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Nick Johnson, Curtis Granderson, Jason Bay, Jose Reyes and HGH

Well, the lamest excuse in the history of the blogosphere is over. I received my power cord yesterday, so let's go!

Having gone three days without any serious blogging...I don't have any grand theories. Just want to catch up:

--I wrote my column today on Nick Johnson, and how his 2010 season will be compared endlessly to that of Hideki Matsui.

As I detailed in the column, that's actually an oversimplification of the issue. The reality is that the Yankees had to make two quick value judgments this offseason. The first was Matsui vs. the possibility of signing Johnny Damon, and the Yankees opted for the latter, letting Matsui sign with the Angels.

The second, just four days later, was the possibility of signing Damon vs. signing Johnson, and this time, wary that they would get strung along by Damon and Scott Boras, they went with Johnson.

The right calls? Given both the timing and the dollar amounts, yes, I think the Yankees made the right call. Look, I know it sounds cynical, but Johnson did manage to stay relatively healthy last year, when he was playing for a new contract. He'll be playing for a new contract again this year. And Matsui, it's easy to forget, failed to pass the 100-game mark in both 2006 and 2008.

Bob Klapisch also wrote about Johnson.

--Mark Teixeira arrived and said some stuff, but what occurred to me is, "Is there a more highly paid player in the game who generates less buzz?" I think it's just that Teixeira, to his credit, tends to say predictable stuff, while he lacks the Q rating of today's speaker Derek Jeter and tomorrow's Alex Rodriguez, not to mention Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia.

--In an interview with Sirius XM MLB Home Plate's Jim Bowden and Jody McDonald, Brian Cashman said of Curtis Granderson, "He's our centerfielder," and River Ave. Blues interprets that to mean that...Granderson will be the Yankees' centerfielder.

Eh. I think Cashman was just paying his respects to Granderson. The Yankees have been discussing the notion of playing Granderson in leftfield and Brett Gardner in centerfielder since the very day they acquired Granderson - I mentioned it but actually underplayed it in my blog post from the day the trade was completed - and Joe Girardi made a point of reaching out to Granderson before spring training even began to discuss Granderson shifting to leftfield.

Thanks to Rob Neyer's blog for the link.

--Jason Bay showed up at Mets camp and discussed curling, among other items. I do think that Bay, in addition to being a very good hitter, can help the Mets clubhouse be a happier place. He enjoys speaking with the media, and through his professional travels, he already has relationships with teammates like Jose Reyes (they played together in the Mets' minor-league system), Oliver Perez (they were traded together from San Diego to Pittsburgh for Brian Giles) and Alex Cora (they played together in Boston).

Can that make Perez pitch better, or Mike Pelfrey, or John Maine? Nope. And I always thought the Mets' clubhouse was never as bad as reported. But certainly, the Mets could use a little more sunshine.

--Jose Reyes has new, fitted shoes, David Lennon reports.

--So let me get this straight: WADA has been issuing HGH tests since 2004, and a positive test just emerged after six years, and that means baseball should dive head-first into blood testing for HGH?

That's what my colleague John Jennsonne thinks. I say, certainly look into this positive case. But it's a huge deal, huge, to test employee' blood, to open them up with needles. Much more invasive than a urine test. It's not something that should be taken lightly.

When you throw in the fact that no one can really agree on the sort of impact that HGH by itself - not HGH mixed with steroids - has, I say there's no need to dive into anything. Sure, it would be nice to know which of the players are taking HGH. But if and when baseball tests for that, won't the players and their respective chemists just come up with something else.

We'll never fully eradicate cheating in baseball, or in any forum in the world that involves competition. And despite knowing that, I'll sleep very well tonight.

--Good piece here by Alex Speier of WEEI, explaining that the Red Sox might not necessarily trade Mike Lowell. Thanks to Twitter for the link.

--Tom Verducci identifies 13 interesting non-roster players. Thanks to MLBTradeRumors for the link.

--Self-promotion alert: For the blog's many, many readers in the Albany area, I'll be on Fox Sports 980 at 9:30 this morning, with Rodger Wyland.

I'll check back later. Derek Jeter is holding a news conference this morning to discuss his contract situation.








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