The baseball notebook …
NEW YORK ó Curtis Granderson put on his “NY” cap, buttoned up his pinstriped jersey and went right to work for the New York Yankees.
On a cold, blustery afternoon, the newly acquired center fielder stood near the loading dock at Yankee Stadium for 20 minutes, helping fans drop off canned green beans, Pringles potato chips and other items during the team’s annual food drive.
“It’s not something you have to do,” Granderson said Thursday. “But when you’ve been given so much, why not give back? It’s something you should do.”
Lauded by commissioner Bud Selig, Jim Leyland and many others for his off-the-field contributions, Granderson hopes to equally deliver with his bat, gloves and spikes. He’s well versed in who previously roamed center field for the Yankees ó Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Bernie Williams, among others ó and who packs the ballpark.
“Fans that probably know more about you than you do,” he said.
LEE WANTED TO STAY
SEATTLE ó Cliff Lee thought he was staying in Philadelphia ó for the rest of his career.
The Phillies’ postseason star proposed a routine counteroffer on a contract extension Wednesday, then headed for the Mississippi River near his Arkansas home to hunt.
He got some stunning news on the drive there.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called to tell Lee he had been traded to Seattle for three prospects in a four-team deal that brought Roy Halladay to the Phillies. It was the first time that two Cy Young Award winners were dealt on the same day.
Speaking by cell phone Thursday night while beginning a long-planned vacation in Puerto Rico, the 2008 AL Cy Young winner said he was in “disbelief and shock.” The 31-year-old left-hander had been excited to rejoin the Phillies for a run at another World Series.
Instead, he’s headed to his third team in five months.
“At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought we were working out an extension with the Phillies,” Lee said. “I thought I’d be spending the rest of my career there. … I was under the impression they wanted to keep me there for a long time.
“In my mind, it was going to happen.”
Lee was the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner when the Phillies got him from Cleveland on July 29. He went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA down the stretch, then starred in the postseason by going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts.
NEW YORK ó Alex Rodriguez is all set to start his winter workouts.
The New York Yankees star found out this week that his surgically repaired right hip is holding up fine.
“Great news,” he said Thursday.
Rodriguez had surgery last March for torn cartilage and missed the first month of the season. At the time, Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the operation, thought Rodriguez would need a more extensive procedure in the offseason.
But Philippon recently examined Rodriguez, and an MRI test helped show the three-time MVP had properly healed. The doctor told A-Rod that he was A-OK on Monday.