Girardi Cuts Out Yankees Sweet Tooth

After seeing what losing weight has done for A.J. Pierzynski’s turnaround season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has decided to clamp down on his players’ eating habits. OK, maybe it wasn’t the AJ Pierzynski effect, but Girardi has nonetheless decided to eliminate sweets from the visiting clubhouses when the Yanks are on the road.

The Yankees contacted the visiting clubhouse manager of every stadium where they play and asked that the candy and ice cream be removed before the team comes to town.

The clubhouse in Tampa Bay replaced all the candy with nuts, dried fruit and granola. It was hilarious to watch as guys smuggled in candy bars and ate them furtively at their lockers.

I wondered myself why all this junk food was provided to these world-class athletes with finely tuned bodies. But then I realized we were talking about baseball players. Besides, some of them like to get sugar-rushes before the game — nothing wrong with that. Funny what losing or mediocrity does to someone’s mindset; I doubt sugary foods would have been a problem had the Yanks been 14-5 like Arizona.

Yankees Have This Whole Spring Training Thing All Wrong

First it was Yankees’ catcher Francisco Cervelli getting his wrist broken when Elliot Johnson of the Rays slammed into him at home plate. As a response, Joe Girardi said the Rays were playing too hard and that running over a catcher isn’t something you should be doing in Spring Training. By nature, that’s horrible logic; how can you tell guys trying to impress someone by playing hard not to hustle? Would Girardi prefer to have wusses on his team that are afraid of playing hard and trying to win, even if it is Spring Training? I don’t think so; I think he’s just speaking out of bitterness because his player was on the injured side of things.

Next, the Yanks dosed Evan Longoria of the Rays when they played again, and then an inning later Shelley Duncan slid into second base with his cleats up. He clearly spiked Akinori Iwamura intentionally, which was completely uncalled for. I’d call it nothing more than a bush-league response to what Johnson did. The benches emptied, though it wasn’t clear exactly what ensued. Then the Yankees couldn’t possibly top off the embarrassment they’d already created for themselves by complaining about another team playing hard. Or wait, could they?

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The Pope Messes up Yankees’ Schedule

If you’re an MLB freak and have taken a look at the schedule for the opening month, you may have noticed that the Yankees are getting shafted. They’re essentially on the road from April 8th-28th, a span of nearly three weeks. That’s pretty bad, though not too shocking given typical MLB road trips. But one oddity you’ll notice is that the Yanks have a two-game homestand against the Red Sox on the 16th and 17th, before the Yanks venture to Baltimore to play the O’s and get right back on the road. Why is that the case? Pat Lackey has the answer at FanHouse:

Turns out Pope Benedict XVI is coming to Yankee Stadium to say a mass on April 20th, which required that weekend’s series with the Orioles to be flipped from New York to Baltimore. Since schedules are apparently incredibly delicate things, MLB didn’t flip any other series to accommodate the Yanks. The result is a schedule that requires them to be in Tampa on the 15th, New York in the 16th, and Baltimore on the 18th. That’s a bad week.

If anything, you’d figure the Pope were in town to catch the Yanks/Sox, no? Maybe he’s flying in a few days early to catch the clash. Oh well, not like it’s the end of the world for the Yanks — they’ll have another 130 games to make up for it, with many of them in the Bronx.

History Is Made: Player Chooses Tampa Bay Rays over NY Yankees

Yes, a headline that will literally make you do a double take. In case there was ever a question, Troy Percival most certainly is not in it to win it. The man already has a ring from his days with the ’02 Angels and apparently he’s not looking to get his other fingers fitted. The recently retired closer who made a comeback mid-season last year, has reportedly spurned the Yankees for perennial AL East cellar-dweller, the Rays (doesn’t feel the same not being able to say Devil anymore). Much more than winning and making the playoffs, it seems like ego is the biggest factor at hand for Percy.

Troy Percival is signing a two-year deal worth $8 million, and possibly up to $10 million with escalators, according to Ken Rosenthal. The decision by Percy “reunites” him with former Angels bench coach, and current Rays manager, Joe Maddon. No doubt that was a key factor for the man. Most importantly, Rosenthal says Percival chose the Rays because they are going to let him close, while the Yanks were asking him to setup for Rivera. Alright Troy, as the first known man to spurn the Yanks in favor of the Rays, I have to guess two factors are at play: ego, and, well, I guess ego. We’ll see how Troy does, considering Al Reyes was pretty damn effective last year. Think he’ll be regretting his decision when he’s trying to get out Jeter, A-Rod, and Matsui next year? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The Angels Own the Yankees

Since Joe Torre took over as manager of the Yankees in 1996, only one Major League team has a winning record against his New York club. And if you can’t guess who it is based on the title of this post, then someone needs to hit you over the head with a tack hammer because you are a moron. That’s right, you guessed it, the Angels. My gutty, gritty Angels baby. 56-52 against the Yanks since Joe Torre took over — haunting him in his sleep. If that’s not enough, the Angels have also extinguished the Yanks from the playoffs twice in that span. And last night in the Bronx, the Angels proved once again, that they OWN the Yankees.

A 10-6 win, and Jered Weaver wasn’t even that sharp. It’s like some sort of magnetic effect; the Yanks draw out the best in the Angels offense — no matter who it is, no matter how bad they are slumping. Witness Chone Figgins: prior to Friday night’s game, he didn’t have a home run in 75 at-bats. But on Friday, he went 1 for 5 with a dinger. Or take Casey Kotchman: prior to Friday night’s game, he only had 3 home runs in 142 at-bats. In Friday’s game, he went 3 for 5, with a death blow to deep right. It may sound crazy, but I honestly wish the Angels played the Yanks 50 times a season. That would guarantee them a spot in the playoffs every year.

Yankees Will Follow Clemens to the Playoffs

No question in my mind about it. I never wavered when it came to my expectations for the Yankees, regardless of whether or not they were in last place. The Yanks still have an incredible lineup, and their pitching has grossly underachieved — thanks in large part to injury. With Wang and Mussina back healthy, the rotation will finally have some stability. Come June, the rotation will have gone from OK to start the year, to horrendous, to OK, to pretty good. Couple that with their lineup, and you’re talking about a playoff team.

Big time props to my dad who’s been saying for weeks now that the Yanks were going to land Clemens, and that his price tag was ascending with each start a Yankee pitcher couldn’t get out of the 5th inning. It’s a $28 million prorated contract, meaning Clemens will probably score around 18-19 mil by my guess. When you’re the Yankees and money ain’t a thing, the contract is completely worth it. Now all of a sudden, you can legitimately talk about the Yanks as a World Series team. I’ll take Clemens, Pettitte, Wang, and Mussina in the playoffs any day. Certainly I’d prefer Schilling, Beckett, and Dice K., but what the Yankees will have going on isn’t shabby at all.

Caution: the Yanks are in the no lose zone. By June, they’ll be one of the top teams in the league.

Roger Clemens Is Now a Yankee

Reporter Mike Moriarty joined John Fricke and Marques Johnson on Fox Sports Radio moments ago and said Roger Clemens was in George Steinbrenner’s box for Sunday’s Mariners/Yankees game and announced the news that he is now a Yankee. Roger addressed the fans during the 7th inning stretch telling them

Thank you all. Well, they came and got me out of Texas. And I can tell you it’s a privilege to be back…I’ll be talking to you all soon.

No financial terms have been made available just yet, but Clemens is expected to make a few minor league starts before joining the Yankees.