee is going to be problematic again then you can bet it’s going to be problematic no matter what he weighs.  …

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Quick hit: Step right up, folks!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to the “it’s not-a-media-circus” media circus starring Alex Rodriguez!

Are we even sure that’s actually Alex? And what’s more, can we be sure he isn’t being assaulted by an angry teammate?

Oh, okay, thanks Brendan!

Check out ESPN NY’s Wally Matthews and his red kicks. Mike Vaccaro is being pretty lazy by looking through the mesh fence. Tsk, Tsk. Oh wait, he’s balancing the table so Wally and Buster don’t fall down. My bad.

Hey, it’s the Miami pullover again!…

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Caption Contest: A Boy And His Hero…

A-Rod High Five

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

This picture made the rounds yesterday afternoon and this morning.  Figured it was only right to get everybody here in the IIATMS extended family involved in the fun.

Do your worst, gang.  Best comment gets a free non-existent AB4AR t-shirt.

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Midweek morning roundup: 2/25/15

Mark Teixeira reported to camp two days after Alex Rodriguez but people aren’t badmouthing him because of it. They’re badmouthing him instead, because he claims he feels healthy this year. God forbid a dude claims to be healthy though I kind of see the naysayers’ point of view: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a few times, I’m obviously a gullible moron.

Anyway, Tex had a lot to say this morning and thanks to the tireless efforts of the beat writers down in Tampa, we don’t have to wait for entire articles to be written. We have their tweets!

I singled out Bryan Hoch of MLB.com for today:

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