Spring Game 33: Yankees vs. Pirates

The Yankees will wrap up the Florida portion of the spring this afternoon at 1:05 p.m., closing out the Grapefruit League slate at George M. Steinbrenner Field with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Joe Girardi is using the contest as an opportunity to take a look at Ichiro Suzuki in center field, and there’s really no reason to think that Ichiro can’t be a serviceable backup for Brett Gardner at that position. That probably doesn’t bode well for Melky Mesa’s chances of making the squad.

Most of the Yankees arrived at the ballpark dressed in suits and ties, and the clubhouse looked like the luggage section of a department store this morning. The team is flying north after the game, heading to Washington for tomorrow’s 2 p.m. exhibition with the Nationals. They’ll then travel to West Point to play the Army Black Knights in an exhibition on Saturday, which Girardi has had written on his calendar for most of the spring as taking place at 14:26 military time.

Here are this afternoon’s lineups:

PIRATES
Starling Marte LF
Garrett Jones RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Gaby Sanchez 1B
Neil Walker 2B
Russell Martin C
Clint Barmes SS

Jeff Locke LHP

YANKEES
Ichiro Suzuki CF
Vernon Wells LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Juan Rivera 1B
Ben Francisco DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Jayson Nix SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

5 Comments

Reblogged this on age10fanatics and commented:
I hope Spring Training doesn’t show on your real record because the Yankees were in the lowest 5 in the Spring.

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Wow, it sounds like Sherman must have been kicked in the head by a horse before he wrote that piece. First of all, this team isn’t the same team as ’95 or any of the successful Yankee teams that followed. Those teams had far more talent than this current Yankee team has right now. Those other Yankee teams had a core group of talent that led it through those successful seasons, this team does not What’s left of that core talent (Jeter, Rivera) is old and injury prone and on their last legs of their careers and no real talent coming up through their minor league system even close to being ready to replace them.

Those successful Yankee teams could afford to take on those older players who are near the end of their careers and use them as role/benchplayers who could be used for depth. Don’t expect the same rsults from this year’s Yankee team. You can’t add old players who have seen their best days pass them by long ago and are near the end of their careers and add them on to a team that is already lacking in talent, old and has no depth whatsoever and expect to use them as role players. They simply don’t have the talent to make up for the talent that is already lacking on this team.

Exactly when has this method helped the Yankees in recent years? Last year? Yeah right!!!!! The year before? The year before that? Who is this team kidding? This method of building a successful team hasn’t worked for years. Just getting to the playoffs and being eliminated in the first or second round is NOT considered SUCCESS. That’s just plain delusional,especially for a team with the Yankees’ rich and successful tradition and willingness to spend money.

This team should be embarrassed to have to resort to using these players for anything more than role players. Unfortunately, it’s more an act of desperation. This team will be lucky to get a whiff of the post season, instead they most likely will find themselves fighting for their lives for third place with Baltimore while Tampa, who easily has the best pitching rotation in the AL will most likely take the division while followed by Toronto despite being a flawed team.

We have to face FACTS. The Yankees are far from the best team in the AL, teams like Tampa, Toronto, Baltimore (?), Oakland, Texas, Detroit, and Chicago have all passed the Yankees by, don’t be surprised to see KC even passing them up as a team. What do all those teams have in common? They all have built their teams through their own farm systems and good FA pickups and not waiting to fill exisitng holes on their teams. It’s just the opposite with the Yanks who are led by an incompetent GM in Crashman and a minor league operation that has failed to produce a quality hitter or pitcher in a long time while not seeing a high draft pick even coming close to reaching real success in the majors.

Those facts alone have led the Yanks to regress in the AL as a team while others are starting to thrive. So how have the type of “solid” moves the Yankees have been making improved this team again?

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Why would Girardi send Dan Johnson to the plate to pinch hit in the 9th? Yankees have rally going. Runners on 2nd and 3rd. One run in in a 2-1 game. Johnson is useless at the plate. I can’t understand why he is still on the team. He’s what Chris Stewart was last year–a sure out. Was that all Girardi had on the bench? Bad decision if you would like to win another game in spring training with a record of 13-17.

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Just one more move to keep this team filled with the oldest players possible

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