February 2009

Girardi takes Yanks on a field trip

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I like it. It’s real cool Joe took his team to play pool. A lot of times what happens on team
is you’ll have team parties or a team get-togetherat the end of the season and you say, man, I wish
I had hung out with these guys a little bit more. You get to know your own teammates. But by then the season’s over and you’ve gone into your winter
so to do this early is great.You’re alone and talk about personal things and form a bond
with certain guys on the club. This is particularly good for the Yankees who brought in all
these new guys. This is a good time to really get to know
each other.

Managers looks for opportunities to
get you away from thinking about baseball all the time. When I was playing for Dick Williams one season in Seattle, we were getting blown out of a game – something like 10-0 in the 4th
inning – and I had been playing every day. He comes down and says “…go ahead, take a shower and go see a
movie.”

What?

“If I come in there in another half inning and you’re there, I’ll never take you out of another game. Go watch a movie.”I remember driving down the road on 90 in Seattle heading
towards Issaquah listening to the game on the radio, it was the weirdest thing
ever.

Team get togethers are very rare. This type of
stuff you do in the minor leagues or in college – its great – and more people need to do
it. To have lunch and be able to
play pool and sit around and talk trash with each other while no one else is around, that’s how
you eliminate 25 players, 25 cabs.
The thing that is unique about the minor leagues and college compared to the major leagues, you
get everyone on one bus and you ride off together. That’s why when you ask guys what their most fun seasons were, everyone remembers their minor league years because you did everything together – you sat on a bus
for 14 hours and you didn’t sit there with your headphones on the entire time. And that was all summer long.

So maybe someday
these guys will look back and remember spring training ’09 and say “remember when we went to play pool?”