Yankees fans, I have news for you: Phil Coke is the man. This is a guy you want to root for. This is a guy you want to idolize and look up to. I was able to interview him today and as you will see in our time together we had a great Q&A. The lefty from Sonora, Calif., is ultra laid back and doesn’t seem to let too much phase him. He is a big cartoon movie fan and his favorite of them all is Cars. Yes, you heard me right, Cars. When I started laughing, his face lost all expression, just like the Gambler, and I was playfully pressured into saying it was a work of cinematic art and deserved an Oscar. I go way back with Coke. Way back to last year when he was in Trenton. He spent six years in the minors, and for guys like Coke and Brett Gardner, who I have seen up close and personal on their way up to the big club, it’s nice to see that they are getting some recognition for all their hard work, dedication, and perseverance. By the way, Coke showed me his bruise today on his thigh. Its not pretty. He did, however, say that the color of it has improved. When it first happened he described it as his navy as the navy in the Yankees interlocking N-Y.
Another GREAT guy to talk to is Dan Giese. We have talked about the NCAA tournament ad nauseum since my arrival here in Tampa. Today, I asked him what his favorite park was … and he said hands down Yankee Stadium. He also liked pitching in Fenway because it’s a historic park. Don’t read anything into that. He just likes the stadium. Then he told me something I thought was really cool. Last year, the Yankees had a travel day and Giese and David Robertson got to the Stadium early and sat in every section. Just to get different perspectives and to see how fans see the game. They also visited George Steinbrenner’s and Brian Cashman’s offices and hung out in the YES booth to see how it was to call a game.