Quote of the Day: Roger Clemens on Mike Piazza

I thought this was highly amusing and had to share it with everyone in case you missed it.

Roger Clemens was asked about Mike Piazza‘s claim in his upcoming book that he took karate lessons in order to exact revenge on Clemens – I guess Piazza did it in case Clemens were to ever plunk him again. Clemens, to his credit, had a few funny quips in his statement, even one where he mentioned that Piazza would have had to have gotten in line behind at least three of his Yankee teammates at the time, who also wanted to slug him. I wonder who they were. Hmmm.

Anyway, I thought the most amusing line of the whole Clemens statement was this one:

“He chased some dude around the spring training site one time, didn’t he, or something?”

Do you guys remember when Guillermo Mota hit Piazza with a pitch in Spring Training and Piazza went after him? It happened ten years ago this Spring but to this day, it is still one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.… Click here to read the rest

Derek Jeter meets with the media

ESPN just showed a snippet of Derek Jeter‘s press conference. Here are some highlights:

  • He was asked about his rehab and stated that he’s “only been running on a treadmill to this point.” He added that he expects to be running on the field, “within the next few days.”
  • On playing on Opening Day: “Why wouldn’t it be realistic?” and added, “Opening Day was the goal all along.”
  • Jeter made a joke that he’s going to be “on Mo’s schedule this Spring.” In case you don’t get that reference, Mariano Rivera doesn’t really throw that much during Spring Training, usually under 10 innings.
  • He said won’t be playing when the Yankees start playing next week and said “You can write that down.” He also said he believes you don’t need all of Spring Training to get ready. He mentioned past years when he’s played in the WBC as examples of that.

And now for some tweets/quotes from the beat writers assembled in Tampa:

  • From Bryan Hoch of MLB.com: “Derek Jeter said he’s not concerned with reinjuring his ankle; also reveals that he has plates and screws in his ankle now.” And from Jack Curry of YES: “Jeter said he now has a plate and screws in his ankle, which will remain there.
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Position players have reported to Yankees camp

Things are getting real and the end of winter is finally near. You know why? Because the position players have reported to camp! (I’ll give you all a moment to celebrate. Personally, I prefer to fist pump and dance in my seat but feel free to do whatever you like to do. Okay, ready?)

Derek Jeter will be speaking to the media this morning and will no doubt be answering about 150,000 questions. More than likely the questions will be about his surgically repaired ankle, how his rehab is going, if he’ll be ready for Opening Day and I’m sure some questions will be about that guy Alex Rodriguez.

Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blog reported via Twitter that Ichiro Suzuki arrived to camp in a glitter NY cap. In Jennings’ words, “Ichiro has arrived wearing a glitter NY hat. It’s sort of amazing.” Guys, you can’t tease us like that. You can’t describe something as amazing and then not provide a picture!… Click here to read the rest

Notes from Yankees camp: News on Cervelli, CC and Joba’s mustache

A few quick notes for you from Yankees camp:

  • According to numerous tweets from the beat writers dispatched in Tampa, Florida, Francisco Cervelli will not be playing in the World Baseball Classic. He wants to stay in camp to try and win the starting catching job. Yeah, good luck, buddy. (I kid, I kid.)
  • CC Sabathia had his first bullpen session and said his surgically repaired elbow felt fine. He threw 29 pitches and his arm didn’t fall off. That sounds like a good morning to me!
  • Joba Chamberlain is growing a mustache. (In case you missed what it looked like, here’s a link to some video of him.) I’m not sure if Joba is doing this because he lost a bet or because he thought it would be funny or just because he felt like it. Whichever reason it is, I hope someone talks him out of it. Or that the itching from it growing in gets to be too much for him to bear and he shaves it off.
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At What Point Would The Yankees Consider Trading Robinson Cano?

Dat swing... Courtesy of Getty Images

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Picture this.  It’s sometime around the All Star Break, and the Yankees are floundering.  Andy is on the DL again; CC has had issues with his surgically-repaired elbow and spent a 15-day stint on the shelf as well; Hirok has regressed after his heavy 2012 workload; Phil and Nova are pitching about the same as they did last season.  Jeter’s return from his ankle injury has been tough and he’s still having to take days off to stay healthy enough to play; Youkilis is underperforming and on the DL with Andy; C-Grand is still striking out a lot, Teix continues to decline, and Ichiro is pre-trade Ichiro and not the post-trade version.  The team is hovering around 3rd or 4th place in the AL East, 13 games out of the division lead and 10 out of the last Wild Card spot.  It’s the worst worst-case scenario imaginable, but one that honestly has a non-zero chance of happening.  … Click here to read the rest

Yankees take a look at Wang

George King of the New York Post wrote earlier today that the Yankees have taken a look at former ace Chien-Ming Wang.

TAMPA — Free-agent right-hander Chien-Ming Wang threw off a mound at Billy Connors’ Tampa area home recently and impressed the spring training pitching instructor.

According to Connors, Wang, who will pitch for Taiwan in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, is looking for a major league contract.

GM Brian Cashman said he hasn’t had contact with Wang’s representatives. However, the club will have scouts watching Wang during the WBC, despite having six candidates for five starting spots.

Wang, whose Yankees career ended in 2009 after a shoulder problem, pitched for the Nationals last season and was 2-3 with a 6.68 ERA. In seven big-league seasons, the 32-year-old right-hander is 61-32. As a Yankee, he was 55-26. In 2006 and 2007, Wang went a combined 38-13.

I always had a soft spot for Wang and I enjoyed his time with the Yankees but I’m not sure the team, which has more than enough pitchers, especially if Michael Pineda returns mid-season, have room for him.… Click here to read the rest

Girardi: Nova has to compete for a spot

Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger wrote about the Ivan Nova/David Phelps battle for the fifth starter role. Yankees manager Joe Girardi stated that Nova “has to go out and prove himself” in order to win the spot.

For his part, Nova understands why it’s going to be a battle for the position and he spoke about his struggles last season by succinctly saying, “I got hit.”

Why yes, he did.

Nova admitted he also began to press while in the midst of his struggles last season which made things worse:

“I’m not going to lie: Sometimes,” he said. “Sometimes. Because you’re trying to do your job, and you can’t. Because I was still working. I was working hard during the year. I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted.”

Ivan Nova is one of those pitchers who when he’s on, he can be really good but when he’s off, he falls off a cliff. Actually, there was one start in particular that encapsulated Nova’s career thus far: May 19 against the Cincinnati Reds.… Click here to read the rest

Who Is Shawn Kelley?

In a surprising turn of events, the Yankees acquired a major league player on Wednesday. Shawn Kelley was hardly a piece the organization needed, but he’s a luxury that the team found affordable.

In 2012, Kelley produced a 3.25 ERA and a 3.55 FIP in 44.1 innings with the Mariners. The reliever has refined himself as a strikeout/flyball pitcher with his four-seam fastball and slider combination. Despite his success last season, Kelley will most likely be optioned down to Triple-A to start the season, thanks to a loaded major league bullpen. With Mariano Rivera, David Aardsma, and Joba Chamberlain still returning from serious injuries, Kelley becomes a great backup option if the bullpen needs reinforcements in the middle innings.

Comparatively, Kelley’s four-seam fastball is similar to Phil Hughes‘ four-seam. Both pitchers use the fastball nearly half the time, and both pitchers generate an enormous amount of vertical movement. Hughes does a better job of generating spin and rising action, but Kelley is still very successful in using the four-seam as a strikeout pitch.… Click here to read the rest