An expected quiet day in the Yankees' universe today unless well, you know, A-Rod ends up doing his thing with the Feds later. But, barring that, the news of the day is the second straight year the Yankees have dropped their bats and gloves the day before their spring training opener, and opting instead for some team bonding.
Their traveling group of 65 left a short time ago for their destination -- a local arcade for a competition involving skee ball, pop-a-shot and Indy car racing. Last year the excursion was to a local pool hall for a tournament, which Mariano Rivera won.
"I think it's good to get the guys together away from the field," Joe Girardi said. "We're here together always on the field and there's competition, there's cheering for each other. It's just a nice day to hang out in a big group. I think it's important during the course of the year...if you get called up, you're familiar with these guys, you had a chance to hang out with them. Maybe you walk into that clubhouse with a little bit more ease than you would if you hadn't spent time with them. I just think that it's a great day. We've been going at it pretty hard for a couple weeks and it's a chance for them to kind of relax and just have fun."
Girardi mentioned Francisco Cervelli as one young call-up who benefited from last year's pool event and the catcher agreed.
"Oh yeah, definitely," Cervelli said. "The key for every rookie player or every guy coming from another team, you don’t know anyone, and especially rookies, we feel sometimes a little scared. When they do event like a pool party it helps you to talk with the other guys."
Mark Teixeira, new to the Yankees a year ago, also got a lot from it.
"I got to meet a lot of guys I hadn't met yet," Teixeira said. "This is the first full week of camp and we're so spread out, different fields, different groups, you have so many guys here, it's just a good bonding experience getting to meet some guys you really haven't had a chance to talk with and talk with for a couple hours off the field is always fun."
*** Girardi said Joba Chamberlain, who was experiencing flu-like symptons, would not make the trip.
"I think we're going to send him home because we'd prefer the other 65 guys don't get sick," Girardi said. "They said he didn't look good so...I think he's going to go home."
Chamberlain was supposed to throw a bullpen today, a session that will be pushed back until Wednesday. Girardi said if he is still ill, it could mean Chamberlain doesn't throw in Friday's game against the Rays as scheduled.
"We have to see how he is tomorrow," Girardi said. "It's possible it could effect him. Then we have to kind of wing it."