Hoop dreams with CC Sabathia

cc joba.jpgCC Sabathia watches a lot of basketball during the offseason – so much, he admitted that he could only guess who might be chasing Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes for the fifth spot in the rotation. (It’s Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre, though you probably knew that.)

After we discussed baseball-related topics with Sabathia (here’s a Reuters photo – that’s my red digital recorder in the shot!), the conversation drifted into lighter territory. As he did last year, Sabathia will be organizing some trips to go see Orlando Magic NBA games during Spring Training, as well as the usual mix of restaurant nights and other group excursions.

“Definitely. I’ve got some tickets, so whoever wants to go, I’m ready,” he said.

A pause followed, and WFAN’s Sweeny Murti asked, “What time should we be there?”

Teammates,” Sabathia said, flashing a toothy grin.

Speaking of basketball, Sabathia has said that he’s going to try and stay out of the way with the ongoing LeBron James saga. But if a certain team that plays its home games at Madison Square Garden was to show interest, Sabathia would make a heck of a recruiting tool to woo his buddy to New York.

“I’m sure he’ll be (in New York) during the summer for a couple of games,” Sabathia said. “I’ll get him some good seats and take him out to dinner.”

  • Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner were among the position players hitting and fielding on Field 1 at the Himes Avenue complex. The Yankees opened up the gates to fans (for free) and about two or three dozen wandered in to watch batting practice from the bleacher area by third base.
  • Javier Vazquez showed up in camp, though he did not get on the field. Sabathia chatted with him and said that he seemed like a nice guy. By the way, it was cold! I even said on Twitter that it was sweatshirt weather, then tried to grit through with a polo shirt and windbreaker. Bad job planning by me.
  • A random assortment of players taking ground balls in a group at shortstop – Jeter, Eduardo Nunez, Pena and – yes – Cervelli. He likes to do that during the season as well just to get a different perspective, so don’t be surprised if you see that in the Bronx sometime. They all razzed each other pretty good and tried to one-up each other in a fun display of off-balance throws to first base.
  • Action at George M. Steinbrenner Field begins Wednesday. The clubhouse is open for reporting day from 10 a.m. to noon, and Joe Girardi will meet the media in the ‘Alex Rodriguez 2009 Press Conference Tent’ (which was used for meals during Fantasy Camp, by the way) off the third-base side at noon.

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