Monday, February 12, 2007

Spring Training In The Bronx

The Crown Diner – like most things in the Bronx – goes by more than one name. Ask for the Crown Restaurant, Crown Donuts or just the Crown and you’ll end up at the same place.

But – like all things in the Bronx – this place is never the same. It can go from bleary-eyed drunk to bright and thoughtful while you are still on your first cup of coffee.

It was business as usual on the last Sunday before pitchers and catchers report.

Everyone turns as Javier comes set in the middle of the restaurant.

“Pettitte is even better now,” he says. “More movement on his cutter. He can really dominate righties.”

The cannonball-gutted cab driver stares in before a near perfect imitation of Pettitte’s delivery sends a crumpled paper cup across the room. It hits the leg of a mother eating breakfast with her two children.


She kicks it back and Javier grins.

“I like that Andy’s back.”

There is a lot to like about the New York Yankees this year. They have plenty of young arms to backup the veteran starters. The bullpen is deep and ends with Mariano Rivera. The offense is loaded, the defense is sound and there is always Derek Jeter.

“I wish the season was starting today,” Javier says. “This is our year.”

That’s all anyone needs to know on this day.


Tent Time said...

When you say "the bullpen is deep," who exactly are you referring to? Haven't you learned yet that Farnsworth cannot be trusted to pitch well? The 8th inning could be problematic all year. Not sure what young arms you are speaking of either (besides Hughes of course - don't even mention Karstens and his 16/11 K/BB ratio in 40 innings). Anybody expecting Pettitte to suddently pitch like it's 2000 again is probably going to be disappointed. Like a lot of teams there is potential for a lot of good and a lot of bad. If Mussina and Pettite get hurt (they are not young) the team could be in serious trouble.
And I'm pretty sure at the end of your post you mispelled Rivera's name, because you wrote "there's alawys Derek Jeter" and I'm sure you meant to write Rivera, who is after all the primary reason for Yankee success in the late 90's and since. He's unbelievable and he'll never get the credit that golden has wrongfully been given.

Todd Drew said...

The young arms behind the rotation of:
Chien-Ming Wang
Andy Pettitte
Mike Mussina
Carl Pavano
Kei Igawa

Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Tyler Clippard, Ross Ohlendorf, Steven White, Darrell Rasner and Jeff Karstens.

And coming behind them are:
Joba Chamberlain
Ian Kennedy.

The depth in the bullpen comes from young pitchers as well. Behind:
Mariano Rivera
Kyle Farnsworth
Scott Proctor
Luis Vizcaino
Brian Bruney
Chris Britton
Mike Myers
Ron Villone

T.J. Beam
J. Brent Cox
Kevin Whelan
Sean Henn
Jeff Kennard
Chase Wright

I never forget or misspell Mariano Rivera (read "A Beautiful Mind" and "42" from January), but Derek Jeter is the leader of this team. Period.