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Hey! My name is Zachary and this is my site, Yankee Mania, where I explore the games, players, and transactions of the greatest team in baseball. Hated by some but loved by others, the New York Yankees have dominated the world of sports for over a century. This year I follow their noble quest to win yet another World Series Championship. Click here to send me an email!

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Wednesday January, 31 2007.
Yanks to Host 2008 All Star Game
By mvyb, 11:47

According to Major League Baseball, the House That Ruth Built will host the 2008 All Star game in the final year of its major league life. This will be only the second All Star game ever to be played in the Stadium, the last event coming in 1977.
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Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the 2008 All-Star Game will be hosted by the Yankees at Yankee Stadium next July. The announcement was made in a press conference at City Hall attended by Commissioner Bud Selig, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Steve Swindal, a Yankees general partner sitting in for George Steinbrenner, the team's longtime principal owner.

"It is always a great honor for a team's home stadium to serve as host for the All-Star Game, and the Yankees are proud and delighted to have been selected for the honor in 2008," Steinbrenner, the team's owner since 1973, said in a statement. "It will be one of many historic moments in the 2008 season as we say goodbye to a great facility."

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In my lifetime, I've never seen an All Star game played in Yankee Stadium, so I'm really looking forward to this. It'll be a very bitter-sweet way for many to say goodbye to the House That Ruth Built.

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Tuesday January, 30 2007.
Baseball Trivia Question #3
By mvyb, 14:49

The answer to yesterday's question was.... no, not Barry Bonds (he finished second), but Jeff Kent of the San Fransisco Giants. Kent batted .334 with 33 homers, 125 RBI, and 41 doubles in 2000.
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Today's question:
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Who is the only player to hit at least 30 home runs in his first four major league seasons?
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I'll post the answer tomorrow...

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Yanks Partner with China; Helton Will Not Be Traded to Boston
By mvyb, 14:39

After flying over two continents and an ocean, Yankee officials have reached a landmark agreement with the People's Republic of China.
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The New York Yankees and the Chinese Baseball Association held a press conference today in Beijing, China to announce a landmark Memorandum of Understanding that for the first time formalizes a strategic alliance between a Major League Baseball Club and the Chinese Baseball Association.

The Agreement, subject to Major League Baseball’s rules, regulations and agreements pertaining to The People’s Republic of China, states that the Yankees will provide the CBA with guidance in training baseball players, which will include sending staff (coaches, player development, scouting and training personnel) to China to assist the CBA. The partnership will also allow the CBA to send staff to the Yankees’ facilities in the United States in furtherance of those goals.

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Among the men working out this deal were NYY Team President Randy Levine,  General Manager Brian Cashman, Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman, and Michael Tusiani, Vice President of Corporate Sales and Sponsorship.
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The results of this deal could be very beneficial for the Yankees, sometime down the road. New York will be able to grab China's top prospects and ship them straight to Florida and into pinstripes. For more on this story head over to the The Journal News.
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Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort announced Monday night that talks with the Red Sox regarding a possible trade of first baseman Todd Helton had broken off. The club's two-paragraph statement said, "There will be no further discussions."

The fact the teams were talking went public during the weekend, but Monfort told MLB.com that "it seems like one percent of all deals get made." Immediately thereafter, media reports surfaced noting sticking points, such as the players the Rockies would receive from the Red Sox and the amount of the $90.1 million Helton is owed for the next five seasons that Colorado would pay.

So instead of heading to Boston, Helton is being counted on by the Rockies -- as he has been since breaking in late in the 1997 season -- as Spring Training approaches.

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The Rockies and BoSox have a somewhat tense relationship, so I'm not really that surprised the deal fell through. But I am very happy Bronx pitchers won't have to face him this year...

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Monday January, 29 2007.
Baseball Trivia Question #2
By mvyb, 11:22

The answer to yesterday's question, is indeed Whitey Ford. Nice job, AJ! Ford pitched in a record 22 World Series games (all with the Yankees), and established a 10-8 record with a 2.71 ERA.
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Today's question:
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Who won the 2000 National League MVP award?
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I'll post the answer tomorrow...

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Friday January, 26 2007.
Daily Baseball Trivia
By mvyb, 13:22

In an effort to get more visitors, Yankee Mania will now publish daily baseball trivia questions to go along with the usual posts. I won't be able to keep the questions on the the Yankees all the time, so the questions will be related to any MLB team (from any year).
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The trivia answers will be published the following day, along with a new question to puzzle over.
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And no cheating...let's see if you'all can get these questions correct using the baseball knowlege stuffed in your head.
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Question #1
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What major league pitcher has the most World Series victories?
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Answer will be up tomorrow...

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Wednesday January, 24 2007.
Nettles: A-Rod Needs to Step Up
By mvyb, 12:27

New York Yankee veterans agreed on Tuesday that the Bronx Bombers needed Alex Rodriguez to rise to the occasion in the postseason to help them return to World Series glory in 2007.
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The 1977 Yankees were honored on the 30th anniversary of their World Series triumph along with current Yankees catcher Jorge Posada and Detroit Tigers' Sean Casey at the 18th annual B.A.T. (Baseball Assistance Team) dinner benefiting financially strapped former players.
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"They got an All-Star at every position. They should do well," said Graig Nettles, a power-hitter and dazzling third baseman for the Yanks in the 1970s when they reached three World Series in a row and won back-to-back titles in 1977-78.

"A-Rod, he needs to get over that hump. He needs to have a good postseason," Nettles told Reuters.

"He puts up good numbers during the season. If he just continues that during the postseason I think the fans in New York would embrace him and love him."

Jim Leyritz, a hero of the 1996 Yankees World Series triumph over the Atlanta Braves  said theories about A-Rod suffering from lack of support in the clubhouse were unfounded.

"Hopefully the things with A-Rod last year will take care of themselves," he said.

"A-Rod has to make the adjustment himself to get used to playing in New York City."

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A-Rod has heard this "advice" for about three years now, and nothing has drastically changed when it comes to his postseason play. Of course, I hope he'll be able to perform at a higher level this postseason, but I'm beginning to think that Rodriguez never will. I mean, maybe this is just who he, as a player, is. Maybe he's a guy who can (obviously) pound the ball and drive in runs when he isn't under too much stress. But when it comes to the postseason, maybe Alex just doesn't have the stamina that guys like Jeter have.
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If this really is the case, perhaps it's time for other players, like Hideki Matsui ( .250 BA in 2006 postseason), Jason Giambi ( .125 BA in 2006 postseason), Robinson Cano ( .133 BA in 2006 postseason), and Johnny Damon ( .235 BA in 2006 postseason) to really step up in October. Maybe Yankee fans would be smarter if they shifted focus and attention to the players around Rodriguez. Not only would this take stress off A-Rod (allowing him to play better), but it might also motivate his teammates to step up when the games really mattered.

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Tuesday January, 23 2007.
Cano Sheds Number in Hopes of Clemens' Return
By mvyb, 13:09

If Roger Clemens returns to the Yankees later this year, his old uniform will be waiting for him.

All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano has volunteered to give up his No. 22 for this season, according to a Yankees official, likely anticipating the possibility that Clemens will arrive in the Bronx to reclaim it at some point.

"I was happy to give up the number to a future Hall of Famer if he comes aboard," Cano said in a statement printed Tuesday in the New York Post. "Hopefully, he will be one of my teammates; I'll have the pleasure of playing with him."

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So, the Yankees seem to be very eager to get the Rocket back in pinstripes, which means we'll probably see contract talks in the upcoming month. The Astros and Red Sox will be the other teams trying to coax the future Hall of Famer on to their team.

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Monday January, 22 2007.
Super Bowl XLI: Colts v. Bears
By mvyb, 10:43

With the baseball offseason being particularly boring, a baseball fan has no choice but to turn to football for a few months. Now, I'm not a big football junkie, but last night's Patriots v. Colts was a tremendous game.
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With the Colts down 21-3, I thought their cause was lost and the Patriots were back in the Super Bowl for the millionth time this decade. But no... Peyton Manning and his crew had other plans, as they scored 18 unopposed points to tie the game. Then (after falling behind again), they landed the game-winning touchdown with only 54 seconds on the clock.
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Manning, the Alex Rodriguez of football, will now be able to silence his critics once and for all with a win in the Bowl. And maybe this is a sign of things to come this year... Heck, if Manning can win the Super Bowl, why can't A-Rod lead the Yanks to a World Series title?

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Friday January, 19 2007.
MLB 06: The Show
By mvyb, 13:09

Why, with Yankee GM, Brian Cashman, on vacation, you shouldn't be too surprised that nothing is happening up in the Bronx headquarters. Rumors, speculations, yada, yada, yada... Nothing is going on, nor will go on till Cashman returns. So, I'm thinking to myself this morning, "what can I possibly talk about today?" And then I glanced over at my beautiful Playstation 2, and my brand new MLB 06: The Show...and thought, "well, I might as well give it a shot."
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MLB 06: The Show came out on February 28th of last year, but I actually didn't get it until Christmas. But anyway, to the review...
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The game comes with several cool modes of play, some which we've never seen before in a video game:
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Rivalry Mode:
Which lets you play mutli-game rivalries between several players. You just need to go to MLB 06 The Show online, and register.
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King of the Diamond:
Pitchers v. batters in the ultimate showdown. Whoever garners the most points in the set time, is the winner.
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Career Mode:
This is my favorite game mode. You can customize your player (height, build, hair color, eye color, name, age, speed, power, fielding ability, etc...) and begin his career. You start off in the minor leagues, and after playing 60 games you can ask your coaches for a promotion. Pretty soon you'll see your player in the lineup of your favorite major league team. How cool is that? There's a ton of stuff to do here, from signing contracts to asking to be traded.
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Franchise Mode:
You run the ballclub. Everything.  Promotional nights, to vending machines, to player transactions, team transportation, and rehab facilities.
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Season Mode:
 In this mode you can play, manage, or simulate your ballclub's season. (In the Yankee season) You start off with the season opener in Oakland, and can play such memorable series as the five-game series in Boston and several huge subway series against the Mets. If you win your division, you'll be headed for the playoffs!
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Home Run Derby:
Create a lineup of powerful sluggers, and swing away.
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MLB 06: The Show has tremendous graphics and detailed designs. For instance, we see the familiar giant red and yellow sign (W.B. Mason in the real world) on the right field wall of Yankee Stadium, we see the giant monster in Fenway Park, we have ivy in Wrigley Field, and a giant scoreboard in left-field stands of Detroit. The players are brilliant, each one looking like the player he's supposed to be. Matsui holds the bat off his shoulder, Jeter taps the plate with his bat, Bernie squats over, Sheffield wags his bat, A-Rod hits into double plays, and Kelly Stinnet still can't hit a thing. The commentators are frighteningly realistic, although eventually they do get a bit repetitive, "If there's one guy in this lineup you don't want to mess around with, this guy's the one."
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You have a ton of control over the gameplay (especially in Career Mode). As the hometeam (let's say the Yankees), your guys take the field first. You become the pitcher and get to set the target (with the directional controls) and the speed of your pitch. As soon as the ball is put into play, you becoming the closest fielder. If you are the shortstop, you must guide Jeter to the ball, field it, and fire to the appropriate base. ( I had a bit of difficulty with this. I ended up throwing home a lot even though the runner was headed to first.) If you're an outfielder, you need to get over to the ball, catch it, and, if necessary, throw to the appropriate base. Your turn to bat. Damon leads off, and you can either hit, attempt to walk, or lay down a bunt. It's intensely difficult to hit a homer as the non-power hitters (like Damon, Williams, Abreu, and even Posada), but as Giambi or A-Rod, you'll end up homering at least once a game.
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Strategy is big part of this game, and crucial to victory. As the player or manager you can execute hit-and-runs, sacrifice squeezes, stealing home, intentional walking, picking off base-runners, and taking trips to the mound. If you get careless as the pitcher, you'll end up releasing a wild pitch or even hitting the batter (which I might do on purpose if I'm playing a certain team from Beantown).
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I can only think of a few things to complain about, and seeing that it wouldn't be a legitimate review with out some negativity, I'll name the problems I had with the game. First of all, no matter how many times you hit a batter or batters on a team, there will never be a brawl. :) I experimented one day, and hit 50 consecutive Red Sox batters. Oh, the commentators griped and the Red Sox players aimed their bats at my head when they took first base, but there was no brawl or ejection. In fact, you can't ever purposely get yourself ejected (some players do get ejected during cinimaxes). Another thing- way too many wild pitches. Oh, and bullpen usage stinks. When you play the game, Torre sends out the new pitchers. Like in real life (well, sometimes), he makes terrible choices. (Myers for the ninth, Small for the fifth, Farnsworth for the seventh, and no Proctor usage except in blowouts).
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But other then these minor things, I really enjoy MLB 06:The Show. It's everything a baseball fan could want in a game- pitching, fielding, hitting, managing, business transactions, etc... Game-winning home runs are thrilling, and defensive-blunders are irritating, just like in real life.  And that's the word that describes this game best: "real". If you like baseball, you'll love MLB 06: The Show.
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Rating: 9.5/10

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Thursday January, 18 2007.
Will Bernie Return?
By mvyb, 10:14

The Yankees haven't made a final decision regarding Bernie Williams, a source told The Post yesterday afternoon. But that doesn't mean Williams will be back since there is little room for him on the 2007 roster as it currently stands.

Williams' agent, Scott Boras, did not return phone calls yesterday, and GM Brian Cashman is on vacation this week. However, the source believed Cashman was still having dialogue with Boras and the Yankee GM may have even spoken with the 38-year-old Williams directly at some point this winter.

In September, Williams told SI.com he might retire to pursue a music career.

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You really wonder where Bernie's spot on this team is, especially now that the Yankees have Melky Cabrera as the fourth outfielder. I have the utmost respect for Bernie Williams (he was one of my favorite players in the 90's empire), and I rooted whole-heartedly for his coming back to play in the Bronx last offseason. But with the growing talent of Cabrera, I don't really see a place for Williams on this team.
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We know he wants to pursue music, and I say go for it. He will always be remembered and reverenced as the Yankee star he once was, but he shouldn't, in my opinion, push his career any farther.
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Wednesday January, 17 2007.
New Blog Header
By mvyb, 15:07

So, what do you think of the new blog header? It took me several months to figure how to install a new header in Beeplog's intensely confusing blog template, but once I did, it took me no time to design a header using the only photo program I have (EZ Photo- that's right, nothing fancy).
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The photo is NYC at night (the picture was actually taken during the skylight tribute to 9/11) with the white-blueish blog title pasted on. Not too bad, I hope.
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Well, at least it isn't as bad as it was before...

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Yanks Agree to One-Year Deal with Vizcaino
By mvyb, 10:03

The New York Yankees agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Luis Vizcaino on Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration.

Vizcaino, 32, will earn $3 million in 2007, according to the Associated Press.

Vizcaino was acquired on Jan. 9 from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Randy Johnson trade. He has been projected as a major part of the Yankees' 2007 bullpen setup, slotting anywhere from the sixth to the eighth inning.

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Vizcaino is a decent middle-relief pitcher, who does a good job retiring batters from both sides of the plate. He has a good strikeout pitch (72 K's in 65 inn last year), but he will get burned by the occasional long ball. So unless he really shines in New York, I can't see him as anything but a 5th-6th inning guy.
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And of course, as the YesNetwork blog points out, we could see Torre blow his arm off like the skipper did last year with Proctor:
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Luis Vizcaino, throws hard, gets the strikeouts, and, as we discussed yesterday, gets burned on the home run quite frequently. It's not an Arizona park effect, it's not a Milwaukee park effect, it's just who he is. I can foresee a couple of outcomes for Vizcaino, including a repeat of 2003's Juan Acevedo story in which he gets a few save opportunities, blows a couple in dramatic fashion, and is put on the first train out of town. Alternatively, he could also pitch quite well in April. Joe Torre will fall in love with him, using him 26 times in 30 days, and fail to notice as fatigue and overexposure slowly destroy him. By June the Yankees will be wondering what's wrong with him, and by July they'll be trying J.B. Cox in his spot.
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The good news is: if Torre tries to blow Vizcaino's arm off, he won't have as much opportunity to kill poor Scott. Vizcaino might have to be the hero here- take some blows for the greater good.

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Tuesday January, 16 2007.
Mets Sign Contract with Former Yankee, Sierra
By mvyb, 12:58

Rubén Sierra is batting in the ninth inning of a game against Texas, the last game before the All-Star Game last July. Minnesota is down by three runs with a runner on second base, two out and Joe Mauer on deck. Ignoring a take sign, Sierra swings at what might be ball four and misses, then strikes out for the final out.

How can you not like a guy like this?

The Twins released Sierra the day after that game, and the Mets wanted to sign him to a minor league contract last August with the understanding that they would recall him in September when rosters expanded. But Sierra’s mother had had a series of medical problems and he opted to take care of her instead of playing.

The Mets continue to believe in Sierra’s goodness and are in the process of negotiating that minor league contract with him.

“We haven’t finalized anything yet, but that’s probably what will happen,” Sierra’s agent, Chuck Berry, said yesterday.

The Mets have no immediate plans for Sierra, a 41-year-old outfielder, to make the major league team out of spring training, but he will be in their system if the need arises for a veteran hitter. In the meantime, he will be able to help the Mets’ young players.

“With the Yankees, he was known as something of a mentor working with younger kids and it was the same way in Texas,” Berry said. “People in those organizations appreciate how he has taken to helping kids.”

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This is a really good article on Sierra and his interesting career. I liked Sierra when he was with the Bombers (memories of his big 2004 homers on July 24 against the BoSox, July 22 against Toronto, August 28 against the Jays, and August 13 versus the M's come to mind).
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The only reason I'm blogging about this, is that he was a former Yankee, and there isn't really anything else to talk about. All quiet on the western front.

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Saturday January, 13 2007.
Yanks Invite 21 Non-Roster Players to Spring Training
By mvyb, 14:59

Philip Hughes is just one of many players to keep an eye on during Spring Training this March. Hughes, the Yankee top prospect, was 10-3 with a crisp 2.25 ERA in 116 innings of work in Double-A Trenton last season. The right-handed starter may see some time in the Bronx rotation during the regular season (especially if Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa fail to throw the ball effectively).
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Other pitchers invited to spring training include: Steve Jackson and Ross Ohlendorf  (acquired from the D'Backs), Kevin Whelan (came over in the Sheffield trade), Tyler Clippard, Steven White, and Ben Kozlowski.
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And since Cashman decided not to go after a backup catcher, the Yanks will be closely watching the six non-roster catchers who were invited. Raul Chavez, Ben Davis,  Todd Pratt, Francisco Cervelli, P.J. Pilittere and Omir Santos will all be competing for the position that Wil Nieves is assumed to be holding.
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Andy Cannizaro, who hit his first major league homer last year against the D'Rays, will be one of five infielders to play to arrive at camp. The others are Angel Chavez, Eric Duncan (not much heard about him lately), Ramiro Pena and Marcos Vechionacci. Only two outfielders were invited: leadoff-hitter Brett Gardner (who stole 58 bases last year) and Jose Tabata (second-best prospect in the Yankee farm system).

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Friday January, 12 2007.
Yankees Very Interested in Clemens
By mvyb, 11:45

Now that they have Andy Pettitte, the New York Yankees want Roger Clemens, too.
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"He's kind of like your perfect employee," general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday after welcoming Andy Pettitte back to Yankee Stadium.
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"If Roger is interested in coming to New York, I'd love to talk to him," Cashman said. "He came in here and not only delivered a huge performance on the field but had a major impact within the clubhouse."
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Pettitte has played golf with Clemens in recent weeks. He wouldn't say exactly what his buddy told him, but he dropped a few hints.
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"After speaking with him, it sounds like that he probably wants to try to pitch. It's amazing to me that he still wants to pitch, but he does," Pettitte said, laughing. "He's like he's 20. So he's just got an unbelievable amount of energy."
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Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Roger Clemens, and Mike Mussina all in the same rotation? How sweet would that be???

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