A Day Of Firsts At Steinbrenner Field

The 2010 Yankees got off to a sweet start, didn’t they?
* Impressive pitching by Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves.
* Nice catches in the wind by Hoffman and Gardner.
* Great seeing the Bombers again, period.
As with most early spring training games, there was sloppy play. And it’s hard to get a rhythm going when everybody’s being shuffled in and out like a game of musical chairs.
But there were a few firsts that signaled a good omen for the season.
* A-Rod got the Yankees’ first hit of the spring.
* Pena smacked the Yankees’ first homer.
* Colin Curtis broke the 3-3 tie in the 9th with his three-run walkoff homer, enabling the Yanks to beat the Pirates 6-3. There was no pie, sadly.
Colin Curtis? Who’s he?
I would never have been able to pick him out of a police lineup, but he certainly got my attention today.
He’s got a level lefty swing – almost Matsui-like – and he’s supposed to be a decent outfielder. Will he nudge Winn/Thames/Hoffman/Gardner aside any time soon? I highly doubt it; he’ll end up back in Scranton. But watch this video and tell me he’s not a terrific kid. He has a new fan in me, that’s for sure.


  1. ooaooa

    Flew out of CT in heavy snow yesterday. Landed in clouds and 30-40 mph winds in Tampa. 52 degrees! Didn’t have game tickets yesterday (glad). Drove to Plant City, Parksdale Farms (20 miles), for Strawberry Shortcake lunch. WOWWOWWOW! Went to Cheesecake Factory at the International Mall for early dinner. To my right were a couple of Yankee fans (had on gear). I asked if they were at the game. They said they left early just as a Yankee hit a HR. They said it was real cold and windy. Lands up they were from Connecticut and live a mile from me! Small world! This kind of stuff happens to me where ever I go.
    I glanced to my left, about 5 feet, as two young hispanic guys sat down. One looked very familiar. I glanced over a couple more times and whispered to my wife, “That’s Ramiero Pena” sitting next to you! She discreetly waited until his conversation subsided and politely asked if he was who I thought. He smiled and said “yes, I am Ramiero”! Pam asked if he played in the game (little did we know then he was the Yankee who the other people said hit a HR as they left the game). He said yes and he was allowed to leave after the sixth inning. We asked if he was getting a WS ring and if so when. He didn’t know when but he said “Yes, a big one”! We made the cardinal sin of baseball fans, we didn’t bring any balls into the mall with us, but Ramiero signed Cheesecake Factory napkins for us. He is a real nice young man and we became his biggest fans.
    Heading to Clearwater in a couple of hours.

  2. ooaooa

    Colin Curtis has been around for several years. He is a real good hitter. Talked to him each of the last 2 years in Tampa. He is nearly ready for the show. Actually a better hitter than Gardner but 1/2 step slower. He may be a trade player soon.

  3. diane.anziano@gmail.com

    We didn’t get to see the game until 10:30 last night but it hit us hard — I don’t think we truly realized how much we missed Yankees baseball, as fans and as a family. Our daughter actually became teary-eyed. I know its pre-season but it felt good to see the boys. Good defensive work for the most part and very nice pitching. I went to bed after the 5th inning so I missed a lot of the excitment.

    We went to Spring Training the year A-Rod joined the team (not the reason we went, just timing) and it was a very enjoyable time. We saw two games (nice small stadium – not a bad seat in the house) and it was wonderful to be surrounded by essentially all Yankees fans – something that doesn’t happen at Yankee Stadium. We didn’t get to meet any players while we were there so that must have been exciting.

    I think you are right, Jane…you saw some good signs for the coming season. I’m extremely optimistic.

  4. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Wow…what great stories & stuff from Mr. Ooaa…and they just GOT there!! I bet that Pena was almost as pleased to be recognized as you guys were to recognize him…!
    She-Fan, another great reporting job on that Curtis kid, and what a terrific story…ASU, no less — a legendary baseball school (Reggie Jax, among many many others)…hope they don’t trade him, but que sera sera…and hey, what a nice way to begin the Spring (but ooaa’s right — it is C-O-L-D on the west coast — 49 degrees this morning) — supposed to hit mid-70s next week, just as we leave…say la vee…enjoy it!!

  5. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    What a cool story about meeting Pena!

    Let’s hope the ending of this game is a portent of things to come. We want pie!!!

  6. raysrenegade

    Sounds like Colin Curtis might be in the same boat as Rays prospect Desmond Jennings and will probably be headed to Triple-A unless an injury hit the outfield mix.
    But that is good because he can play everyday and be ready if someone goes down during the Yankees 162 games.
    Depth is always great, especially if they have a bit of power miced into their bag of tricks.
    Still see Granderson, Thames and Winn manning the spaces between the outfield lines with Gardner and Swisher.
    But, you never know. Spring Training is the time for guys like Curtis to reach out and take a position from a veteran.
    I think we will know more about his chances in a week…or so.

    Rays Renegade


  7. Jane Heller

    My pleasure, Mike. It’s amazing what you can learn on people’s Wikipedia pages. 🙂

    I had the sound off a lot of the time, Mike. (I was actually trying to get some work done while the game was on.) And to tell you the truth, I’m so used to Kay he doesn’t bother me anymore.

    Well, that story takes the cake, John. (Or should I say cheesecake? Ha ha.) Now I know what restaurant to go to in order to run into a Yankee. You can bet I’ll be there scanning the room for familiar faces. Oh, what I wouldn’t have given for a chance to put Pena on the She-Fan Cam. Hope you have fun in Clearwater today. Please report in!

    You’re right, Diane. Even though we knew we missed the Yankees during the off-season, it takes actually seeing them play again that makes us realize how much! And now the debates can take on more meaning…Should Granderson bat second or Johnson? Who should be the #5 starter? Who should play left field? It’s all becoming a reality!

    HAHA, Dave. I bet Pena was very pleased someone recognized him. I remember years ago I was in NYC and spotted Scott Proctor on a street corner. He had just been called up from the minors so nobody recognized him except me. I introduced myself and he seemed downright ecstatic! Nice story about Curtis, right? Hope he succeeds with the Yanks or elsewhere. Glad to hear it’s supposed to warm up in FL. I would not have been happy with that weather you and John are describing.

    The thing with Chip Carey’s fisting (LOL, Jeff) is that he’s not my everyday announcer so when I had to hear him say that over and over, it was hilarious. When Kay says stupid stuff, I just tune it out for the most part. I don’t see YES replacing him any time soon.

    We do want pie, Melissa, and Curtis should have gotten some yesterday. But they let A.J. leave early and I guess there’s no designated pie person in his absence. Oh well. I happen to think Swisher would make an excellent surrogate.

    I don’t think anybody expects Curtis to make the club unless, as you say, there’s an injury or two, Renegade. But it’s nice to see the depth among outfielders in the system for sure. Looking forward to playing the Rays soon!

    LOL, Paul. No, Michael Kay doesn’t need a warm up. He probably wakes up in the morning saying annoying things.

  8. jojovanb27@hotmail.com

    WFAN says Nick Johnson is sitting out today’s game with stiffness in his back.

    Okay Nick, we don’t want anyone pushing himself too fast in spring training and missing games that matter, but you’re an injury prone guy, who’s missing game TWO. You’re a DH. Are you really that stiff that you couldn’t handle two at bats?

    On another topic, I made a New Year’s resolution (this morning) not to comment on Michael Kay before the All-Star break, but I will tell you he’s a lesser evil than John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

  9. Jane Heller

    I’m watching the game now, jojovanb, and Johnson was indeed scratched because of a stiff lower back. He said he would have played in a regular season game and that it’s nothing to worry about, but still. This is Nick Johnson we’re talking about! Jeez. You don’t love John “It is High” Sterling? Suzyn is another story.

  10. jojovanb27@hotmail.com


    To be fair to all announcers, even the late greats, Mel Allen and Red Barber, had their detractors, and there must be at least three people in LA who would complain about Vin Scully being too perfect, or something.

    “It is high. It is far. It is gone.” Is a great call, when a ball is high, far, and gone, but not so good when a ball is caught on the warning track, or when you see a replay and find out it was a line drive into the third row.

    On the other hand, we used to get a lot of Braves games in our area. I’m sure their announcers are nice guys, who no longer beat their wives, but I have trouble staying awake through nine outs with those guys, let alone nine innings.

    Suzyn was a better Yankee announcer when she still loved the Red Sox. Now, she’s an unapologetic homer, but I’m afraid that’s what the front-office wants her to be.

    Anyway, I’m glad your getting to see the game. I have to be out tonight, so I may not even see a re-broadcast.

  11. Jane Heller

    I’m not sure there are three people in LA who would complain about Vin Scully, jojovanb. Well, actually I was at a party here and I did hear someone say they thought he was boring. Imagine! I guess it’s all subjective with announcers. While Sterling isn’t known for his accuracy (“an A-Bomb from…Matsui” was priceless last year), I think he’s got a great radio voice. Yes, he’s over the top, but I love his unabashed enthusiasm for the game and the Yanks. Out here in CA I’m stuck with a lot of out of market broadcasts as part of my Extra Innings cable package, and most of the other announcers put me to sleep.

  12. devilabrit

    Curtis actually played another good game today…didn’t quite get the walk off but almost produced the winner….

    on another note… I find the MLBTV a lot better than the cable extra innings, you at least get virtually every game you want instead of the odd game here and there, and it was cheaper for me, not sure how it is out on the west coast though….

    Another 4 meetings between these 2 before the regular season, I sure each one will be similar to this where its 7 inning and on that decides it…but there still fun to watch…
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  13. crzblue2

    I did not know the park was called George Steinbrenner Field? Is that new?
    I hate that I can’t listen to games here at work anymore, no videos, no games, no music. Sigh…What am i going to do when my bums are playing and I am at work? There is a small pizza place around the block that has TV, hmmm.
    I love the story of ooa!

    Tomorrow morning we leave to Arizona!!!

  14. Jane Heller

    Yeah, my boy Colin got another hit, Peter. He’s destined for greatness. LOL. I have both MLB.TV and Extra Innings. There are times when the games here are blacked out on TV, so no Extra Innings. I use MLB.TV as a backup, although Saturday Fox games are blacked out there too. You thought today’s game was fun? I’m just about to write a post about how it was kind of blah. Well, except for the fact that it was baseball and that’s always better than most anything else.

    Yes, Emma. The name of Legends Field was changed to Steinbrenner Field last year or the year before (can’t remember). So sorry you can’t listen to or watch games at work. What a bummer. Sounds like the pizza place is the ticket. Have fun in Arizona!

  15. lynn2010@hotmail.com

    That’s an impressive Story. Though I am not a baseball fan at all, but this boy certainly has that attractive touch that tempts me to see this interview again and again. He is supposed to be a good hitter but not as much as Mr. Gardner. I would like to wish him all the best for his future. – Jordan

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