Rodriguez sets the tone for the year by overthinking his participation in the
World Baseball Classic. First, he says he'll play for the Dominican Republic,
where his parents were born. Then he picks the U.S., where he was born. Then he
decides not to play at all, so as not to dishonor either country. But later,
Rodriguez says he will play for the U.S. Not even the Belgian team engaged in
that much waffling.
FEB. 22 After the
first workout of spring training, owner George Steinbrenner says eight of the
very few words he will utter to the media in 2006. Unfortunately, those words
are "We are going to win it this year!"
Rightfielder Gary Sheffield is ebullient after interpreting a statement by
Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman to mean his 2007 contract option (for $13 million)
will be picked up. But on ...
FEB. 24 Sheffield
is enraged when Cashman says he didn't say that and adds that nothing is
definite. Speaking of the G.M., Sheffield says, "I trust him, but I don't
trust him totally." The Yankees will eventually embrace the concept of
MARCH 4 With the
World Baseball Classic in full swing, a sign on the team's spring training
ticket window in Tampa apologizes for the absence of participants Derek Jeter,
Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon and Bernie Williams: THE NEW YORK YANKESS DID NOT
VOTE TO SUPPORT THIS EVENT. Was Steinbrenner behind it? "George would not
have misspelled Yankees," says his spokesman.
MARCH 27 New York
City tabloids report that Randy Johnson, who earns $16 million a year, is suing
the mother of the 16-year-old daughter he fathered before he was married for
$71,000 in day-care payments he made after the child was too old for day care.
(He added $26,000 in interest.) "My daughter is 16 and has not been in day
care for at least five years," Big Unit declares in court papers. (The case
APRIL 3 Yankees
fans get indignant when new Mets closer Billy Wagner enters his Opening Day
save opportunity to the strains of Metallica's Enter Sandman--which happens to
be Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's trademark tune. Yankee fans say this is
outrageous, that it must stop and is morally wrong. Wagner shrugs and sticks
with the song.
APRIL 21 The
Yankees become baseball's first billion-dollar team, with a franchise value of
$1.026 billion, according to Forbes--a 10,000% return on Steinbrenner's
original $10 million 1973 investment. Meanwhile, a Budweiser at Yankee Stadium
JULY 17 Rodriguez
makes three errors against the Mariners hours after he was photographed
sunbathing, shirtless, in Central Park. The New York City media speculate that
Rodriguez's tanning left him tired for the game. "I think I looked good in
the modeling picture, actually," says A-Rod.
JULY 19 The
Yankees win government approvals to build a new stadium. The facility requires
the razing of 400 mature oak trees and the paving of 22.4 acres of park land,
but the Yankees say the lost green space will be partly offset by parks built
on the roofs of new stadium garages. Enjoy!