Kelley wants to show Yanks what he can do

By Bryan Hoch / | 02/17/2013 5:45 PM ET

Why do we have here a photo of Travis (Nick Johnson) Hafner?   Travis will spend loads of time on DL this season.

Girardi, Cashman on new slugger00:00:39
Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman believe Travis Hafner is an ideal addition to DH in the Yankees lineup, provided the slugger can stay healthy.  If each and everyone of us could hit the lottery, we would not have to work.  If trains and buses could fly, riders would get to their destinations much quicker.

TAMPA, Fla. — One of the first orders of business for new Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley was picking a new uniform number. No. 23, which he wore for the Mariners, has been off-limits here since Don Mattingly’s days.

Kelley settled into Yanks camp with No. 27 on his back, and now the right-hander is hoping to get a chance to show it off in New York when the season begins.

“I’m excited. You don’t always get a chance to put on the pinstripes and play for an organization like this,” Kelley said. “Seattle was a great organization, great people, but I’m excited for a new start and the challenges that come with pitching for the Yankees.”

Kelley was acquired from the Mariners last week for Minor League outfielder Abraham Almonte and said that the trade developed quickly.

He had already reported to camp with the Mariners in Phoenix, but he didn’t mind having to fly to Florida. After two Tommy John surgeries, Kelley said he is happy just to be healthy and pitching.

“As far as I know, I’m just one of the guys here competing for a spot,” Kelley said. “I’ll just show them what I’m about in the spring and see what happens. Hopefully, I get to pitch in Yankee Stadium.”

Yanks counting on Hafner’s bat to be a force

TAMPA, Fla. — Every spring, Travis Hafner receives a shipment that packs in a couple of first basemen’s gloves, sent to his team just in case. He hasn’t needed to break one in lately.

“Usually people that need first-base mitts will call me, because they know,” Hafner said.

An arthritic right elbow has kept Hafner out of the field since 2007, and the 35-year-old said that he has not done much throwing over the past five seasons.

While Hafner said that he felt “great” physically as he reported for his first day as a Yankee, manager Joe Girardi made it clear that the only equipment required of the left-handed slugger will be his bats.

“He’s a DH,” said Girardi, who then twice spelled out emphatically, “D … H.”

Hafner has been limited to an average of 86 games over the past five seasons due to injuries. The Yankees will try to keep Hafner healthy by using him as a DH against right-handed pitching, with hopes of having his lefty stroke do serious damage in Yankee Stadium.

“I think that’s a really good fit,” Hafner said. “I think it was the best spot for me.”

Hafner played the last 10 seasons with the Indians, for whom he hit 200 big league homers, and he said that the chance of playing for a championship in New York was very appealing.

“I’ve only been to the playoffs once in the last 10 years,” Hafner said. “I know here we have a great chance, and I’m very excited about that and looking forward to the opportunity. That was probably No. 1 on the list, just having a great chance to win.”

Teixeira hopes early spring start means fast open

TAMPA, Fla. — Mark Teixeira hopes that revving up earlier to play in the World Baseball Classic will help him avoid a sluggish start to his season.

Teixeira is one of two Yankees participating in the tournament, joining second baseman Robinson Cano. He said that once he committed to the Classic, Teixeira reached out to hitting coach Kevin Long and wanted to speed up his preparation for the season.

“When I found out I was going to play in the WBC, I called K-Long and said, ‘Let’s not build up to Opening Day; let’s build up to the WBC and the first of March,'” Teixeira said. “I think that will be good. There’s never really a sense of urgency because Spring Training is six weeks long.

“Now I kind of have two weeks to get ready, so I’m in great shape. I have no problem kind of ramping up the baseball activities, making sure my swing is right and my timing is right. Hopefully, it’s going to be great for the WBC.”

Teixeira also said that the quick start “absolutely” could ward off the April struggles that have marked his career; last year, it was slowed by a nagging cough, Teixeira hit just .244 with a .290 on-base percentage in the season’s first month.

“I spend almost all offseason and all Spring Training lifting weights very hard, getting my body in shape for 162,” Teixeira said. “Because of that, I think [in] April I’m a little tight, maybe a little sore. This year, I’ve cut back on that.

“I’m not really going to get any stronger as I get older. I just want to keep that strength, keep that flexibility, so I’ve cut back a little bit on the weightlifting already to make sure I’m not tight for the beginning of the season.”

A-Rod’s absence in camp to be a weird feeling

TAMPA, Fla. — With 84 players invited to camp, space is at a premium in the Yankees’ clubhouse, but there is no problem finding a little extra breathing room around Alex Rodriguez’s vacant locker.

A-Rod is expected to be the only absent player as the Yankees hold their first full-squad workout on Monday, because Rodriguez has been instructed to stay in New York all spring to complete his rehab from hip surgery.

“It’s going to be odd that he’s not here,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. “It’s going to be weird not having him here. He’s been a part of this team since 2004, so it’s going to be awkward.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he has been keeping in touch with Rodriguez, who could rejoin the big league roster after the All-Star break.

“I keep in touch with him to see how he’s doing and make sure he’s rehabbing,” Girardi said. “Everything’s going good.”

Bomber bits

• Infield prospect David Adams will be sidelined for “a couple of weeks” of big league camp while he rehabs a back injury, according to manager Joe Girardi. The 25-year-old Adams played last year at Double-A Trenton, batting .306 in 86 games.

In July 2010, Adams was nearly traded to the Mariners in a package for left-hander Cliff Lee, but Seattle called the deal off because Adams was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. The injury was later revealed to have been an ankle fracture.




New York Yankees News & Notes: 2/17/13

By on Feb 17, 10:00a 16

Al Bello

Will Jeter Regress?: The Yankee Analysts examine Derek Jeter’s 2012 season and determine that none of the trends seems to indicate that he was lucky last year. His batting average on ground balls and line drive rates were all around his career norms and he might even improve. Jeter’s UZR/150 was so bad, compared to his normal not good, that he has to improve somewhat so he can reach his career average. An improvement on the field would go a long way to increasing his WAR for the season. He’s turning 39 this year, but there’s no indication that he can’t still produce at the amazing level he was at last year.

Granderson Extension: There are going to be a lot of Yankee free agents next year. A good chunk of the team: Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Kevin Youkilis, Hiroki Kuroda, Travis Hafner, and maybe even Derek Jeter. CC Sabathia will be the only reliable pitcher under contract in 2014. The team will be pretty barren and they’ll have very little money to refill it with top talent. They will need to use the remaining money to resign Cano, but since Granderson is open to an extension, the Yankees might be wise to buy low on him and try to lock him up on a hometown discount. It could actually help field a competitive, and yet, economical team in 2014.

February Deals: NoMaas believes the Yankee could still make a move, even if it’s already February. They briefly look into the past to note the organization’s history with February transactions. Chuck Knoblauch, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez were all brought in around this time. More recently, Marcus Thames, Eric Chavez, Freddy Garcia, and Raul Ibanez have all signed deals. The precedent is there, but will the Yankees continue that trend in 2013?

The Future for Phil: Phil Hughes will be a free agent after the 2013 season and, as of right now, there’s no certainty the Yankees will retain him. Hughes will eb the youngest starter on the free agent market and will likely get a lucrative contract for someone, but the Yankees don’t quite know which Hughes they’d be paying for. Would it be the 18-game winner, or the fly ball pitcher? It all comes down to health for Hughes, if he can gain consistent success in 2013, the Yankees might see no other choice but to keep him. He certainly wants to stay with the team, but we won’t know for sure until he’s on the open market.

Grading the Offseason: David Schoenfield of ESPN grades the Yankees offseason. He gives them a C for offseason moves, highlighting their ability to make up for most of the lost value, but not at catcher. He gave them a B for their current lineup, which still projects to be very strong. He grades them an A- for having a strong pitching staff, both rotation and bullpen. All together the Yankees receive a B+ grade for the winter.

Prospect Profile: Yankee Fans Unite have a profile on Yankee relief prospect Mark Montgomery. They discuss his past succeses, his pitch selection and his future in the Yankee organization. He’s really the only pitching prospect the Yankees have that could definitely make an impact in 2014. Hopefully the Yankees won’t hesitate to speed him through the system like they have been doing and bring him up when they think he’s ready.

Panamanian Man of Mystery: Not Graphs has a delightful article about Mariano Rivera and how Austin Power has taught him that he can continue to shag, but he should also be careful in the future.




Piazza blames Scully for fans turning their backs on him

Mike Piazza blames Scully
Mike Piazza blames Scully
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mike Piazza is one of the greatest players in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Vin Scully is a legend to all Dodgers’ fans. However, according to the L.A. Times on Feb. 14, Pizza blames Scully for the L.A. fans turning their backs on him.

The way Piazza describes it in his book “Long Shot,” Scully did an interview in 1998 where he called out Piazza for stalled contract talks and an ultimatum that the catcher delivered. In an interview that Piazza took part in with Scully, the catcher criticized the Dodgers and said the contract talks might affect his play.

He then said that Vin Scully turned those words around on him. Piazza said that Scully made it look like he set a deadline and insisted on untold riches from the Dodgers. He said that Scully used his announcer’s booth to make fans believe that Piazza had no loyalty to the team that drafted him with the final pick of the 1988 MLB Draft and nurtured him to greatness.

In the book Mike Piazza slams Scully, saying the announcer was “crushing him.” As a result the boos started to come down on Piazza before the Dodgers traded him away. As a result, he rarely visits Dodgers stadium and clearly still holds a grudge.

When contacted about the allegations, Vin Scully seemed shocked and said he would never talk about a player and their contract in that manner. When the Times pulled up the interview, Scully was correct and only asked Piazza about the ultimatum, giving him a chance to tell his side of the story.

“I’m very disappointed in that, I’m sorry he would even do that,” his godfather Tommy Lasorda said about the comments in the book. ”I don’t know what he said.



Alex Rodriguez PED allegations: Anthony Bosch reportedly injected 3B

Published Friday, Feb 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm EST
Staff report Sporting News

Alex Rodriguez was personally injected with performance-enhancing drugs by Biogenesis clinic chief Anthony Bosch, sources tell

According to the report, Bosch would travel to Rodriguez’s home late at night every few weeks to administer the injections.

An ESPN report says Biogenesis clinic head Anthony Bosch personally injected Alex Rodriguez with PEDs. (AP Photo)

“Only Tony handled A-Rod,” one source told

Another source told of one such visit during which Bosch had trouble locating Rodriguez’s vein, angering the slugger and resulting in Bosch being kicked out of A-Rod’s mansion.

Bosch has denied these allegations, referring to them as “all wrong.”

Rodriguez is one of six active major league players accused of buying PEDs from the now-closed clinic located in the Miami area. On Tuesday, the Miami New Times published the findings of a lengthy investigation into the clinic that turned up handwritten notes and records that supported the claims.

In addition to Rodriguez, Washington Nationals lefthander Gio Gonzalez and Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz were accused of using PEDs purchased from the Biogenesis clinic. All have issued statements denying those allegations.

Three other active players (Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A’s righthander Bartolo Colon, San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal) also named in the investigation already had tested positive for PEDS and had been given 50-game suspensions.

A-ROID is the biggest stiff in all of sports.  EDB


Name of Yankees’ A-Rod in more Biogenesis files

  • Last Updated: 12:14 PM, February 16, 2013
  • Posted: 12:51 AM, February 16, 2013

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Alex Rodriguez may still question the legitimacy of the records kept by Biogenesis of America founder Anthony Bosch even as a few of the other players named in the Miami New Times report, including teammate Francisco Cervelli, have admitted to dealings with the now shuttered Coral Gables, Fla., clinic.

But Rodriguez’s name, with a dollar amount next to it, has shown up in additional Biogenesis documents obtained by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

One of the handwritten documents was a list of names and dollar amounts, presumably for services rendered. Cervelli, the Yankees catcher, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, and Melky Cabrera of the Blue Jays were also on the list.

A source said to be familiar with the documents told “Outside the Lines” the list was a listing of players who received performance-enhancing drugs, and there is “no other reason to be on that paper.”

One of the documents shows plus signs next to the players’ names, which are circled for players who paid their fees, a source said.


Rodriguez, the Yankees third baseman, currently rehabbing his left hip following surgery last month, is listed as having paid the clinic $4,500, and Cervelli having paid $2,500. According to the document, which was purportedly written last April, Braun owed the clinic $1,500. There was no dollar amount next to Cabrera’s name.

Asked for comment, Terry Fahn, Rodriguez’s spokesman, recycled the statement he issued when the Miami New Times story broke last month.

“The news report[s] about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,” the statement read. “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.’’

While MLB continues its investigation, it has no subpoena power. As a result, sources told “Outside the Lines” baseball officials have tried to spark an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, but no investigations by either the DEA or FBI have been initiated.

I just love Stiff-Rod.  Don’t You?  EDB


Ryan Braun Reportedly Appears in More Biogenisis Clinic Material


(Featured Columnist) on February 15, 2013


Milwaukee Brewers superstar left fielder Ryan Braun may not be out of harm’s way in regards to allegations of his PED use.

A report by ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish reveals a list acquired from Biogenesis of America clinic founder Anthony Bosch, which names several Major League Baseball players and indicates they received performance-enhancing drugs.

Included on that list is Braun.

The report cited a source close to the television show Outside the Lines, which obtained the documents in this latest inquiry:

The list with Braun’s name, which also includes New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Francisco Cervelli and Toronto’s Melky Cabrera, was a list of players who received PEDs, and that there is “no other reason to be on that paper.”

The figure next to Braun’s name signifies $1,500, the amount of money that Braun allegedly owed Bosch for purchasing PEDs.

Braun’s stellar stats were called into question just over a year ago after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone; however, Braun was the first player in MLB history to win his appeal, as reported by The New York Times’ Ken Belson and Michael S. Schmidt.

After dealing with that offseason controversy, Braun responded with a sensational 2012 campaign, swatting a National League-leading 41 home runs and driving in 112 runs, while maintaining a .319 batting average.

Quinn and Fish emphasize that this does not definitively prove that the 29-year-old did in fact take the drugs, but the link between Braun and Biogenesis is definitely getting stronger.

Bosch was also behind the positive HCG test that resulted in a 50-game suspension for Manny Ramirez during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as alluded to in the report.

This latest information gives more legs to the story by Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo! last Friday, in which Braun’s name was linked to the alleged PED clinic.

Braun explained that he had nothing to hide and would fully cooperate with investigators.

It remains unclear as to why Braun consulted with Bosch in the first place, and these documents unearthed by ESPN amplify that question.




Rickey Henderson says he didn’t use steroids, but doesn’t blame those who did

Comments 0
May 11, 2009 3:22 pm

henderson0511.jpgBy Mark McGuire
Albany Times Union

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson says the reactions among Hall of Famers to recent greats being ensnared by performance- enhancing drugs range from disappointment to confusion to anger.

“By and large they struggle with it a bit because it’s so foreign,” Idelson said last week. “It was not something that was available when they played. Guys are very protective of the game’s integrity.”

Perhaps you can put Rickey Henderson down in the disappointed and confused camp, even though steroids emerged as a force in the second half of his 25-year, first-ballot Hall of Fame career.

Actually, it’s kind of confusing trying to figure out what the greatest leadoff hitter of all time actually thinks about the Steroids Era, which had another chapter written Thursday with the 50-game suspension of Manny Ramirez.

“I don’t see that they did anything wrong,” the stolen-base king said of players using PEDs. “They took advantage of the game.”

And, as the Oakland A, New York Yankee and star for seven other franchises showed over the years dancing off of first, baseball is all about exploiting an advantage.

But then Henderson, who toured the Hall of Fame Friday in advance of his July induction, turned around and lamented the proliferation of PEDs, which he said he wasn’t fully aware of despite sharing a clubhouse with Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. (That said, he added he was never tempted because bulking up would rob him of speed.)

“It’s troubling a little bit, but they are trying to correct it. They are trying to clean it up.”

So, are steroids and other PEDs an understandable outgrowth of athletes seeking an edge, or should the perps be banned from these hallowed halls that will admit him in a handful of weeks?

“It was the era and the time, but we don’t know what it really meant to the game,” Henderson said. “I can’t even ask ‘Do they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?’

“I can understand that it was an era something was going on . . . and at that time I don’t think it was considered in baseball illegal.”

OK, there’s some modern-day Stengelese going on here. Nothing is easy when it comes to this issue and Cooperstown, even for a clean athlete merely asked about it.

But these are the issues we deal with instead of reliving Henderson’s greatness. And make no mistake: For a player who was so brash (“competitive,” Henderson corrects), Rickey might be one of the most underrated players from any era.

The 10-time All-Star is the career leader in stolen bases, runs and unintentional walks. His record 130 steals in 1982 is up there with DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. Consider this: He had 84 steals at the ’82 All-Star break. The last player with 84 steals in a season? Henderson, who stole 93 in 1988.

Henderson led the league in steals 12 times, and led off games with homers 81 times. The Man of Steal had a flaky side – and, really, I still have no clue what he thinks about the Steroids Era – but he’s undoubtedly one of the best to have ever played.

At least this much is clear: Henderson, a sculpted left fielder who will go in with Jim Rice, should eventually see his long career viewed in an even greater light as a result of baseball’s ongoing mess.

“It makes me more proud that my accomplishments are clean.” Henderson said. “I did it the right way.”




Cervelli bows out of World Baseball Classic

Catcher plans to stay in camp to compete for starting job

By Bryan Hoch / | 2/16/2013 11:45 A.M. ET

Francisco Cervelli is passing on playing in the World Baseball Classic in order to focus on winning the Yankees’ catching job. (AP)

TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli is passing on a chance to play in the World Baseball Classic so he can stay in camp to compete for a starting job.

Cervelli was listed on the provisional roster for Italy’s Classic squad, but said that he recently told Italy manager Marco Mazzieri that he would have to decline the invitation.

“I talked to the manager two days ago, and he understood everything,” Cervelli said. “I think I’m going to have more [chances] in the future.”

Cervelli, who is of both Italian and Venezuelan descent, previously played for Italy in the 2009 Classic.

The 26-year-old is viewed as an early frontrunner to serve as the Yankees’ Opening Day catcher this season, with Chris Stewart and Austin Romine also in competition for the job.

“This is what I’ve been looking for,” Cervelli said. “I think it’s a smart thing to stay here [in camp].”

Cervelli said that the Yankees did not discourage him from playing in the Classic. New York projects to have two participants, with first baseman Mark Teixeira playing for Team USA and second baseman Robinson Cano suiting up for the Dominican Republic.

“They told me I [could] do it, but it’s my own decision,” Cervelli said. “I just wanted to work out and come here and concentrate on my things.”