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Around the Yankee Universe, 04.08.09

Here are some of the stories about our New York Yankees that are floating around the Inter-Google as we await today's second game of the season. Apparently, by the way, Game 2 is a must-win or the Yankees may as well pack for vacation and forfeit the remaining 160 games.

  • Yankees Manager Joe Girardi isn't fazed by one poor game, thank goodness. He knows this season is all about erasing the bitter taste of the way last season ended.

"I think the feeling that we had at the end of September last year is a feeling that we don't want to experience," Girardi said. "That memory of last September was a bad memory. We went out and added to our team, and I think all the players were excited about the people that we brought in. That's one of the reasons we have expectations for ourselves."

  • The heating pad he was using Monday meant CC Sabathia was cold, not injured. The fact that he was admittedly uncomfortable might also explain why he had no idea where the ball was going.
  • Dayn Perry of FOX Sports says CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Joe Girardi could all benefit from fast starts. He's right, but CC and Tex are historically slow starters, and Joe G. will be judged by where the Yankees finish, not by how they begin.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX says the Yankees are "an emotional stimulus package for every city they visit." This is why the more they spend, and the more they are seen as the Evil Empire around the baseball world, the better it can actually be for the sport as a whole.
  • Alex Rodriguez will arrive in Tampa Monday for the next phase of his rehab from hip surgery. Speaking of A-Rod (and hasn't it been nice not to for a while?), the release date for Selena Roberts' book about Rodriguez has been pushed back again.
  • Nick Swisher is not thrilled about being on the bench, but he is trying to maintain an upbeat attitude. I am liking this guy more and more, and I think he will be a pivotal player for the Yankees by season's end.
  • Jason Giambi is back in Oakland, and seems happy to be home. Personally, I wish he had never left the Athletics in the first place.
  • has a really fun photo essay with the legendary Yankee great Yogi Berra. Great photos, and of course, some great quotes from Yogi. I kind of like this one, about Casey Stengel. "Casey was a smart baseball man who knew what he was doing. He could be a little unorthodox, but made a lot of sense. He also had some good players, and that didn't hurt."
  • Chad Jennings reports that Brett Tomko, pretty much the final pitcher cut in Spring Training, will close at AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. That makes no sense to me. The only possible role the veteran Tomko could have with the Yankees this season would be as a long man if/when the team decides it needs one. If he is closing, though, he won't have the stamina for that job. If the Yankees think Mark Melancon is a future closer, why not let him close games at AAA and get acclimated to the role?