Alex Rodriguez on baseball, competing, PED’s and the Yankees

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Alex Rodriguez reported to camp earlier today and worked out at the Yankees minor league complex, hitting batting practice home runs and taking grounders at third base–on his knees. Following his workout, he spoke to approximately 20 reporters on the street about coming back to the game, feeling ready to compete, the PED scandal he was involved in and his current relationship the Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez on his return to baseball: “It feels great to be back. Obviously it was a rough year, but I’m very excited that’s behind me and I have a chance to hopefully make this team.”

Alex Rodriguez on competing: “I love to compete. I’m here a couple days early to get a jump start. I love baseball. I just love to be in uniform and I’m so grateful to have an opportunity to be back in uniform.”

Alex Rodriguez on returning from a PED suspension: “I cringe sometimes when I look at some of the things I did, but I paid my penalty and I’m grateful that I have another opportunity. No mistake that I’ve made has any good answer or a justification. It’s unexplainable and that’s on me. I’ve dug a big hole for myself and paid a price. I’m fortunate for a lot of people – especially the Commissioner’s office, the players union and the Yankees – to give me an opportunity to play the game that I love.”

Alex Rodriguez on his relationship with the Yankees: “I don’t know; you’d have to ask them. I created a big headache for a lot of people, so I don’t blame whoever is mad at me. I understand.”

Alex Rodriguez on where he plans to play this year: “I’m willing to try whatever Joe [Girardi] wants me to try. ..read more

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Alex Rodriguez reports to Spring Training

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During his “State of the Yankees” address on Friday morning, Joe Girardi said he wasn’t planning on Alex Rodriguez to report to camp until Wednesday when the other position players are scheduled to arrive. However, Rodriguez went to get his physical at George M. Steinbrenner Field this morning, then went to the Yankees minor league complex to begin preparing for the 2015 season.

While everyone had seen Rodriguez, Brian Cashman wouldn’t confirm whether Rodriguez was going to the minor league complex or if he was going to arrive.

“I’ve had two people in the media tell me they think he’s coming today to the minor league camp,” Cashman said. “We’re trying to confirm if that’s the case. Not aware of that. Trying to figure that out if that’s the case.”

Meanwhile, here’s Rodroguez,  ready to go to begin the season with hopefully no distractions. Now that A-Rod’s joined the party, let the 2015 season begin.

Some Notes

— As we’ve all heard, the Boston Red Sox have won the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes, leaving the Yankees in the dust. The Yankees were willing to offer Moncada $25 – $27 Million (almost around $54 Million with taxes), but the Red Sox upped the Yankees offer by approximately $13 Million. Why didn’t the Yankees go all out for Moncada, Brian Cashman?

“If we were going to go all out, there would have been more,” Cashman said. “We went to where we were comfortable going, and it was an uncomfortable number to put forth. But it still fell short. We’re proud of the players that we did sign and the work we’ve done on the international side, but we’re continuing to look at what’s available out ..read more

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Red Sox sign Moncada; colossal fail for Yankees

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Today is another in a long line of recent situations where the Red Sox front office has completely owned the Yankees. In case you haven’t read the news this morning, Yoan Moncada has signed with the Red Sox for a $30 million signing bonus.

At this point the details are not available in terms of how much the Yankees offered for Moncada’s services, but regardless of what the offer was the Red Sox managed to convince the best Cuban player on the market to join their minor league ranks. How they did it? I will never understand.

I cannot imagine a scenario where Moncada did not think he had a clearer path to the majors with the Yankees. Additionally, Moncada, a Cuban, could not have possibly have preferred to play in a colder environment, for the team that finished dead last in the division last season. I doubt the coaching had anything to do with it all.

Outside of the Red Sox somehow convincing Moncada that they are building a Cuban all-star team and he could play amongst his countrymen against the rest of the MLB (which is not impossible I admit), the deal had to come down to money. Boston offered the most money and Moncada did what any sensible man would do in that circumstance, follow the money.

Assuming that this fact is true (which at this point is admittedly a bold assumption), Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have made a colossal blunder in letting this talent go. This guy is the only opportunity the Yankees will probably ever have to reel in a guy who would be a consensus number one overall pick in the draft. The international draft is coming, as soon as next year. These players will soon be exposed ..read more

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Surprise! Red Sox sign Yoan Moncada

After the Yankees held three private workouts for INF Yoan Moncada, the Boston Red Sox swept in and gave Moncada a contract offer he just couldn’t refuse.

The Red Sox and Moncada agreed to a deal in the $30 Million range, beating out the Yankees who were just showing interest. The Yankees held two private workouts for Moncada over the past week, which would have led fans to assume the team was interested. Instead, it seems Moncada was just another player the Yankees let get away.

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Spring Training Notes: Bailey, Beltran and Tanaka

Andrew Bailey

Here are a few quick notes from Day 2 of Spring Training which involves Andrew Bailey, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka.

— An under-the-radar candidate for the bullpen is none other than Andrew Bailey, and a few years removed from shoulder surgery has Bailey feeling optimistic. He’s already thrown four bullpens and has all of his pitches working for him. He’s on a slightly different program than all the other pitchers in camp–instead of throwing a bullpen or live batting practice tomorrow, he’ll do long toss and throw off flat ground.

— Carlos Beltran wasn’t working out with the Yankees today. Joe Girardi said he had a “healthy day-off” and this day-off will probably be the last Sunday day-off Beltran gets in a while.

— Masahiro Tanaka threw a 35 pitch bullpen, mixing in his off-speed pitches. Tanaka was also throwing harder in this bullpen session than he did on Thursday.

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Yankees release 2015 Spring Training broadcast schedule

Steinbrenner FIeld

The Yankees, YES Network, MLB.TV and MLB Network have announced their 2015 Spring Training broadcast schedules. 28 of the 34 Spring Training games will be available for your viewing pleasure and this year’s exhibition game ends in Nationals Park, where the Yankees will take on the Washington Nationals.

  • March 3, Yankees @ Phillies, 1:05 p.m: MLB.TV, MLB Network (tape delay)
  • March 4, Phillies vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB.TV, MLB Network
  • March 5, Yankees @ Pirates, 1:05 p.m: NONE
  • March 6, Yankees @ Phillies, 1:05 p.m: MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 6, Pirates vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m: MLB.TV
  • March 7, Yankees @ Astros, 1:05 p.m: NONE
  • March 8, Nationals vs. Yankees: 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB.TV, MLB Network
  • March 9, Rays vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB.TV, MLB Network
  • March 10, Yankees @ Orioles, 1:05 p.m: MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 11, Red Sox vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 12, Braves vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 13, Yankees @ Red Sox, 7:05 p.m: MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 14, Tigers vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 14, Yankees @ Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m: MLB.TV, MLB Network (tape delay)
  • March 15, Yankees @ Phillies, 1:05 p.m: NONE
  • March 16: OFF DAY
  • March 17, Blue Jays vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 18, Yankees @ Braves, 6:05 p.m: MLB.TV, MLB Network
  • March 19, Phillies vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 20, Yankees @ Tigers, 1:05 p.m: NONE
  • March 21, Astros vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: NONE
  • March 22, Yankees @ Mets, 1:10 p.m: YES Network, MLB.TV
  • March 23, Yankees @ Nationals, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB.TV
  • March 24, Tigers vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 25, Mets vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m: YES Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 26, Yankees @ Rays, 1:05 p.m: MLB Network, MLB.TV
  • March 27, Yankees @ Phillies, 1:05 ..read more
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    Nathan Eovaldi has potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter

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    Nathan Eovaldi arrived at the Yankees complex this morning in order for everyone to get their first glimpse of him. One of the main things Eovaldi did today was throwing a live batting practice session.

    Eovaldi has been known to throw hard, and he has the potential to be a top flight starter in the rotation. In fact, Yankees catcher Brian McCann was sent video of him over the offseason to do a little bit of homework, and felt Eovaldi could be a main contributor to the 2015 rotation.

    “I think he’s eventually going to be a top-of-the-rotation starter,” McCann said. “With that stuff… I haven’t really gotten to mix with him as far as interacting with him, but you hear great things about his makeup, and you put those two things together, his ceiling is as high as it can be. You throw 96 mph and you’re an uncomfortable at-bat. Then you start learning the ins and outs of pitching, what you can and can’t do in certain situations, and when to elevate, when not to elevate, when to bounce a slider. You learn those things, with his stuff, I think the sky is the limit.”

    Although Eovaldi is just 25-years-old, he’s already made 79 big league appearances with the Miami Marlins. But while Eovaldi throws hard, the Yankees have expressed their concerns about his low strikeout numbers. One of the things the team wants Eovaldi to work on this Spring is his breaking pitches.

    “We’ve talked about developing his repertoire and having him establish confidence in all his pitches in all the counts,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s one thing to have three or four pitches, but it’s another thing to have the confidence ..read more

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    Brian McCann on the shift and David Carpenter

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    Brian McCann arrived to camp on Friday along with the rest of the pitchers and catchers and started doing mandatory workouts today. He did batting practice and caught one bullpen session to begin preparing for a bounce back 2015 season. Following his workout, he held a press conference discussing his want to beat the shift in 2015 and his former teammate while with the Atlanta Braves David Carpenter.

    Brian McCann on beating the shift: “I want to hit the ball where it’s pitched. It’s not necessarily that I’m going to try to go up there and hit the ball to left field. If it’s away from me, it needs to go to left field. If they come in on me, I need to be able to pull it, but pull correctly. If you pull correctly, you create back spin which is going to help you hit home runs. … If I hit two or three singles in a row to left field, they’re going to continue to play the shift because that’s where my power is. That’s just the way it is and whether that takes a couple of points off my batting average, if I take the approach I have day in and day out for 500 at-bats, at the end of the year things will be there.”

    Brian McCann on the shift not being a main factor in his lackluster 2014: My bat path last year got out of whack, for whatever reason. I had to go back this offseason and kind of study what I was doing wrong. I was able to pinpoint what the problem was and I feel good coming into camp. … The whole reason I went down to no toe tap ..read more

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