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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

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Calling it a Career
After 19 seasons in the big leagues, two-time All-Star Al Leiter announced his retirement earlier in the week, ending his career in the same uniform in which it began. Leiter finishes with 162 career wins, a 3.80 ERA, and just short of 2,000 strikeouts. Al Leiter won two World Championships with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins, and he, of course, led the New York Mets to a National League pennant in 2000 before losing to the Yankees in the Subway Series. Leiter was a non-roster invitee this spring, and was hoping to cement a place in the bullpen as a lefty specialist. He decided, after playing in the World Baseball Classic, that he wanted to go out on his own terms, and faced one last batter before calling it a career on Sunday against the Cleveland Indians. Al Leiter has always been a class-act and it's nice to see him ending his career in a Yankee uniform. Don't be surprised to see him in the booth later in the season with either the YES Network or ESPN. Leiter has also expressed an interest in becoming involved with politics, so that's another option for him.

Trouble Brewing for Sheffield
Gary Sheffield has been named in the new book, "Game of Shadows," as a steroid user. Last season, Sheffield admitted to unknowingly using the illegal drugs, but the new explosive book that hits shelves tomorrow claims that Sheffield was an educated user, perfectly aware of what he was doing. When asked about it before today's Spring Training game against the Red Sox, Sheffield merely replied "Nope," when asked to comment. Both Brian Cashman and Joe Torre also refused to make a comment, stating that they had not yet read the contents of the book and therefore had no valid opinion. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this as the days and weeks progress.
Is Stinnett Plotting to Overthrow Posada As Everyday Catcher?
No, of course not, but for the second time in two years, Jorge Posada has suffered a broken nose. Right before Wednesday evening's Spring Training game, Posada and his back-up, Kelly Stinnett, were playing catch on the field when the throw from Stinnett hit Jorge in the face, fracturing his nasal passage. Apparently, Posada was distracted by another pair of teammates playing catch nearby. Jorge will have his nose realigned sometime this evening and be released tomorrow. He is not expected to miss any significant amount of playing time.
Also Worth Mentioning...
- The Rivalry Begins: Wednesday's game at Legends Field against the Red Sox was a typical meeting between the two teams; it's only March, yet controversy is brewing already. Derek Jeter was hit in the back by a David Riske pitch in the seventh, and Red Sox batters J.T. Snow and Mike Lowell were later plunked by former Sox player Mike Myers and Massachusetts native Tanyon Sturtze. Sturtze was issued a warning after hitting Lowell with his first pitch of the eighth inning.
"I was trying to go fastball in and I just got it in too deep," Sturtze said. "I don't care who gets upset about it. I'm still trying to work on my command; I've been struggling this whole spring."
Shortly after addressing the Boston media, Red Sox manager Terry Francona declined further comment to Yankee writers. "Can't read somebody's mind," Francona replied angrily. "You'll have to ask him."
- Brokeback Carl: Yankees disaster Carl Pavano threw live batting practice Wednesday, issuing 35 pitches in limited work. Apparently, his outing was the best he's had all spring, and he's confident that he'll be ready soon. That is, if he doesn't get too tired. (Can you tell I'm not a Pavano fan? Sorry, but I can't even pretend to like the guy!)
- An Old Friend Returns: While Wednesday's game against the Red Sox was about as good and exciting as a Spring Training game gets, the 5-4 Yankees victory was not even the best part. Nor was Bernie Williams' monstrous homerun or the fact that Manny Ramirez was wearing number 95 because he forgot his uniform ("Just Manny Being Manny"). No, the best part of the game was when the public address announcer introduced "former Yankee" Tino Martinez to throw out the first pitch of the ballgame. Fan favorite Martinez got a standing ovation and threw what looked to be a very effective sinker. As I've mentioned before, Tino will be joining the cast of ESPN's Baseball Tonight.
And on that note, I will end this entry. Again, I apologize for my lack of recent updates, but I've been busy with schoolwork. I'll do my best to keep this as recent and relevant as possible, though, so PLEASE keep reading!


Anonymous said...

Nice update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. I've missed your updates!

Anonymous said...

Goodbye to leiter, to bad about sheff, and ouch jorge

stuart scott said...

boo ya

Jimi Hiendrichson said...

Lara, Ok, I am OFFICALLY heart-broken! Alois is GONE! I don't think I could be more UPSET right now. I need a LITTLE tenderness ...some COMFORT! As you may or may not know, GERMANS can be quite sensitive and as you may or may not know happen to be GERMAN! I know YOU and I as well as MILLIONS of BASEBALL fans around the WORLD will miss this AMAZING man. Good LUCK to you Mr. Leiter...good luck