Big League Stew contributor David Brown continued his spring swing through Florida's Grapefruit League on Wednesday with a stop at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa to greet the 27-time World Series champions. Check back throughout the day for reports on the Yanks, and follow Dave's Twitter feed for updates on what's happening Thursday from Phillies HQ in Clearwater.
Good morning, Gotham City Stewies!
Can't an 84-year-old man get through a spring training without enduring shenanigans from that Derek Jeter(notes) hooligan? And in front of the new guy, Curtis Granderson(notes), no less? Not in the case of Yogi Berra, a legendary Yankees player who helps out every spring as a coach emeritus.
Not to sound like one of — what do you call them? — one of them Yankees fans, but seeing the old-timer interact with the younger folk is one of those "little highlights" that make spring training so memorable. Well, I hope Granderson was taking notes, because one can observe a lot by watching. And because Jeter won't be around forever to tease the old man.
Granderson had a lot to take in during the first day of full-squad workouts. Not quite sure where to go for what (teams use multiple fields for practice during drills), Granderson was constantly running around, picking up his glove and bat and helmet, putting them down, checking with a coach, picking up his stuff, setting it down again and double-checking with another coach (Tony Pena(notes)). It was funny to watch the guy spin his wheels a little. So eager to please!
"It's kind of like the first day of school all over again," Granderson said. "There's a bunch of names that if you quiz me right now, I'll forget them, but that's part of it. You've got to adapt and adjust and learn everybody. That's all part of the process."
Also for Granderson, so is an adjustment to wearing contact lenses. Will it help him against lefties?
* * *
A TV reporter asked Granderson about the New York Times report that Major League Baseball was going to test for HGH in the minors. I was impressed with Grandy's answer.
"The first thing, no matter what ends up happening, I'm all about keeping the game as clean as possible," Granderson said. "But at the same time research also needs to be done to make sure we're doing the most accurate testing.
"And testing for the [right] substances. The last studies I've heard, HGH isn't really causing the effects that [anti-HGH] people think it is."
* * *
"... and the funny thing about it was, I never, ever slid when I played. What do I know from sliding?"