luis castillo book yankees

Former Yankees batboy reveals clubhouse secrets in book

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Luis Castillo, who was a Yankees batboy from 1998 to 2005, has a new book coming out called “Clubhouse Confidential” and shared a preview with the New York Post that includes some reasonably interesting behind-the-scenes stories about Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and company.

Assorted highlights from the preview:

* Jeter nicknamed him “Squeegee” immediately because “you look like a Squeegee” and “he names everybody.” (Note: On the book cover, he’s listed as Luis “Squeegee” Castillo.)

* Jeter’s standard greeting to the teenage batboys was “how’re you doin’, biatches?”

* When out at clubs, Jeter’s “preference was for women who had a nice smile and personality.” (Note: For whom is that not a preference, exactly?)

* Jeter often had his personal trainer approach women on his behalf in order to “avoid scandals and gossip.”

* Compared to other star players, Alex Rodriguez was a bad tipper, although he gave Castillo “$100 a week to make sure there was a creatine shake waiting for him after each home game.”

* Rodriguez needed his toothbrush put in a specific place near the sink and had his clothes laid out for him in a specific way.

* Once when a then-married Rodriguez was “on his way out with two blondes on his arms” he spotted Castillo wearing a suit and commented on it, quietly placing $200 in his suit pocket while saying “have a good night.”

* Prior to Game 7 of the ALCS in 2004 the pregame meeting ended with Joe Torre asking the Yankees “what are we going to do?” and Hideki Matsui responding: “Kick ass. Pop champagne. And get some ho’s.” (Note: They lost the game.)

There’s a lot more where those came from in the New York Post article and presumably in the book.

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.

Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.

Shelby Miller is in the best mental shape of his life

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller had about as bad a season as one can have. He was the headliner in the trade that sent 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, All-Star outfielder Ender Inciarte, and highly-regarded pitching prospect Aaron Blair to the Braves. It was a trade that was pilloried at the time and continues to be pilloried to this day.

Miller didn’t do then-GM Dave Stewart any favors with his 2016 performance. He went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 101 innings. That included a bout with mechanical failure, as he kept hitting the mound with his follow-through. He went on the disabled list. And after that, he was demoted to Triple-A. After getting fired, Stewart expressed remorse over acquiring Miller — or, more accurately, giving up Swanson to do so.

So, the 26-year-old Miller heads into 2017 without any momentum. To his credit, though, he’s going into the new season with a very positive perspective. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

I’m just in a really happy place, away from the field, on the field. […]

Maybe it’s just the way I go about everything, trying to be positive in every single aspect of life. Baseball’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. I know bumps in the road are going to happen. Last year was obviously not just a bump, but a huge mountain. Right now, that’s completely behind me. I’m not worried about any of that.

I’m really ready for this year, ready to redeem myself so much.

Even pitching coach Mike Butcher sees the change in Miller’s mentality. “He’s not a different guy. But you can see there’s a presence in him. That’s what we need. Just be Shelby Miller. You don’t have to live up to anything. Just be yourself.”

Manager Torey Lovullo, too, praised Miller. “I saw a guy who had spent a lot of time taking care of his business in the weight room — he looks fantastic, in fantastic shape,” he said.

It sounds like Miller is not only in great mental shape, but great physical shape, too. Is it the “best shape of his life”? Only time can tell.