A Day Of Fun In The...Poolhall?

Spring Training is under way and the Yankees are eager to make sure the team is ready for Opening Day. After a week straight of workouts, manager Joe Girardi called for a day off and an afternoon of fun for the Bronx Bombers.

Girardi wants to build a better relationship with his players than he had with them last season and this, was a step in the right direction. He took his guys to play pool. Now this, you don't see everyday. I have to give the manager a round of applause for this. It's a nice way to get the guys to bond and get to know one another off the field and lt loose for an afternoon and not have to go through the everyday stress of baseball.

Here are what some Yankees had to say about Girardi's idea:

Johnny Damon:

"It was a great day. We’ve been at spring training for a week and Joe came up with a great idea to get us together as a team. It was great to break up spring training a bit, get the team together, get some camaraderie there.

“I think everybody had a great time. We got to see who’s been spending too much time at the pool hall and we know the ones that don’t spend enough time in there.

“For Joe to let us take a day off from practice like that, it makes you want to work even harder for him.”

“Camp has been going great so far. We all have been rallying around each other, having a good time in the clubhouse. Today is one of those days that, as a ballplayer, you’ll never forget. I don’t think any team has ever really done this. It’s a day I’ll never forget. It says a lot about Joe. He knows we’ve been working hard and he rewarded us with a day off.”

Mark Teixeria:

"It was great. That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in spring training in my whole career.”

“I thought it was a great idea. We’ve been working really hard – the pitchers a little bit longer than the position players. We had a good week of practice and we’re going to start games here soon, so I think Joe just wanted to give us some time off.”

“I’ve never have (heard of a team doing something like this), but I think more teams should. This was a great time, great for all of us to get together.”

“There were probably 16-18 pool tables, there were some card tables, we had darts, we had guys playing dominos and we had lunch also. Everyone was just having a good time.”

“It makes you relax and realize that we can have fun off the field. Once we get on the field, it’s business, but we can build some relationships as well.”

“Usually during the season, you get to hang out with guys because we’re always on the same bus or the same plane. Our schedules are identical. In spring training, you don’t go on trips together, the pitchers have different schedules than the hitters and the hitters are in different groups, so there might be a couple guys you don’t get to know at all.”

In case you were wondering, Mariano Rivera won both pool tournaments the Yankees held amongst themselves. Not bad Mo, maybe he has another career lined up after baseball.

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One Response to this post

  1. Bob Ruffolo on February 24, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    Hopefully a nice day off is all they need to win a championship.