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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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Don’t Forget About Andrew Bailey

Bailey ST 2015

Joe’s already got his eye on him. Courtesy of the Yanks’ PR handle

I name dropped him in the ST roster battles post yesterday morning, but I think Andrew Bailey deserves a little more digital ink based on the news that came out yesterday.  Via Chad Jennings, Bailey threw a bullpen yesterday afternoon.  Like Ivan Nova, he’s been back throwing bullpens for a while now and he spoke like a player who felt he was almost back to normal game shape:

“I came in and spent the offseason training, working as I would if I played last year. The doctor gave me 18, 24 months (to be healthy after surgery), and we’re in that 18th, 19th month. Everyone around here, training staff, coaches and strength and conditioning have all kind of (treated it as if) I’m a normal guy with some needs. Hopefully we get rid of those needs. Everything feels great. I’m with the team and doing everything as I would normally, and if I need a little extra work here or there, that’s fine too.

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Quick Hit: Nova Back On The Mound

While people continue to lament the loss of Moncada and Alex Rodriguez continues to be a miserable human being by working out, taking morning BP, and signing autographs for fans, there are some other legitimately important things happening in the early days of Yankee camp.  Like this little nugget of info.  Did you know that Ivan Nova is back to throwing regular bullpen sessions off a mound?  Me neither.  But he is.  Has been for a while.

A whole bunch of different beat reporters had the details earlier today, but the long and short of it is that Nova threw a 25-pitch session this morning of all fastballs.  It was the 3rd all-heater session he’s had, and he explained that the plan is to throw 1 more of these type of bullpens before mixing in changeups, and then another 4 fastball-changeup sessions before working breaking balls back in.

Nova told reporters he was “excited” to be back on the mound but added that he realizes he still has a long way to go and is staying focused on “just taking it day by day” right now, which is the right attitude to have.  …

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The Real Problem With Not Signing Yoan Moncada

It’s been over 24 hours since the news of the Red Sox signing prized Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada broke, and as I mentioned earlier I’m still struggling to make sense of it from a Yankee perspective.  This felt like it should have been a slam dunk.  This was going to be the big cherry on top of the international spending sundae, the big signing that got the Yankees back in the game of landing top-tier Cuban talent.  That’s a game the team has been hesitant to play since signing Jose Contreras, and the call for them to re-engage has grown incredibly loud as we’ve watched good player after good player sign with other teams over the past few years.

Once again the player in question did not sign with the Yankees, and this instance more than any other has generated a ton of negative reaction from the Yankee fanbase.  How could they lose out to the Red Sox?  How could they fail to make the biggest offer?  …

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Previewing The Spring Training Roster Battles

Miller ST 2015

The new closer? Maybe, maybe not… Courtesy of the AP

The dust is still settling from yesterday’s Yoan Moncada decision, and to be perfectly honest I can’t figure out how I feel about it or how I should respond to it.  The Yankees’ entire process leading up to the decision and their explanation after the fact aren’t adding up to me, they have me in a mental pretzel, so I’m just going to back burner that for a second and move forward with normal Spring Training activity.

Roster battles are always one of the more fun ST storylines.  Something about the spirit of competition and the possibility of an unsung player performing well enough to earn himself a shot at the big time, it’s classic sports storytelling.  The Yankees don’t have a ton of really exciting roster battles on tap this spring, but there are a few that are worth following.  Here’s a quick roundup of the key ones to watch.…

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Dear Writers, This is not the Bronx Zoo

Dear Bob Nightengale (and others),

The statement above is not true in any way. The infamous “Bronx Zoo” era of Yankee baseball was a lot more chaotic, there was a lot more infighting and it was nothing like the current state of Yankee baseball.

Are things perfect for the Yankees right now? Not by a long shot but things are not out of control in any way.

As far as you and I know, Alex Rodriguez showed up to camp a couple of days early, hit some balls out of the park, practiced in the field and then signed autographs for fans as he was leaving the complex. At least that’s what every writer’s tweets, pictures and videos showed us this afternoon and evening.

Oh do you mean that the coverage is crazy? Well, this is New York and this is how things happen around here.…

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Spring Training has officially started!

Alex Rodriguez has arrived.

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