By Jon Lane
It’s been said that March comes in like a lion. This beast is the king of the jungle. While the Yankees prep for another Spring Training game in sunny Florida, the New York metropolitan area is being belted with up to 14 inches of snow. Right now the temperature is 25 degrees and will top out at 26. In Tampa it’s 50 with an expected high of 59.
“Winter Wonderland” is a pop standard written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (composer) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). That duo obviously had a bit too much to drink. Memo to Jack Frost: The harder you hit, the more we look forward to spring, summer and baseball that much more.
The Yankees travel to Kissimmee (Disney World) to play the Houston Astros at 2-3 on the Grapefruit season. Peter Abraham posted today’s lineups and reports that CC Sabathia will throw roughly 25 pitches in a simulated game.
Johnny Damon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Cody Ransom SS
Jose Molina C
Juan Miranda 1B
Angel Berroa 2B
Doug Bernier 3B
The main story is Chien-Ming Wang pitching in his first game since he tore a ligament and tendon in his right foot while running the bases against the Astros last June. Wang has been making fine progress and is lined up to be the Yankees’ No. 2 starter between Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Not a bad choice. He won a combined 38 games in 2006 and ’07 (19 each).
Over the weekend, Joba Chamberlain experimented with a four-seam fastball on Saturday. Jorge Posada was a late scratch from that game as a precaution with tightness in that surgically-repaired right shoulder, but will play long toss before today’s game. Lastly, Alex Rodriguez met with officials from Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations and Labor Relations Department to discuss his past steroid use. A statement released by MLB deemed A-Rod “cooperative” before he left to join the the Dominican Republic team of the World Baseball Classic. Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte joined A-Rod, Francisco Cervelli will play for Italy, and Derek Jeter for the United States.
I’ll be back later with random observations via the Astros radio broadcast.