March 16, 2006
From the Courier News -
On several occasions over the past few weeks, Yankees manager Joe Torre has made it a point to praise minor-league infielders Ramiro Pena and Marcos Vechionacci.
Until Monday, those words hadn't filtered back to Pena. He was convinced Torre didn't know who he was.
"I never talk to him," said Pena, a slender 19-year-old shortstop. "I just nod my head."
"Do I look like somebody who wants to bite your head off? I guess I do," he said. "Poor kid."
Before they are reassigned to the minor-league camp, Torre plans to talk with both Pena and Vechionacci and there will be smiles, not snarls.
"All of us are impressed by those two kids," Torre said. "This has been a great spring for them. It's fun to watch them in this atmosphere."
When Jeter comes back from the WBC, somebody should ask him if he feels like Wally Pipp. Pena is making some impression this spring - for sure.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at March 16, 2006 05:52 PM
There seems to be a pattern developing here with rookies (Cano and Phillips, at least) and prospects thinking that Torre either doesn't like them or doesn't know who they are. I can't say I find that encouraging.
One wonders what would have transpired in the last 11 years if the decision to start Derek Jeter at SS hadn't already been made by the organization BEFORE Spring Training in 1996...