When the Yankees announced their spring training invitees a little less than two weeks ago (see the list under "Players" on the sidebar), I was struck by the absence of one name: J. Brent Cox. As it turns out, Cox, who is widely regarded as one of the organization's ten-best prospects, has a broken bone in his pitching hand and will thus get a late start to his third professional season. Mystery solved, thanks to super sleuth Peter Abraham.
Peter also provides this link to Michael Kay's Tuesday interview with Bobby Murcer, who plans to return to broadcasting as soon as spring training. Much as hearing Kay's voice (and dreadful theme song) makes my skin crawl, it's great to hear Murcer. In addition to his good spirits and strong voice, his graciousness with Kay's callers is tremendous.
The Yankees will hold a press conference today to announce a new "international venture," which Murray Chase believes will have something to do with Randy Levine, Brian Cashman, and Jean Afterman's upcoming trip to China and Japan.
Jorge Posada made a few comments about Bernie Williams before Tuesday's Baseball Assistance Team (BAT) dinner, unleashing a torrent of articles all of which have used the same quotes. The gist of Jorge's jive: Bernie won't play for another team, Bernie won't sign a minor league deal, Bernie wants to play one more year. Sounds like Bernie's in denial. Tyler Kepner's version of the story suggests that Bernie could take that minor league deal and then retire in a Yankee uniform in spring training like Al Leiter did last year. Jorge suggests that Bernie might take the Roger Clemens rout and stay in shape in the hope of being needed at some point during the season. Again, I think Bernie's setting himself up for disappointment.
Major League Baseball will officially announce on Wednesday January 31 that the 2008 All-Star Game will take place in Yankee Stadium. The announcement is expected to take place at City Hall.
Bob Timmerman over on the Griddle has a link to a story about Aaron Guiel and his decision to play in Japan this year.
Finally, on the topic of erstwhile Yankee first basemen, the Devil Rays appear to be close to inking former Columbus Clipper Carlos Peña to a minor league contract. They'll already have Hee-Seop Choi in camp. Either of those lefties would have been preferable to Stinky Minky.