The 2010 Yankees gather as a group

DSCF0817.JPGWrapping up here on Derek Jeter Press Conference Day at Steinbrenner Field, and it was definitely nice to be back in the picnic tent without having to talk about performance-enhancing drugs like the last couple of years.

There was some drama about Jeter’s expiring contract, though that was to be expected. After all, sooner or later this day would come, and actually it still may not be a story until after the season is over.

Jeter’s decision to talk about this once and then not again until after the last game of 2010 will help to minimize the impact on the clubhouse, and Brian Cashman certainly doesn’t seem like he’s in any hurry to break club policy and negotiate new deals with Jeter, Mariano Rivera or Joe Girardi.

“These are great Yankees that we have a devotion to,” Cashman said. “We appreciate what they do. I feel there’s a time and place, and I know ownership agrees, for these discussions. Right now, we feel that [the time is] not a year in advance of when the contract expires.

“They’re priceless to our fans. We know that. There’s a bond there and we recognize that they’re special. We’ll obviously approach players at the end of the season and start working on 2011, but this is about 2010 right now.”

Other than that, it was a first day of workouts, and nice to see position players on the field joining the fun on Day 7 at the Big Stein. CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez were among those throwing side sessions this morning, and the players were broken up into two hitting groups – ‘Goose’ and ‘Gator.’

DSCF0960a.jpgI really liked this shot of Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, watching Alex Rodriguez get hold of one. Back on the main field, Curtis Granderson got a chance to briefly talk to Yogi Berra by the
batting cage, in what he said he hoped was the first of many
conversations. Here’s the Captain getting a good swing in.

DSCF0884.JPGAfterward, the clubhouse seemed a little more quiet than usual, and here’s why – Nick Swisher lost a cord to his iPod, so he wasn’t able to play Music Man. No worries, Swisher has promised to go pick up the necessary plug – Radio Shack on Westshore, I guess? – and get the tunes going tomorrow.

Players will take some live BP tomorrow at Steinbrenner Field off an array of relievers. Tomorrow is also Photo Day and A-Rod will speak to the media after the workout.

At this point in the spring, no one is keeping serious score on homers and hits, but try telling that to Jesus Montero. He ripped a line drive down the left field line that came in hot on me, prompting Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger and Chad Jennings of the Journal-News to ask if I’d feared for my life. My response: “If I had my glove, I would have caught it!”

You can check out some of the best of today’s photos here.

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