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Spring Game 2: Yankees vs. Phillies

Alex Rodriguez returns to the Yankees’ lineup for the first time since September 2013 this afternoon as the club opens their home Grapefruit League schedule here at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., hosting the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on YES and the MLB Network.

Here are the lineups:

PHILLIES (0-0)
Odubel Herrera cf
Freddy Galvis ss
Domonic Brown rf
Ryan Howard dh
Maikel Franco 3b
Darin Ruf rf
Grady Sizemore lf
Cord Phelps 2b
Tommy Joseph c

Kevin Slowey rhp

YANKEES (0-0)
Didi Gregorius ss
Alex Rodriguez dh
Brian McCann c
Mark Teixeira 1b
Chase Headley 3b
Stephen Drew 2b
Tyler Austin rf
Ramon Flores lf
Mason Williams cf

Nathan Eovaldi rhp

In relief: Andrew Miller, Kyle Davies, Dan Burawa, Wilking Rodriguez, Tyler Pazos, Tyler Webb.

Spring Game 1: Yankees at Phillies

Hello from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., where the Yankees will open their Spring Training schedule this afternoon against the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen live on MLB.tv. It will be broadcast tonight by MLB Network on tape delay at 9 p.m. ET. Conditions are expected to be partly cloudy and in the low 80s — a perfect day to open up the Grapefruit League schedule.

Here’s a glance at some of the topics that came up in Joe Girardi’s early press conference back at Steinbrenner Field –

Batting Jacoby Ellsbury leadoff and Brett Gardner second:
“It’s definitely a possibility. I think that both of them are capable of leading off. Ells has done it a little more in his career than Gardy, but I just kind of like the combination of those two guys together. We’ll take a look at it a lot this spring as we try to keep the outfielders together a lot early on, and the infielders together, just to see how it works. Left-handed, right-handed, in my mind right now I’m not really worried either way.”

Having Ellsbury and Gardner steal more in 2015:
“I would love it to be a successful tool whenever they can do it. That’s the key. Our success rate was really good last year. The one thing you don’t want to do is run yourself out of innings. But they’re both capable of stealing a ton of bases, creating a lot of pressure. Putting pressure on defenses, pitchers; maybe taking 10 percent, 15, 20 percent of their attention off the hitter, which is always great for the hitter, and I like that.”

The positive reaction from Steinbrenner Field fans for Alex Rodriguez:
“Everyone is going to look at it differently. Some people are going to look at that he was caught, and he paid his time, and now he’s back, and he’s a Yankee, and we’re going to cheer for him. Some people are going to say, you know what, I might have a hard time cheering for him. And some people are just fans, and they fall in love with a player, and no matter what they do, it doesn’t matter. So I’m not really surprised necessarily. He’s one of the guys that has been here a long time. He was part of our championship in 2009, and I think people still understand that. And I think people are curious how he’s going to do. There are probably a lot of people that are cheering for him to do well.”

Watching Luis Severino’s excitement level during his spring debut:
“You see a lot of times young players trying to do too much, and I bring it up a little bit, (David) Phelps and (Adam) Warren, the growth that we saw from one Spring Training to the next is amazing, because I think the second Spring Training that they came in they were much more relaxed. Our job is to guard against him trying to do too much and if he gets into a situation where we see that, maybe he doesn’t go quite as long as he was supposed to. But I mean he should be excited and that’s normal. We all went through that. I can remember how excited I was. As you tell players that you’re going to have nerves, that’s a good thing, actually. It’s not a bad thing. It’s adrenaline and you care and you to impress, but we’ve got to make sure they don’t overdo it.”

Here are the lineups:

YANKEES (0-0)
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Chris Young rf
Garrett Jones 1b
Jose Pirela 2b
Austin Romine c
Kyle Roller dh
Jonathan Galvez 3b
Nick Noonan ss

Adam Warren rhp

Probable relievers: Luis Severino rhp, Jacob Lindgren lhp, Branden Pinder rhp, Nick Goody rhp and Diego Moreno rhp.

PHILLIES (0-0)
Ben Revere cf
Freddy Galvis ss
Grady Sizemore lf
Ryan Howard 1b
Carlos Ruiz dh
Domonic Brown rf
Cody Asche 3b
Cesar Hernandez 2b
Cameron Rupp c

Jerome Williams rhp

Here’s how we covered the game: 

Yanks of future make big statements in spring opener

Ellsbury-Gardner tandem could top Yanks’ lineup often

Severino’s battle with Howard opens Yanks’ eyes

Hulking Judge announces presence with force

A-Rod excited for spring debut Wednesday

Versatile Warren an asset to Yanks regardless of role

Photos from Florida: Thursday edition

If you’ve been following along on this blog (or Twitter/Instagram) for the last few seasons, you know that I always pack my digital camera for Spring Training. I’m not a professional by any means, but I enjoy it. Shooting is a fun side project to work on alongside the thousands of words of copy that you can access every day on yankees.com.

With today marking the first official workout for Yankees pitchers and catchers, it’s a good time to share some of what got captured on the memory card this afternoon. I’ve also added some favorite shots from what I’ve been collecting over the previous days of camp, so hopefully you’ll enjoy those too…

Alex Rodriguez issues apology, open letter to fans

Alex Rodriguez issued a handwritten apology and open letter to fans on Tuesday. Below is the typed out statement:

To the Fans,

I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.

I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer
me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.

I served the longest suspension in the history of the League for PED use. The Commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball.

I’m ready to put this chapter behind me and play some ball.

This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager. When I go to Spring training, I will do everything I can to be the best player and teammate possible, earn a spot on the Yankees and help us win.

Sincerely,

Alex

Alex Rodriguez apologizes in meeting with Yankees

As they prepare for Spring Training, Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees had their meeting this afternoon at Yankee Stadium, and according to the team, Rodriguez apologized to the organization for his actions over the last several years. Here is the press release with some details:

FEBRUARY 10, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JOINT STATEMENT FROM:

Hal Steinbrenner, New York Yankees Managing General Partner / Co-Chairperson

Randy Levine, New York Yankees President

Brian Cashman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, General Manager

Jean Afterman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, Assistant General Manager

Alex Rodriguez

Jim Sharp, Legal Counsel to Alex Rodriguez

“Today we held a meeting at Yankee Stadium between Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, Brian Cashman, Jean Afterman, Alex Rodriguez and Jim Sharp. Alex initiated the meeting and apologized to the organization for his actions over the past several years.

“There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training.”

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