New York Yankees News & Notes: 2/24/13

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Trademark War: If you didn't know already, the New York Yankees are now legally known as the Evil Empire. A company tried to trademark the title 'Baseball's Evil Empire,' but the Yankees successfully proved themselves to be the true Evil Empire. They cited articles where they are referred to as such and mentioned the use of the Imperial March theme at home games.

Prospect Watch: CBS Sports identifies Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, and Slade Heathcott as future stars for the Yankees. Due to Tommy John surgery, Manny Banuelos is listed as a wildcard. There are currently no impact players for the 2012 season since the best prospects are still in the lower levels; however, Mark Montgomery could be called up if he continues to perform and the need is there.

A Unique Prospect List: IIATMS has produced their own Top 30 prospect list that consists of a lot of prospects that haven't been mentioned in any other top prospects list. Ty Hensley ranked in the Top 10, while Rafael DePaula, Austin Aune, Nick Goody, Matt Tracy, and Jordan Cote all placed on the list. Dellin Betances still managed to rank #26 on the list.

The Fall of Alex Rodriguez: Joe Posnanski chronicles the path of Alex Rodriguez from the greatest baseball player to become the most hated athlete in sports. From the Mariners to the Rangers to the Yankees A-Rod's reputation fell apart along the way. The women, the negative reputation, the PED connection, the injuries, the breakdown of Alex Rodriguez is seen here step by step.

A Look at Phelps: The Yankee Analysts look back on David Phelps in 2012 and determine that his strikeout/sinker movement is similar to Justin Verlander, proving how rare his repertoire is. His FIP compared to his ERA shows that he could regress a lot in 2013 if he has less luck with stranding men on base.

Get Excited: Michael Pineda came to New York with a lot of expectations and now he's finally garnering excitement again. But is it too early to be excited? He has progressed through every step of recovery and has performed well. He is preparing to face live batters sometime in March, and begin his minor league rehab assignment in May for a projected return in June, which still holds strong. There is hope and optimism again.

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