Another mostly quiet day Tuesday morning at the minor league complex but that will change tomorrow when pitchers and catchers officially report. We'll be over at Steinbrenner Field in the clubhouse for that and then, at noon, Joe Girardi will address the media to officially kick things off.
Among the players showing up today in Tampa for the first time this spring: Ramiro Pena, Javier Vazquez and Nick Johnson. The latter two we only heard were at the complex and did not actually see on the field at any point in the morning. Among those we saw throwing, fielding or taking batting practice were Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Eduardo Nunez, Francisco Cervelli and Pena. Among the pitchers playing catch: Joba Chamberlain, A.J. Burnett, Alfredo Aceves, Boone Logan, Dave Robertson and Sabathia. Hitting coach Kevin Long also made his first appearance of the spring.
Anyway, back to Sabathia. Beside wanting to again experience the feeling of winning the World Series as motivation to stay hungry during the year, he mentioned something else.
"I go back to Mo and Jete and that Core Four," Sabathia said, a reference to Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. "Those guys stay hungry after five rings and they come in and they're excited to get to the ballpark everyday and they want to play everyday, it kind of rubs off on the whole team. We definitely look to those guys for leadership and we’ll look for them this year to lead us again."
Sabathia also discussed one of his new teammates, Granderson, who knows from the pair's days in the AL Central.
"He’s going to be a great ballplayer for us," Sabathia said. "Hopefully he’ll hit like 50 home runs in our stadium. He was always a tough out for me, just getting up there and battling and trying to get on base and help the team win. After his at-bats, him getting on base and being able to steal bags is definitely a threat, so hopefully he can come here and do the same things for us.”
As for the advice he's given Granderson, and other players not familiar with playing in New York, Sabathia said it's simple.
"Be yourself," he said. "And that’s all I can say. That’ s what I tried to do – just come in and answer questions as honestly as I can and have fun out on the field and enjoy it. And we ended up winning the World Series."