20 February 2006

DUCKING DRILLS AT CAMP



TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are using a pitching machine to test the reflexes of their pitchers this spring, firing soft baseballs at them from a distance of about 50 feet.

The line drives aren't quite as dangerous as a baseball would be coming off a bat, but it's close enough. Mike Mussina threw himself on the ground, drawing laughs from the fans watching. Randy Johnson waved at a few balls then bailed out.

But Jaret Wright, to his credit, hung in there and missed only one of the line drives. The right-hander was struck three times last season, twice by batted balls and once by a piece of a broken bat.

"At least nothing was coming at me 110 miles-per-hour," he said.

Wright made several jokes about what happened but clearly the subject was something he didn't want to revisit.

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