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.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.