Today was the day that the entire Yankee Squad reported to Tampa. It is an exciting day for baseball fans, and more specifically Yankee fans. Prior to a cruise vacation in the spring of 2004, I had the chance to go to a Yankee spring training game. It was a truly unique experience. The closest way to describe it would be major league baseball in a minor league setting and venue. It was great to look 50 or so feet over my shoulder and see George Steinbrenner sitting in his box. The managers approach is different as well. They sit on a lawn chair on the warning track along the side of the dugout. It was truly a unique experience especially considering the morning of the game, I boarded a plane in 30 degrees, and enjoyed a night game in Florida in my shorts!
This year however, there is a dark cloud over spring training. It is called the WBC or World Baseball Classic. This event organized by Commissioner Bud Selig is a joke! It is dismantling teams in March. It is breaking up the spring training, and if someone should get hurt, it could cause major problems once the season starts. There are a few Yankees signed up to play in the WBC. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Bernie Williams, Miguel Cairo, and Johnny Damon. Fortunately, there are no pitchers participating. I am against this for the aforementioned injury issue as well as the team dynamic issue. It isn't good to break up a team two weeks before coming North.
Well, that is my soapbox for the day. I really hope no one gets hurt in the WBC. Oh, I heard some interesting news today about the team 87 miles north of here. The Red Sox have excused disgruntled left fielder Manny Ramirez from Spring training until March 1st. He truly is an idiot and a disgrace to the game of baseball. This only goes to show what a classless clown he truly is.