Yanks' spring adventure is under way
Bombers' hurlers, backstops report to Legends Field
TAMPA -- Baseball is in the air with the Yankees, where finely manicured diamonds and emerald green grass welcome another Spring Training at Legends Field.
Yankees pitchers and catchers arrived at camp on Tuesday, preparing for their first formal workout on Thursday. Several position players have also landed at the complex in anticipation of the season to come.
Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Miguel Cairo and Japanese import Kei Igawa are among the Yankees who have already traded winter gear for T-shirts and shorts, continuing their exercises as teammates filter in.
Mariano Rivera left his native Panama on Monday, arriving in Florida and proclaiming himself ready to go to work. Stating his own personal readiness for the season, the 37-year-old Rivera outlined his vision for a perfect Yankees Spring Training.
"For the team, we just have to have everybody ready," Rivera said. "No injuries and we can start the year with everybody together, the whole team, the complete team. From there, [we can] move on."
Much of the Yankees' core remains constant from how the club left the postseason last fall, though there have been notable changes.
The return of left-hander Andy Pettitte after a three-year stay with the Houston Astros will be among the most popular pinstripe stories, and new first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz will reunite with high school football teammate Alex Rodriguez to form the infield corners.
Meanwhile, many are curious to see the progress made by right-hander Carl Pavano, who claims to have put health issues behind him and says that he is ready to contribute to the rotation.
One by one, the bags in Legends Field's equipment area will continue to rise, with a full-squad report date set for Sunday. By that point, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, Rodriguez and the rest of the Yankees' stars will have realigned for 2007.
The Yankees are scheduled to assemble for their first complete roster workout on Feb. 20, in anticipation of the team's Grapefruit League opener on March 1 against the Minnesota Twins.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.