Goodness, it has just been consistently beautiful weather since I got down here. Day 8 now.
How are things up in New York?
Anyway, Alex Rodriguez spoke after today's workout, and as he sat down at a table in the pavillion where the Yankees conduct news conferences here, he smiled and asked, "Did anyone watch the Super Bowl?"
Yes, he was in good spirits. He denied the report that he called Fox to complain about the famous "Popcorn shot," and I believe him. I've heard the same thing from two other sources now. As A-Rod told one friend, when the report emerged, "I was sitting with the President (George W. Bush). If I was worried about being on camera, I would've sat somewhere else."
Otherwise, there was much talk about his improved physical condition, and how his last few seasons "aren't acceptable." As we discussed this morning, I think A-Rod will put up a better 2011 than 2010, and maybe even 2009.
--Andrew Brackman excited Joe Girardi with a strong batting-practice session.
--The New York Times produced yet another damning story about the Mets ownership. The details here are amazing. People whom Sterling Equities recruited to invest with Bernard Madoff weren't allowed to speak with Madoff? In what universe does this pass the smell test?
--Terry Collins is going to lay down a harder line on the Mets' card games, Mike Puma reports for the New York Post. Not a bad thought.
--Great column by Tom Boswell of The Washington Post about Livan Hernandez.
--Have a great day.
--UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Well, Hank Steinbrenner spoke to a handful of reporters, including Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (linked here) and Mark Didtler of the Associated Press, and wow, he does not come off as a genius.
Yes, there will be a push from the Yankees, Red Sox and others to tweak the revenue-sharing formula in the upcoming negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement, but it's not like revenue sharing will be eliminated. "Socialism"? "Communism"? Really? The Yankees won't sell out their stadium by playing intra-squad games. They need opponents.
Furthermore, when you weigh Hank Steinbrenner's actual contributions toward the Yankees against the moneys he has taken for personal usage, wouldn't his cut constitute "revenue sharing"?
Then the nonsense about the "hunger" from 2009 returning: The Yankees fell two wins short of qualifying for the World Series last year. The reason was a lack of hunger? It wasn't Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis or Josh Hamilton?
And of course the "building mansions" comment, obviously directed toward Derek Jeter. What's up with that? What in the world would make him believe that Jeter's problem last year was that he was thinking too much about his new house?
Ay yi yi.