Retirement: Spring is here and you know that means everyone is going to be declaring this to be Mariano Rivera's last season before he retires. That was the buzz around camp last year and everyone missed out on the answer after Mo got hurt. This year he claims that he'll announce his decision before the end of spring training, so an announcement could come tomorrow, or in another month. It seems that everyone is convinced that this is it. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Let's just hope he stays healthy the whole season. Andy Pettitte, on the other hand, won't be announcing his plans for 2014 until next winter.
Cervelli Addresses the Media: Francisco Cervelli finally talked to the media today about is alleged involvement in the Biogenesis clinic and Wallace Matthews seems to think there are inconsistencies in Cervelli's story. While he maintains that he never bought any PEDs and "walked away without nothing in my hands," (ignore the double negative, OR DON'T!!) he also sticks to his original statement which states that he purchased MLB-legal supplements. I guess he needs to be as specific as possible because, to me at least, the "nothing" he was referring to was banned substances, not literally zero things. I highly doubt they give him a baggie to carry out his supplements either way. But this is the best of what Cervelli had to say:
"Look at me," Cervelli said, indicating his wiry physique. "You check the numbers. I know it doesn't matter, but if you check the numbers and everything, I don't use that stuff."
Leave the man alone because whether he took anything or not, it clearly didn't do anything. The man is a fringe backup catcher and this is the opposite of news. Lets focus on other things until there is actual concrete evidence out there. Maybe there is evidence, but we don't have it.
The Number Game: LoHud has a complete list of all the uniform number assignments in Yankee training camp. A few highlights: Matt Diaz is #22, Travis Hafner is #33, Kevin Youkilis is #36, Juan Rivera is apparently sharing #54 with Kevin Long, which can't be good, Austin Romine is #66, and Gary Sanchez is #80. Apparently David Phelps has taken back #41 (sorry Jim Miller), and Michael Pineda retook #35.
The Catching Game: Austin Romine thinks that he can make it onto the major league team this spring, even after injury his back last year and spending very little time in Triple A. While the catcher competition is supposed to be an equal battle between Francisco Cervelli, Bobby Wilson, Chris Stewart, and Romine, Girardi believes differently:
"I don't know if you'd say equal footing because he missed a lot of last year with the back," Joe Girardi said. "His biggest thing is, he needs to stay healthy and play the whole year. I don't see why at some time he couldn't help us this year. I just don't know exactly when it will be."
The Yankee prospect claims his back is healthy and he's ready to go, but the organization has already stated their preference is to keep him in the minors for now.
Pitchers and Catchers Team Up: Yankee pitchers and catchers have been divided into different groups with one pitcher assigned to one catcher. So Phil Hughes is being caught by Cervelli, Hiroki Kuroda is being caught by Chris Stewart, and Andy Pettitte is being caught by Romine. In Group 2 David Aardsma is caught by Bobby Wilson, Tom Kahnle is caught by Kyle Higashioka, Jim Miller is with Gary Sanchez, Zach Nuding is with Fracisco Arcia, and Clay Rapada is paired with JR Murphy. In Group 3 Juan Cedeno is with Stewart, Vidal Nuno is with Cervelli, Ryan Pope is with Romine, and Matt Tracy is with Sanchez.
YES has a bunch of pictures of spring training for your perusal.