9:34 PM: Scratch that. Chad Jennings of The Journal News spoke with Cashman just moments ago and the general manager said that he was misquoted. Pettitte is still in decision mode for 2011 and the Yankees have heard nothing new.
9:02 PM: The Yankees are going to be just fine, let’s get that out of the way. They still have one of the most potent lineups in baseball from top to bottom and will be battling for the American League East crown this season despite a winter of letdowns.
But here comes another bit of bad news…
According to the New York Daily News, veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte told Yankees GM Brian Cashman on Wednesday that he will not be playing baseball when the 2011 season opens in late March and that he can’t say for sure if he will return at all.
“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011,” Cashman said Wednesday at the baseball owners’ meetings in Arizona. “If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”
The Yankees missed out on top free agent target Cliff Lee this offseason and didn’t get the chance to bid on a host of other free agent pitchers because they had so much money committed to that offer. Carl Pavano is still unsigned, but the Yanks probably don’t want to dance that jig for a second time. Justin Duchscherer is another option, but there’s no guarantee that he can stay healthy.
The Bombers might just have to stick to internal candidates like Ivan Nova and Andrew Brackman in order to fill out their rotation behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.