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After One Whole Week of Workouts, Who DOESN'T Need a Break?
Monday, February 23, 2009
The weather in Tampa was perfect for baseball, but Joe Girardi decided his team needed to do something more important than practice their athletic skills today. Instead of suiting up for some drills, Girardi packed the boys onto a bus and shuttled them over to a local billiards hall. The guys spent the day playing two 8-ball tournaments (Mo and Phil Coke won the first one, and then Mo went on to win the second with Dandy Andy!), playing cards, and shooting darts.

It sounded a tad on the silly side at first (workouts just started - there's no way you're burned out yet!), but after hearing what the players had to say about the experience, I think Girardi was really onto something. For the past few years, the Yankees have really been lacking any semblence of the "fun" factor. Regardless of how good their lineup was, they never looked like they were enjoying themselves, much less each other. With the exception of Cano and Melky dancing around and the occassional Shelley Duncan arm-breaker of a high-five, the usual vibe on the bench stayed well within the "stoic" range. Having the best talent is obviously important, but if none of the guys cares about anyone but themselves it's hard to put the pieces together.

Much as I hate to admit it, why the hell else did the Red Sox win in 2004? They were no better than the Yankees when you compare each position, but those idiots loved each other and were having the time of their lives. The Yankees were just going through the motions and that only got them so far.

So my vote is for more days like today. It gave everyone a chance to relax, but also the opportunity to get to know each other as human beings rather than just "that guy I work out with", particularly since there are so many new faces this year. Mark TexMex said it was the most fun he's ever had in Spring Training, and Damon said it made him want to work even harder for Girardi tomorrow. There's zero doubt that the Yankees are going to have one of the most talented lineups in the league this year - we can count on that. If they can play like they truly want to be out there with each other and not just to earn their salary or pad their personal stats, then we'll really have something.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 23, 2009  
3 Comments:
  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger Irish Cream said…

    I'd argue that the Sawx won in 2004 because our rotation was Moose, Jon Lieber, El Duque, and Kevin Brown. In fact, you kind of wonder how the Yankees made it so damn far with their horrible rotation.

     
  • At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    I agree with Irish Cream, the fact we were three outs from sweeping Boston and going to a WS with that rotation was a shock in itself. Once Mo blew Game 4 and Gordon spit the bit in Game 5 I knew we were in trouble. We needed to wrap that series up before the Red Sox got second cracks at Lieber and Brown and that didn't happen. Though outside of one idiot pitch that resulted in a 3-run bomb, Lieber wasn't awful in Game 6.

    On topic, I think the whole pool day thing was bs. We're talking million dollar athletes here. Hit the field, hit the batting cages and get your work in. Frankly the way some of these guys swung the bats last year they could use all the work they can get.

     
  • At 10:21 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    I disagree Chris. With all the drama and expectations coming into camp. Plus the well documented lack of team chemistry in recent years. This seems like a great idea. I hope Girardi does more to bring this team together. How can you call it a team when most cats don't know each other?

     
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