TAMPA, Fla. -- Brian Cashman said very little about his off-the-field issues when pitchers and catchers reported to camp, and Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner didn't add much to the narrative Thursday. But he did reiterate the organization's support for the general manager.
"I'm not going to get into personal situations of employees. That's just not Yankee business," Steinbrenner said in his first public comments on the matter. "I can only say we're here to support him and he knows that."
Cashman helped the police last month in a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of Louise Neathway, who was charged with harassment and extortion. Neathway, who is being held at Rikers Island, has denied the charges through her attorneys.
This year, Joe Girardi improvised. In the past, he took his team to a pool hall and video arcade as team-bonding activities during spring training. On Thursday the Yankees went to Tampa Improv in Ybor City to, well, do some improv.
"I saw Tex [Mark Teixeira] today in a way that I could have never imagined," Ivan Nova told a pool reporter afterward. "You should have seen him! I couldn't stop smiling. It made me think about how we come from so many different places to become teammates and friends."
The team had a short workout before boarding buses at 11:15 a.m. "I'm not looking for them to be uncomfortable," Girardi said before the team left. "I'm looking for them to interact and have fun. It's all intermingled here, guys who have been here a long time with guys who are in their first year of camp . . . If [younger players] do walk through that door April, May, June, July, they're comfortable and they've had conversations with guys that maybe last year they didn't."
Robinson Cano returned to camp after attending the funeral of his grandmother, who died at 91 of cancer. "She used to always say I'm proud of you and stuff like that," Cano said. "It's tough when you lose someone you're very close to."