In a warm-up game of some interest to Sox fans, Team USA got ready for the WBC with a game against the Yankees. That means Youk and Pedroia were in action (made a couple of nifty plays together) and helped Team USA to a 6-5 victory.
Just as notable, though, were a couple of continuing story lines from the Sox rivals. Warning---if want to believe the hype about the Yankees' weak offensive projections going into the season, don't read any further.
First, and this is shaping up as one of the biggest stories of the spring, Jorge Posada continues to stroke the ball like it's 2007. If that's a harbinger, it could be real trouble for the AL East. Other factors will play in of course---can Posada still catch, and how will that strain affect his hitting? (Posada is now at DH with our old friend Kevin Cash doing most of the catching.) But there's no denying Posada's numbers. Posada went 2 for 3 in the game and looked like he owned American stud Roy Oswalt. That brings Posada to 5 for 8 for the spring, with a home run and 3 rbis, all that on top of the daily gift he's been giving fans and teammates at BP. Stick a hot-hitting Posada into the middle-end of the Yankees lineup, and all of a sudden run production isn't looking like much of a concern.
Derek Jeter was the star of the game, going 2 for 4 and driving in 2. He's had a nice spring, though the numbers might be a little misrepresentative---he's getting on base, but the contact hasn't been too solid.
Another point of interest---the Yanks are officially in the middle of an all-out battle for the center-field position between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Gardner continues on a tear, going 5 for 10 this spring, with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, and a lot of speed on the basepaths. Melky's been decent, but not spectacular. If the competition ended today, you'd see Gardner patrolling the new centerfield at Yankee Stadium III.
And finally, I'd also add that Robinson Cano looks great this spring, but I just can't stomach the idea of Posada and Cano both having bounce-back seasons, so I'm just gonna assume without any real basis that his numbers (you can see for yourself) mean nothing. And I'll try to pretend that every time I flip by YES he isn't cranking the ball.
So, there you have it. A small sample, yes, but troubling nonetheless. But, on the bright side, it could just be a spring mirage, and all you Bostoners who have sources of tv baseball besides the pinstripes can just pretend it's not happening. I'll try to do the same.
---Side note. Before the game, Kevin Cash passed Dustin Pedroia and announced for everyone to hear that he thought it was really great that Team USA was bring its own ball boys along for the WBC.