Old School Spring Training

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If you look at only one photo archive today with pictures of Walter O’Malley at Dodgertown playing cards with his shirt off, Stan Musial doing pushups, and Pee Wee Reese on the ground wrestling with a shirtless guy, make it this photo archive, highlighted today by lar at Wezen-Ball.

True story: In 1973, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn mandated that shirts be worn at all times during spring training as a result of the Oakland A’s bold decision to break baseball’s lamentable “gentleman’s agreement” which, until that point, had prevented teams from signing players with body hair.

The new rule was grandfathered in, of course, with Charlie Hough and Goose Gossage being allowed to go shirtless until their retirements following the 1994 season.  Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre still have the right, but they have chosen not to exercise it for both personal and professional reasons. Today George Steinbrenner, ever-the-maverick, is the only baseball figure routinely seen cavorting topless around a spring training facility.

The Yankees Wild Card Game roster is set

Luis Severino
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Wild Card teams get to set their roster for the one-and-done game and then reset it for the Division Series if they advance. As such, you sometimes see some weirdness with the wild card roster. The Yankees, who just set theirs for tonight’s game, are no exception.

Masahiro Tanaka will be tonight’s starter, but Luis Severino, also a starter, will be around as well in case Tanaka gets knocked out early and they need more innings. In all, the Yankees are carrying nine pitchers and three catchers. In addition, they have Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, and pinch-runner Rico Noel as bench players. In case you forgot, pinch running can matter a lot in a Wild Card Game.

Jarrod Dyson Gif

CC Sabathia’s bad weekend in Baltimore made him choose rehab

sabathia getty

It was inevitable that someone would report on what, specifically, was going on with CC Sabathia in the run up to his decision to go into rehab yesterday. And today we have that story, at least in the broad strokes, from the New York Post.

Speaking to an anonymous source close to Sabathia, the Post reports that the Yankees’ starter more or less went on a bender from Thursday into Friday and continued on to Saturday, which resulted in his Sunday afternoon phone call to Brian Cashman in which he said he needed help.

Notable detail: Sabathia is referred to as “not a big drinker” in the story. Which is something worth thinking about when you think of others who have trouble with alcohol. It’s not always about massive or constant consumption. It’s about the person’s relationship with substances that is the real problem. Many who drink a good deal are totally fine. Many who don’t drink much do so in problematic ways and patterns. For this reason, and many others, it’s useful to avoid engaging in cliches and stereotypes of addicts.