Are you ready for some international baseball?

The World Baseball Classic is back, starting this weekend and MLB Network is showing every single game this time around – all 39 of them. Four years ago when MLB Network was a newbie on the block, it shared its WBC duties with ESPN.

Here’s the press release with all of the pertinent information:


Costas, Kaat, Magrane, Reynolds, Smoltz, Vasgersian, Verducci & Yallof Among Game Announcers

World Baseball Classic Today Studio Show Premieres This Saturday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Joey Cora to Serve as Guest Studio Analyst from March 7-9

Secaucus, N.J., February 27, 2013 – MLB Network’s exclusive English-language telecast of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the United States begins this Friday, March 1 at 11:30 p.m. ET and continues with all 39 games of the tournament through the Championship on Tuesday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Jim Kaat, Joe Magrane, Harold Reynolds, John Smoltz, Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Matt Yallof are among the group of announcers scheduled to call the tournament, produced by MLB Network in the United States and by MLB International abroad. The complete list of announcers is outlined below.

In addition to televising all 39 games, MLB Network will extensively cover the World Baseball Classic in its studio programming, including World Baseball Classic Today, which debuts this Saturday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Former Major League infielder and coach of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox Joey Cora will serve as a guest analyst on the program from March 7-9. The tournament’s Championship Round will include on-site coverage with Intentional Talk live before each game and live pre- and postgame coverage on MLB Tonight on the field from AT&T Park in San Francisco.

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Quick Hit: The Yankees have made an offer to Cano

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman appeared on Mike Francesa’s show earlier this afternoon where he discussed a myriad of subjects from the catching situation to the outfield situation to the Alex Rodriguez steroid and hip injury situations – Yes, they’re all situations. He also happened to mention that the Yankees did, in fact, make a significant offer to Robinson Cano but that’s all he’d say. He didn’t go into much detail about it.

Earlier this offseason, Hal Steinbrenner said the club would be willing to consider an extension with Cano who will be a free agent after this season.

Cashman’s appearances on Francesa’s show are always fascinating to me and I apologize for not being as thorough as I was yesterday with Girardi’s appearance on the show. I was just mesmerized by Cashman’s body language and how it looked like he’d rather be in a torture chamber than be within two feet of Francesa. At least, that’s how it looked to me. Plus, as good as Francesa is at asking questions, he’s not very good at letting his guests answer those questions. He was frequently talking over Cashman who is not a very bombastic speaker to begin with and another thing about Francesa is he should really research some things before he brings them up.

Case in point: He began to talk about the outfield situation and mentioned Slade Heathcott. He had no idea when Heathcott was drafted or where he even came from. With the way Francesa made it seem, it was like Heathcott just appeared in the Yankees’ farm system out of thin air.

It was both hilarious and maddening at the same time.

Now, look, I don’t expect Francesa to know every single Yankee prospect. I sure don’t, yet, but you’d think he’d know about someone who was the Yankees’ number one draft pick a few years ago.

Anyway, it’s good to know the Yankees made an offer to Cano though with Scott Boras as his agent, anything can happen and that scares me, a lot. Continue reading Quick Hit: The Yankees have made an offer to Cano

Spring training games six and seven: Two losses

Home Game: Blue Jays 1, Yankees 0

A good thing about the game: the pitching. David Phelps started and looked strong. He lasted three innings, gave up two hits, one walk and he struck out one batter. Phelps will be a key piece to the Yankees’ pitching staff in 2013. Another key piece will be David Aardsma, especially if he can stay healthy. Aardsma pitched one inning and he didn’t allow a hit, he didn’t surrender a walk and he struck out one batter. The lone run of the game came off Chase Whitley, a solo shot by Andy LaRoche.

A bad thing about the game: Marty Foster. He threw Chris Stewart out of the game after a bad call at first. Really dude? It’s February 28, calm down.

Brett Gardner, Mark TeixeiraIchiro Suzuki, Ronnier Mustelier and Jose Pirela all had a hit apiece in the game. Juan Rivera finished with two.

Away Game: Houston 7, Yankees 6

Welp, the Yankees actually had a 5-1 lead in this game and gave it all up in the next half inning. How typical… Oh I’m kidding. I don’t get stressed about Spring Training games and I certainly don’t get stressed over games in which Shane Greene is the pitcher who was victimized by the opposing team.

Brett Marshall had a nice outing. He pitched three innings and he gave up one hit, didn’t surrender a walk and he struck out three batters.

Some good stuff from the game in Kissimmee:

  • Zoilo Almonte and Matt Diaz both hit RBI singles.
  • Melky Mesa hit a home run.
  • The game was 3:11 long which is a good thing because Joe West was on the umpiring crew and we know how he doesn’t like long games.

The Yankees will be facing the Phillies tomorrow afternoon at Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 p.m. The game will be on the YES Network. And in case you want to see the good stuff from this afternoon’s Yanks/Astros game, MLB Network is showing it later tonight at 2 a.m. Continue reading Spring training games six and seven: Two losses

Some Yankees pitching news

Good news! Mariano Rivera threw his first simulated game earlier today and it went off without a hitch.

He threw 18 pitches, fielded some grounders and bunts and said he felt fine afterward.

“I feel good,” Rivera said. “I feel real good. Getting stronger and stronger.”

CC Sabathia watched Mo in action and was amazed at how he was able to throw the ball where he wanted it to go in February. Really, CC? It’s Mo, you can no longer be amazed at anything he does because the man is otherworldly.

Sabathia should be having a bullpen session within the next few days and is anxious to get into a real game. Thankfully, he hasn’t had any setbacks where his surgically repaired elbow is concerned.

It’s a little crazy when you think about all of the key pieces of the team who are returning from surgery this season: Mo, Sabathia, Derek Jeter and Michael Pineda will all have anxious Yankee fan eyes watching them this Spring and into the season. Hopefully, things will keep progressing and there are no surprises, setbacks or secondary injuries to worry about. Continue reading Some Yankees pitching news

A Dog Chasing Cars

During the day (and night thanks to a certain “media personality”) Tuesday, Joba Chamberlain made some small waves with his comments about his ability to be a starting pitcher; not surprisingly, he still thinks he can start. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen for the Yankees. Joba will be a free agent after this year (time sure flies) and presumably, he’ll look for some team that will let him start. The last thing you need this afternoon is another beating of this long dead horse, but I can’t help it; this situation is still a thorn in my side. Call Continue reading A Dog Chasing Cars

Yankees Spilt squad lineups: 2/28/12

The Yankees are having a split squad affair today. The home game will be played against the Toronto Blue Jays while the road team will be traveling to Osceola County to take on the Houston Astros.

Here are the lineups courtesy of the Lohud Yankees blog:

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Juan Rivera LF
Chris Stewart C
Dan Johnson 3B
Jose Pirela 2B
Gil Velazquez SS

RHP David Phelps

Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 2B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Matt Diaz LF
Melky Mesa CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Corban Joseph 3B
Luke Murton 1B
J.R. Murphy DH

RHP Brett Marshall

Continue reading Yankees Spilt squad lineups: 2/28/12

Outfield Trade Targets

The Yankees barely have a third outfielder to start the 2013 season. Yes, they’re loaded with depth, but hardly any of these players have even seen Triple-A. Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera, and Thomas Neal may be the most prepared players, but Diaz and Rivera couldn’t even break a .290 OBP in 2012. The two starting outfielders, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, have their own questions about health and age, and the Yankees could be in a lot of trouble if Gardner’s head-first sliding catches up to him for a second year, or Ichiro’s age starts to show. Not only does Continue reading Outfield Trade Targets

Thursday morning Yankees news and notes: 2/28/12

It’s the last day of February and you know what that means, we’re just over a month away from Opening Day and it’ll be here before we know it. And that’s a good thing because I really can’t handle much more of what the media is dishing out these days.

First up, Joel Sherman of the New York Post’s hatchet job on Joba Chamberlain. Yes, Joba opened his mouth when he probably shouldn’t have. So what? That doesn’t mean you have to spend an entire column trashing him and bringing up his freak injury last year, which happened when he was with his child, as a way to make him seem like a bad guy. That’s below the belt even for Sherman.

In the end, you can have a pretty good argument the organization has harmed Chamberlain as much as he has hurt himself. Did they rush him too quickly to the majors and let a cult of personality set in? Did the Joba Rules bring about future injuries? There certainly are questions of Joba being misused and miscast — though I think Chamberlain was a physical red flag no matter how he was deployed, that he never was going to have the consistency in personality or performance to thrive at any one specific role and that his immature nature always was going to be tempted by the trampolines of life.

Oy vey.

I wrote a short blurb about this last night but it seems everyone took Joe Girardi‘s “Hughes could miss the start of the season” quote and ran with it. I’m not going to link everything but I took this screenshot of my google news page to show you what I mean:

(click ‘full view post’ to continue reading) Continue reading Thursday morning Yankees news and notes: 2/28/12

Girardi: Hughes might not be ready for the start of the season

I didn’t even want to address this “news” because I don’t feel like it’s a big deal but since everyone else has said something about it, I might as well too, right?. So here it goes…

Earlier today, Joe Girardi just happened to mentioned that it’s possible Phil Hughes, who is recovering from a bulging disk in his back, could miss the start of the season.

You know what else is possible? It’s possible that Hughes may not miss the start of the season. It’s also possible that I could win the lottery.

I feel like everyone is overreacting to every bit of news or every quote to come out of someone’s mouth. I get that it’s Spring Training and we’re all bored and that people are looking for stories but I listened to Girardi on Mike Francesa’s show earlier this afternoon and he said Hughes has been pain free.

How did we go from someone being pain-free which seems like good news to me to someone possibly not being ready for Opening Day?

So, is it possible Phil Hughes misses the beginning of the season? Sure but it’s also possible he doesn’t.
Continue reading Girardi: Hughes might not be ready for the start of the season