Yankees pitchers and catchers, reporting for duty

cc spring.jpgReporting day for pitchers and catchers is one of those things we all like to circle on the calendar when there’s two feet of snow on the ground and you think the winter is never going to end, but the dirty little secret of it all is that it’s actually pretty anti-climactic once it arrives.

For a date that is so synonymous with baseball — who amongst us hasn’t said something like, “Only 44 days until pitchers and catchers!”  — there’s actually very little baseball going on. But you know that the end of winter is just hours away, and we can get back to doing what we’re supposed to.

For the Yankees, the technical definition of the P&C report date is that the players simply need to be within the city limits of Tampa and announce their arrival to the team, so they don’t necessarily even need to come to the stadium. A 30-second cell phone conversation of, “Hey, I’m here, see you tomorrow,” is just fine.

021710Chamberlain.jpgThat said, a few guys wandered over to drop bags and check out their locker assignments before departing for one of their remaining days of freedom.

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain all threw bullpen sessions at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Javier Vazquez said he was excited to be back, and Jorge Posada checked out some fresh shin guards that are destined to be destroyed by blocking drills and bouncing sliders all too soon.

Posada knows better than most that the demand of a World Series repeat will be an uphill charge.

“It’s probably the toughest thing to try to do it again,” Posada said. “Everybody plays you a little different when we come to town. You have to be ready, because they’re trying to get you. You’re the world champions and they’re trying to play a little better. It’s very challenging.”

The offseason was definitely quicker than it usually is, thanks to that little November Fall Classic, and in a strange way it almost felt like we’d never left this little perch overlooking the Dale Mabry Highway.

For the first time, Joe Girardi put on equipment that was marked with No. 28, as sure a sign as any that the new season is upon us.

“That’s basically just a message that we are not complacent,” Girardi said during a 30-plus minute chat with reporters. “We do want to move forward and try to win No. 28 for this organization and the great city of New York. We have a wonderful group here and wonderful fans, and it’s a reminder every day of why we’re out there.”

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