Well, Spring Training is here….and with it, high anxiety!

Well, Spring Training is with us, once more. The smell of mown grass must be assailing the nostrils of hundreds of ‘old media’  types and thousands of bloggers down in Tampa. This is the time of year when hopes are high, and if you are a Yankee fan (or even more disturbing, a member of the Yankees hierarchy) the anxiety level is even higher. This year, especially, the Yankees open camp as less than favourites to take the AL East crown this coming season. It isn’t just that the Core Four have been reduced to the Wee Three, with the retirement of the ever-solid Andrew Eugene Pettitte, it is just that the Yankees have induced massive amounts of uncertainty in their fan base in three areas.

‘Too many catchers spoil the broth?’  To mix a metaphor, the Yankees can have too much of a good thing, it seems. Both Montero and Romine will be pushing hard in Spring Training to force their way onto the Yankees bench, if nothing else. There are other candidates lower down a minor league system which is loaded with catching prospects, so Francisco Cervelli will be under a great deal of pressure to improve his batting. Russell Martin is still feeling his surgically-repaired knee, it seems, although it is early days yet, so Jorge Posada may yet see some time behind the plate. I think that unless Jorge hits the cover off the ball as a DH this season it will be his last. ‘Dynamic Duo’  in 2012, anyone?

Pitching, pitching, pitching – it is always about pitching. Arghhhhh! Just heard rumblings off-stage about the possibility that CC Sabathia might consider opting-out of his contract at the end of the year. I know that Brian Cashman felt he had to offer the opt-out clauses as part of the deal to get CC to move to the East Coast, BUT….what a way to (potentially) lose your ace pitcher. If this happens, Brian Cashman might find himself wearing an elf costume full-time (it is his walk-year, too).

I understand that the concessionaire for power wheelchairs in the Tampa area is doing backflips………….could someone please explain to me why the Yankees have tried to corner the market to superannuated infielders? (To say nothing about Andruw Jones). The strategy resembles that employed for many years by the other team in the Tampa Bay area (when they were still called the Devil Rays, that is). We are supposed to have a strong youth policy, yet I feel the Yankees have moved away from that. Eric Chavez would have been a fine acquisition – 5 to 8 years ago, before the multiple trips to the DL.

Ah well, at least baseball is on the horizon, which means that we can once again enjoy all the subtleties of a game where, if you are a hitter, you can fail 70% of the time and still be counted a good player. Soon, the crack of ball on bat will lighten all our hearts. Oh, and it is pure co-incidence, I assure you, that I just took delivery of a new Lay-Z-Boy recliner!

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