General Yankees

“You can observe a lot by watching”

All happy teams are happy in the same way. All unhappy teams are unhappy in their own ways. Or something to that effect. Right now, the Yanks are super happy, just like every team is in early March. Joe Girardi is into hokey team-building activities that build team happiness, such as nights out at the improv, pizza parties, and this:

With an eye toward team unity, Joe Girardi decided that one afternoon at the Improv wasn’t enough. The manager has implemented a new tradition that calls for a different player or two to stand in front of the entire team every morning and recite a quote of his choosing, followed by an explanation of what the quote means to him.

“Words from your teammates can be really powerful,” Girardi told the Daily News. “They can be motivating. It also tells you a little something about that person from what they pick, so we get to know them. It’s worked out well.”

Rodriguez, however, impressed by taking a unique approach. He declined to discuss his presentation, but a witness said that instead of reciting a quote, the third baseman took the word “score” and used each letter to deliver a different message.

“What Alex did, it blew me away,” Eric Chavez said. “To get up in front of the whole team, out of your element, he really embraced it. I don’t see myself doing that. I can’t knock down those walls, so to see Al do it, it was like, ‘Wow.’”

Said A-Rod: “One of the hardest things to do is to communicate in front of your peers. I bet if you asked them, some guys would probably be more nervous about doing that than playing in the World Series. It’s hard to stand in front of 85 people that you trust and respect. It makes you feel vulnerable. It’s a great exercise and it’s setting the right tempo for our team.”

Girardi came up with the routine as he sought to better use the 15-minute block of time he had set aside to meet with the team each morning

“It just kind of came to me,” said Girardi, who often receives inspirational quotes via email from his friend, basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. “The biggest fear in life is public speaking, so this really encourages them to do a lot of different things.”

Girardi gave his players only two rules they must follow when choosing their quote. They were not allowed to use any of the motivational quotes that hang in and around the clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field or ask Chad Bohling, the team’s director of mental conditioning, for help.

Why a Yankee player would use a quotation from anyone besides Yogi Berra for this exercise is beyond me. Still, I continue to rue the day I was born with the genes with which I was born, since they did not lead to a career in baseball and the opportunity to witness A-Rod's "score" speech first-hand. I have my guesses for what each letter stood for, but am only mildly confident that the slugger's odd mix of bland corporate-speak and peculiar psycho-sexual revelation led to the "S" standing for "Synergy" and the "E" representing "Erotic". It's the middle letters that are a mystery. Any guesses?

h/t to waswatching.

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