Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Joe Girardi changes uniform number to keep New York Yankees focused on a 28th World Series title

CC Sabathia delivers on the first day of training camp for the Yankees, on a quest to win their 28th world championship.

Associated Press

CC Sabathia delivers on the first day of training camp for the Yankees, on a quest to win their 28th world championship.

TAMPA — Jorge Posada may have been a part of five Yankees World Series championship teams, but it didn't stop him from watching the commemorative video of last year's title five times during the offseason.

"I loved it," he said. "Being on top of the world means a lot."

It's a place the Yankees have grown accustomed to, with 27 World Series titles, and a place they plan to stay, as their main focus is repeating the feat this season. They have done it before, winning three straight World Series from 1998-2000, and believe they have the talent to do it again.

Manager Joe Girardi said his uniform switch from No. 27 to 28 will serve as a daily reminder of their goal. The theme of his first meeting with the team next week will be, "It all starts over."

"That's the message, we're not complacent," Girardi said. "We do want to move forward and try to win No. 28 for this organization and the great city of New York, because we have a wonderful group here, we have wonderful fans here. … As far as this organization, you're expected to win every year."

What a difference a year makes. When Yankees camp opened last spring, a team still stinging from missing the playoffs was engulfed by questions surrounding Alex Rodriguez's use of performance-enhancing drugs. But on Wednesday afternoon, Girardi comfortably sat under the same pavilion Rodriguez used for his mea culpa news conference last February and fielded just one A-Rod question in his half-hour session.

Girardi said Rodriguez's "controversy" helped bring his team together, but he conceded, "It is nice to just talk about baseball."

There were plenty of topics, many about the Yankees' big offseason acquisitions: All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson, DH Nick Johnson and right-hander Javier Vazquez, who will be New York's No. 4 starter behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte.

They also have to answer a few questions, from sorting out their lineup, which lost Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, to figuring out who will be their fifth starter (likely Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, with the other going back to the bullpen). They'll also have to decide how to mix Granderson and Brett Gardner between center and leftfield, where they will split time this spring.

While another ongoing question was about warding off complacency as defending champs, Girardi said he's not concerned. "Complacency comes down to character," he said. "And I really like the character of our club."

Girardi said that with the new faces, and losing guys such as Damon and Matsui, they'll have to try to find that same chemistry that proved huge last season.

And when it comes to winning No. 28, it is easier said than done.

"It's probably the toughest thing to try to do it again," Posada said. "Everybody plays you a little different when we come to town. You have to be ready, because they're trying to get you. You're the world champions and they're trying to play a little better. It's very challenging."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Joe Girardi changes uniform number to keep New York Yankees focused on a 28th World Series title 02/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …