Circus-Like Spring Training for the Yankees

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IMarch 13, 2008

HGH, the Brawl, the Designated Hebrew and other things....

Warning! These are not your father's Yankees.  In fact, they might not even be YOUR Yankees.

This spring, which the Yankees hoped would be low-key, has been anything but.

First, Andy Pettitte admitted to using HGH. He privately went before Congress, told all and basically ratted out his longtime buddy, Roger Clemens. 

His return to the Yankees was smooth and after a day, fairly uneventful. Now his elbow is bothering him. What will he do to get better? Stay tuned.

Then, "the mouth that yawned"—Hank Steinbrenner—shot his big mouth off again. This time he hit Red Sox Nation with a double-barreled whammy in the NY Times:

"Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is," he said in an interview with The New York Times' Play magazine. "That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans."

"Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order." 

What year does he think this is?

Next, the Yankees new pitching coach, Dave Eiland, is working out new bullpen phenom, Joba Chamberlain, as a starter. What?!

Are we crazy, or is this kid lights-out coming out of that bullpen? Turns out we're crazy. New manager, Joe Girardi is pals with Kyle Farnsworth and it appears that Girardi is getting set to name Farnsworth his eighth inning guy. Good luck with all of that!

Yesterday, the Yankees instigated a brawl when Shelly Duncan slid into Rays' 2B Akinori Iwamura spikes high, slashing him. This, apparently was in retaliation to a play earlier this spring between these two clubs in which Yankee backup catcher Francisco Cervelli was steamrolled at the plate by a Rays' runner, breaking his wrist.

Joe Girardi had no problem with this insane display of payback in an exhibition game.

"I'm upset that my catcher is having surgery today."

Today, on the lighter side, comedian Billy Crystal will play one inning for the Yankees vs the Pirates to commemorate his 60th birthday. What?

Yep, the circus continues. Asked where he would play, Crystal said Girardi had not decided yet, but Crystal had his own take:

"I'm the DH—the Designated Hebrew."

What's next at the Big Top, also known as Legends Field?