The Yankees, thousands of fans and tens of thousands of reporters descended on Legends Field in the South-South Bronx today for the Yanks first day of full camp. Jeter responded to A-Rod's ill-conceived comments, the media got itself all worked up, and the Yanks took the field.
The LoHud Yankees blog has extensive coverage of the Yanks Spring Training, including audio from Joe Torre, Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter. This camp is looking more and more like a soap opera, but there is a little bit of actual baseball news to be culled from the Gawker-like coverage. For example, working out at first base today were Jason Giambi, Doug Mientkiewicz and Andy Phillips. No surprise there, but I was hoping Matsui would be getting some reps.
Most notable is a small excerpt about A-Rod, not involving his sick obsession with Jeter. Peter Abraham writes that A-Rod has dropped 12 pounds, looks more limber in the field and is planning to steal more bases this year. Excellent news on all accounts. Something that's been lost amid all of his psychological problems is that A-Rod is an extremely hard worker. It's good to see that he was focused in the off season and the media maelstrom hasn't beaten him down to the point where he can't function.
Even if you're in the "Get A-Rod the Hell Out of Here While You Can Still Get Something For Him" camp, which I most certainly am, you have to give the guy some credit for how hard he works at his game. It's just a shame that there's no exercise to build up intestinal fortitude. If he really is faster this year, I guess Torre could resurrect the Homer Bush pinch-runner-extraordinaire role for A-Rod come playoff time. I miss having speed off the bench.