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The Yankees go out to play

Mar 2, 2010, 3:44 PM EST

Brian Hoch from MLB.com:

The Yankees believed chemistry was one of their strengths as they
pursued a 27th World Series championship last year, and along the way,
many pointed back to a March off-campus billiards tournament as one of
their building blocks.

What?! That’s like saying that the Mongols won the Battle of Liegnitz because Subotai the Valiant had everyone over for a nice dinner party beforehand.

Um, or something.  Look, the point is that pleasant little outings don’t win championships. Home runs and strikeouts and good defense and an embarrassment of roster riches that only the Steinbrenners are both able to and willing to pay for are what win championships! Am I right? I said AM I RIGHT?!

Given that success, manager Joe Girardi is hoping that the formula will
work one more time as the Yankees prepare to defend that title. They
left the bats and balls at the ballpark on Tuesday, heading off to a
Tampa area arcade for an afternoon of fun and video games.

[Facepalm] . . .[composing breath] . . . Fine. You got your 27 rings, I guess you can play some damn whack-a-mole if you want to.  Well? . . . . . . . don’t just sit there smiling like a boob, tell me how it went!


Indy car: A.J. Burnett wins; Dana Cavalea second place
Skeeball: Andrew Brackman wins; Eduardo Nunez second place
Pop-a-shot: Royce Ring wins; Mark Melancon second place

Here’s some of what Mark Teixeira had to say:

“The
highlights were A.J. Burnett just smoking the field in the video game
racing, and Royce Ring being probably the best pop-a-shot basketball
player I’ve ever seen. Those two were hands-down the best at those two
events. Whenever the basket is moving, Royce takes the cake.”

I guess that sounds like fun. But just wait until tomorrow when Ian O’Connor writes a scathing rebuke of Alex Rodriguez for showing his teammates how to get free games by painting the quarter red. Then we’ll see who’s having a good time.

  1. Frank - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Ian O’Connor was staked out outside, trying to count how many orange sodas A-Rod drank. He heard from some scout in the DR that it “improves” your skee ball skills.

  2. Charles Gates - Mar 2, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Look, the point is that pleasant little outings don’t win championships. Home runs and strikeouts and good defense and an embarrassment of roster riches that only the Steinbrenners are both able to and willing to pay for are what win championships! Am I right? I said AM I RIGHT?!
    I know you’re going over the top for over the top-edness sake, but this is one of my pet peeves about stat heads (not to lump you in with ‘them’ as I read our post summarizing your thoughts a few days ago). The notion that team chemistry doesn’t matter because it can’t be proven is ridiculous.
    The baseball season is extraordinarily long, the effects of which are compounded by all of the travel. A good, solid club house atmosphere makes it easier for guys to do extras (game film, reps in the weight room, fundamental drills) as the dog days of summer wear on. It’s the small things that add up to make differences, and unfortunately, these small things can’t be measured, or a control group can’t be found, in most cases.
    Someone is bound to say something like, “These guys make millions of dollars to play a game. They should go full speed all the time. Give it 110%!!!” This is a lack of understanding of human nature, or just plain ignorance of it. Many people, though not all, let a lot of things affect their performance, either consciously or not.
    While I don’t think a trip to the arcade is as important as having the right personnel, injuries or a bit of luck, I do believe that proper management and motivation matters.

  3. Rays fan - Mar 2, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    “What?! That’s like saying that the Mongols won the Battle of Liegnitz because Subotai the Valiant had everyone over for a nice dinner party beforehand.”
    Absolutely, it was the start of Mongolian barbeque.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Mar 2, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    See, this is what is wrong with the Metropolitans. After such an arduous day, three players would end up on the DL with mis-diagnosed medical problems.
    Have O’Conner and Lupica cover THAT!

  5. ecp - Mar 2, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    It’s called a “team-building exercise.”

  6. YANKEES1996 - Mar 2, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Team building exercises are extremely important and do help in the everyday performance of athletes. As stated above by Charles Gates the length of the season wears on all players and this type of get together lets everyone decompress. Joe Girardi has also probably found that by seeing his players personalities in a non-work environment it is easier to see if something is bothering them in the work setting. Those are the type of personality changes managers look for and want to nip in the bud very quickly to keep everyone on task and focused on one goal. I think Joe has his players respect and loyalty and that too makes for good results. The easy, lets have some fun atmosphere makes it easy for new players to get up to speed as well and that is what good managers do is get everyone on board as soon as possible.

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