In an effort to promote team unity and build off-the-field relationships, Joe Girardi gave the players a reprieve from Monday’s workout and, instead, had them board the buses for a trip to a local billiards parlor.
Mo won both Eight-Ball tournaments (or should I say he closed them out). Reactions from various Yankees included:
“Joe came up with a great idea to get us together as a team. We all have been rallying around each other, having a good time. It’s a day I’ll never forget.” – Johnny Damon
“The most fun I’ve ever had in spring training in my whole career. There were probably 16-18 pool tables, there were some card tables, we had darts, we had guys playing dominos, and we had lunch. Everyone was just having a good time.” – Mark Teixeira
Sounds like a fine time to me. But what did the Yankees do after billiards, cards, darts, dominos and lunch? Go home? No one was talking, so She-Fan dug deeper and got the story.
Nothing says loving better than a little badminton, apparently. Here’s Ian Kennedy sending the shuttlecock over the net to Phil Hughes, who had been miffed at Kennedy for not acting despairing enough after losses.
Next came some Yankee on Yankee bowling. Nick Swisher goes for the strike to the delight of Xavier Nady, his nemesis in the competition for the right field job.
At Busch Gardens, all the guys rode The Scorpion together and were so terrified they couldn’t help but hold A-Rod’s hands. Really nice strategy by Girardi.
After working up a sweat, the Yankees hit the water. Shelley Duncan made quite a splash, causing his teammates to howl with laughter.
Jorge Posada tested his shoulder during the kayaking activity. Everybody cheered when he pronounced himself 85% ready for Opening Day.
People were feeling so loosey-goosey that before boarding the buses they broke out into a spontaneous dance number in the tradition of “Thriller.” From left to right: Damon, Coke, Joba, Cano, Teixeira.
The sun was setting as the buses dropped everybody off at the last stop, a scenic campground. Girardi and his coaches instructed the players to build a fire.
Everybody gathered around, sang “Friends, Friends, Friends. We will always be….” and then toasted marshmallows and made these.
The boys vowed to be there for each other forever and ever, especially with a man on third and nobody out.