What Else Did The Yankees Do On Their Day Off?

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.

billiards4.jpg
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.

badminton_hitting.jpg

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. 
Bowling.jpg
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.
bgt_scorpion.jpg
After working up a sweat, the Yankees hit the water. Shelley Duncan made quite a splash, causing his teammates to howl with laughter.
cannonball-pool.jpg
Jorge Posada tested his shoulder during the kayaking activity. Everybody cheered when he pronounced himself 85% ready for Opening Day.
watersports-kayaking.jpg
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.
group.dance.jpg
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.
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Everybody gathered around, sang “Friends, Friends, Friends. We will always be….” and then toasted marshmallows and made these.
smores.jpg
The boys vowed to be there for each other forever and ever, especially with a man on third and nobody out.
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38 comments

  1. flairforthedramatic

    Very smart move by Joe G. I think he’s going to make an attempt to shake things up a bit this year and I think that’s just what they need. The season hasn’t even started yet.. hell, spring training games haven’t even started yet.. and I’m already liking the way this team is going. Unless a hell of a lot of bad luck hits the Yanks this year, I think they’re going all the way.
    P.S. Lol, they did all that in 24 hours?
    – V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

  2. steve_t

    Good Lord. 10 days into camp and they need a break already? This team should be in group therapy by mid-April. CC and Tex must be asking themselves what they’ve gotten themselves into. Not quite the “Bronx Zoo” days, but nowhere near the late-90s Yanks.

    Steve T.
    http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

  3. latinyankeerebel

    Mo won! Well, a friend of mine who lives near Mariano back home in Panama, told me yesterday, that were Mo lives everyone entertains themselves by playing pool… who knew that was going to come on handy, huh?

  4. Jane Heller

    Sheena, that’s exactly what this reminded me of: a grade school field trip. Wasn’t it great when the teacher said, “No school today?”

    I think so too, V. It’s still early, but why not give these guys time to get to know each other right away? (Even if means riding that roller coaster together.)

    I agree, Julia. Couldn’t hurt. They’re all little boys at heart.

    They probably did that too, Mark. I should have added it!

    Dance Revolution is next, Rosh. Can you picture Girardi shaking it? LOL.

    Whatever works, Steve. I don’t hear Tex or CC complaining. Yet. 🙂

    Good info, latinyankeerebel. We wouldn’t have known that if not for your Panamanian expertise! Thanks.

  5. Jane Heller

    Neal, I couldn’t think of anyone but Shelley to name in that cannonball caption! I hope he forgives me.

    Now that you mention it, Jeff, there were a couple of syringes along with the s’mores.

    Everybody was there, latinyankeerebel. Supposedly, Girardi asked the vets (Posada, Jeter, Pettitte) if they thought a trip was a good idea and the tribal counsel said yes.

    That’s what they are, Melissa – boys with large bank accounts!

  6. The Yankees Baseball Whisperer

    Im glad to see the guys having some fun together. Maybe Joe wont run such a tight clubhouse this year… it was just too tense in there last year.

    oh PS Jane, I perform a scene from your book on Friday for my oral interpretation class lol It should be fun haha
    http://TYBW.mlblogs.com

  7. steve_t

    Jane, that’s the beauty of a guy like Teixeira. He keeps to himself and gets the job done. Kind of a boring interview, but boring can be good in an otherwise hectic clubhouse. He reminds me a lot of J.D. Drew, but without the chronic back problems.

    Steve T.
    http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

  8. Jane Heller

    Brit, you need to do a video of that!!! I want to see you performing it, I really do.

    I’m hoping you’re right, Steve. He’s kind of a Dudley Do Right type, but I’m thinking that’s not a bad thing at all. Let him keep his head down, stay out of the drama and do his job, which he seems very good at.

  9. Kaybee

    I thought it was pretty cool that they did the billards thing, but I didn’t realize the bonding they really did! Sounds like it was a very fun day, but I thought Girardi didn’t want them to go to the bowling alley??
    http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

  10. Jane Heller

    Don’t know about Girardi and bowling, Kaybee. Did he say he was worried someone would drop a ball on their feet?

  11. Jane Heller

    Yeah, why didn’t he think of that, Bern! The last thing we need is for Mo to have one of those Lisfranc injuries or whatever they’re called.

  12. raysrenegade

    No one got poked in the eye. No balls were thrown at anyone’s head, and the team got to play anything they wanted on the CD Jukebox.

    It is this kind of off-the-field activity that can bring a team together. Usually the pitchers and the fielders have their own little groups, but something like this can bring them all to one bond and goal for the year.

    Great idea by the Yankees to consider this recreational event. I know C C is suppose to be a pretty good pool player by his own submission on MTV Cribs a few years back.

    Rays Renegade

    http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

  13. Jane Heller

    I know, Sue. I was thinking, What’s next? Shuffleboard?

    It does make me think Girardi has learned from last season, Renegade. A tight ship isn’t everything.

  14. kingofcali

    The Yanks need some more bonding days. They put an all star team on the field every year, but don’t have the chemistry to play well together. I’m glad Girardi knows that, so he’s getting his team close….good move!

    ~King of Cali
    http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

  15. Jane Heller

    We’ll see if the field trip helps the bonding process, King. I hope so.

    That would be funny, Bob.

    I’m terrible at pool, Tom, so yesterday’s outing wouldn’t be my idea of fun. But at least the players seemed to enjoy it.

  16. alexcoast2coastbball

    I don’t know Jane, none of those guys looked like Robinson Cano to me, haha … and hopefully this day off that Joe gave the guys built some kind of chemistry between the new guys and the old… i want a happy clubhouse 🙂
    -Alex H

  17. Jane Heller

    I can’t believe you said that, Aaron! As I was posting the photo, I thought, This guy looks exactly like Don Zimmer! Oh, well.

  18. roshkoch

    Dominoes is a very popular game in many Latin American countries, especially the Dominican Republic.

    That couldn’t have been Shelly. He was too busy beating up children. BTW, I spoke to his girlfriend (we went to school together) and he is claiming victory over Little Girardi. I’m trying to verify this. You never know if he was just trying to impress his girl.

    Jane, scrap the movie. Do a Broadway pantomime experience instead.

    http://roshkoch.mlblogs.com – I talk nice about the Red Sox …. WHAT? I do?

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