March 15th, 2008

The day in quotes

Justin Verlander was philosophical: "Karma was not on my side."

Joba Chamberlain was gushing about the Tigers offense: "That’s a great lineup. You’ve got a lot of talented guys that go deep into counts. They see a lot of pitches. It’s good to see that lineup. It’s one of the best in baseball."

Jim Leyland? He was pretty happy.

"Today, for me, was the best day of the spring," he said. "Because there was no less than five or six guys throwing a ball from 95-98. There were 30 hits and 18 runs. That’s why. So that shows you what baseball’s all about. That 95 don’t mean [squat]. I get sick and tired of hearing about all these good arms [based solely on velocity]. I’ve heard that all my life. Today you saw that. There were no less than five or six, both teams, throwing the ball 95, 97, 98. Some of them went on the building over here. Some of them went next to the building. It just tells you, if you’re watching, that there’s a whole lot more to this than just the good arms and all that. It’s a great example about the art of baseball. It doesn’t mean [squat] how hard you can throw it unless you can locate it and got something else with it."

It’s far from the first time that Leyland has complained about radar guns at spring training games, but usually it was on a day when Joel Zumaya was pitching.

"The fans like it. We try to entertain the fans, so I understand it. But they ought to throw the radar guns out in Spring Training. They don’t mean [squat]."

Opening day lineup returns

It has been brought back out for the Yankees and Joba Chamberlain. Jim Leyland said this morning that he wants to start using that more regularly, as well as some sort of lineup that he’d use against left-handed starters.

For reference, here it is …

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 3B
  6. Guillen, 1B
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Jones, LF

Sorry, no Shelley Duncan on this Yankees split squad. Still, you get …

  1. Johnny Damon, LF
  2. Melky Cabrera, CF
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B
  4. Jason Giambi, DH
  5. Jose Molina, C
  6. Morgan Ensberg, 3B
  7. Jason Lane, RF
  8. Cody Ransom, 1B
  9. Alberto Gonzalez, SS

On the injury front, Fernando Rodney threw another bullpen session this morning. He threw fastballs for about six minutes, or 37 pitches. It appeared that everything went OK.

Clay Rapada, meanwhile, threw a session of batting practice to hitters on one of the side fields.