The storied New York Yankees, proud winners of baseball’s 2009 World Series Championship, go into the 2010 Post Season as the oldest team of the eight playoff teams. This has created some unique challenges for the coaching staff, especially the Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“Our guys are older, and very wealthy. When they don’t feel good, they get a little cranky. As the weather has cooled, a lot of the guys have been wearing their full length mink coats to the ballpark and many have started wearing cashmere scarves. They really don’t look ready to play when they get to the ballpark. Our job is to limber them up and work out the kinks.”
When pressed, coaches admit the biggest hurdle they face is dealing with arthritis. Knees, elbows and other joints are giving the aging Yankee players trouble. Catcher Jorge Posada, who turns 52 this year, is really feeling it in the knees. “We have Jorge sipping herbal green tea throughout the day and we’ve doubled up on Centrum Silver vitamins.” Famed closer Mariano Rivera, who has been pitching for the Yankees since 1974 can’t feel his fingers if the weather drops below 65 degrees.
Team Captain Derek Jeter, who was signed by the Yankees right out of High School (graduating class of ’81) is the oldest shortstop in the 2010 playoffs. “I’ve been doing this a long time,” says Jeter. “This is my 28th time in the playoffs so it’s kind of old hat for me, but I really want my 20th ring so I have one for each finger and one for each toe.”
The Yankees front office has been quietly interviewing Native American chiefs in the hopes of finding the right shaman who can bring them warmer weather for the home games.