Let's look at some of the stories floating around the Inter-Google today following the first official day of Spring Training workouts for our New York Yankees.
Before we start, though, 'Kudos' to Travis for posting the first day photo gallery. Man, it's fun to look at baseball pictures again.
- Professional baseball has been a rocky road thus far for Andrew Brackman, the Yankees No. 1 pick in 2007. The 6-foot-10 right-hander was just 2-12 with a 5.91 ERA last season pitching for Class A Tampa. The Yankees, though, are still optimistic about the 24-year-old's future.
"We weren’t surprised that he had these growing pains," said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president for baseball operations. "We knew that going in. Where we draft, we don’t get opportunities for guys like Andrew, who’s a heck of an athlete and has an incredible arm. That’s what’s so attractive about him."
For his part, Brackman says that following Tommy John surgery and his rocky 2009 he finally feels right.
"I feel normal again," Brackman said. "The mound doesn’t feel like I’m in outer space anymore. It feels like I can stay there and be comfortable, and it’s been a while since I could say that."
My take: This is a huge year for Brackman. He needs to take a big step forward if he is going to show that he isn't a wasted pick.
Mariano Rivera is 40, and acknowledges that the end of his career will come one day. He isn't ready for that yet, though.
"One day that will happen," Rivera said. "That day I will go. And baseball will not stop because I'm not playing anymore. Baseball will continue. It happens like that in life. People come, people go.
"I love to do this, and it's what I've done for my whole life," he said. "So knowing that I can do it, I will do it."
We all know the day will come when Mo no longer closes games. It sure will be strange when it finally does happen.
- Yankee pitching coach Dave Eiland was surprisingly straight-forward in assessing Joba Chamberlain Thursday.
"I think we've all seen the difference in him when he starts and relieves," was the way Eiland put it.
"Obviously, this is a very, very good ballclub that won the World Series last year," Winn said. "Honestly, I just want to help the team win, whatever that may be. I really want to make it to the post-season and win a championship. This is an extraordinary organization and ballclub and I’m really happy to be here. I know people always say that, but it’s true."