St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com
Back
Print story Subscribe to the Times

Baseball

Ex-Ray Flaherty nabs backup catcher spot for the Yankees

By Times wires and staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 30, 2003

TAMPA -- Former Devil Ray John Flaherty found out in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Philles on Saturday he would make this season's roster as backup catcher. He will get a one-year, $750,000 deal.

"I'm relieved," he said. "I have to thank (Yankees GM) Brian (Cashman) for the opportunity. I was able to play well enough in a few games to show what I've got."

Last year's backup, Chris Widger, said he was "bitter" the Yankees waited so long to announce their decision. He said he thought the staff had decided on Flaherty earlier but was keeping him around as insurance against an injury.

"What bothers me is that they tried to play it off like it was still wide open," Widger said. "It's not fair. They forget that it's people's lives, too."

Because he has five years of service, the Yankees cannot force Widger to take a minor-league assignment. Cashman said he was "actively talking" to other clubs about a trade, but Widger likely would be released if none materialized.

NOT HOLDING BACK: Things got a little chippy in the seventh inning after Phillies reliever Carlos Silva hit Raul Mondesi with a pitch. They exchanged words as Mondesi went to first and had to be held back by teammates.

The next batter, Nick Johnson, hit a sharp line drive that went off Silva's foot. Then Silva hit Alfonso Soriano in the ribs. Mondesi and Soriano were pulled for pinch runners, but were not hurt. Silva was pulled after Todd Zeile hit a two-run single. In the top of the eighth, rookie Jason Anderson replaced David Wells, who pitched the fifth through seventh in relief of Jeff Weaver and got the win.

Anderson, who started last season at Class-A Tampa, learned Friday he made the team. He said no one told him to go after Phillies batters.

"I'm here for the team, and I'll do whatever they ask of me. But nobody approached me about it," Anderson said.

In the fifth inning, Bernie Williams hit his third home run of the spring, a two-run shot to rightfield off Vicente Padilla.

READY TO GO: Joe Torre said the team was ready for the season opener at Toronto on Monday. The Yankees finished the spring 16-13, winning the last five and 13 of 17.

"We pitched well. We finished well. We're ready to go," he said.

YANKEES MOVES: On Friday, left-hander Randy Choate was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Pitchers Steve Karsay, Jon Lieber and Mariano Rivera were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Spring nets few positives for Bowa

TAMPA -- The Phillies left spring training with a 10-17-1 record, 5.17 team ERA,.255 batting average and a concerned manager.

"The only thing to be thankful for is that it's spring training," Larry Bowa said after the loss to the Yankees. "Over the last five or six games, we can't get everything going at once. If the starters pitch good, the relievers go bad. If the relievers pitch good, the starters don't. If both those go well, we don't hit."

Offense topped the list of concerns even after the Phillies ended a 22-inning scoreless streak with three runs off Jeff Weaver in the fourth.

"Three runs in 27 innings, that's not very good," Bowa said. "We obviously have a lot of work to be done on offense. Our ability to score runs would make it a lot easier on the pitching staff. Otherwise, it's very difficult for the pitchers. I don't think we're anywhere close to where we want to be offensively."

General manager Ed Wade seemed less concerned about the difficult spring. "It's nice for the fans back home and the marketing department when you have a good spring, but that's not the first priority here," he said. "The priority is to get guys ready for the season."

The Phillies open Monday in Miami against the Marlins.

HOUSTON READY: Reserve infielder Tyler Houston declared himself fit after taking live batting practice off teammate David Coggin. Three days earlier, he thought he was headed to the disabled list with an inflamed liver.

"I went to an internist the other day and he told me my liver was inflamed," Houston said. "I don't mind when they tell me something is wrong with my bones, but when they say something is wrong with my guts, that concerns me."

But a CAT scan was negative. His return sent outfielder Eric Valent back to the minor leagues.

GOING-AWAY GIFT: Bowa's nephew Nick Johnson, first baseman/DH for the Yankees, sent his uncle a signed bat before the game at Legends Field. The message: "If you need to hit something, use this."

Print story Subscribe to the Times

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
 

From the Times sports desk
  • Hubert Mizell: Harris is on same path as NCAA: down the tubes
  • John Romano: Ordinary turns special for last surprise team

  • NCAA
  • Top 'Cats hit rock bottom

  • NCAA - West
  • Hinrich, Kansas edge Arizona

  • NCAA - Midwest
  • Golden Eagles stun Wildcats

  • College basketball
  • Vols dispatch Lions
  • Washington State chooses Bennett
  • Oklahoma team wins first title
  • Are 'Horns or Spartans tougher?

  • Golf
  • Harrington backs fast talk with slow and steady play
  • Rant, Rave

  • Baseball
  • Hampton latest pitcher headed to DL for Braves
  • Ex-Ray Flaherty nabs backup catcher spot for the Yankees

  • College football
  • UF scrimmage a little too spirited

  • In brief
  • Moon Ballad at home in Dubai win

  • NHL
  • Slapshots
  • Possible exposure to illness leaves two Sabres behind

  • Equestrian
  • Kappler lands 2nd Invitational

  • Skating
  • Fifth title at worlds for Kwan

  • NBA
  • 76ers cruise with Iverson

  • Tennis
  • Sloppy or not, Serena has Capriati's number

  • Motorsports
  • Nemechek wins wild BGN race
  • Slick, or groovy? Drivers divided

  • Golf
  • Palmer to play 49th Masters
  • Wie makes major child's play
  • Nice finish keeps Tiger within reach

  • Preps
  • Late run clinches title for Durant
  • Wildcats' Moser beats best in pole vault
  • Cormier, Lyons not happy with performances
  • Final season Hallgren's best

  • Your turn
  • Whoa, Canada, booing the national anthem is classless

  • Rays
  • Rays get their money's worth
  • Layoff gives Martin a better perspective
  • Naimoli deserves a little credit

  • Bucs
  • Emmitt Smith points to trouble at One Buc

  • Lightning
  • In the end, a point worth the wait
  • Clymer's return leaves no room for Olvestad
  • Khabibulin modest in tie


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts