"We start at 11:30. Don't think if I see you here at 7:30 that I'm going to be impressed."
- Joe Girardi
Sleeping in and starting practice later.....WHO DOES THAT?! Well, now the Yankees are unlike the rest of the other teams in baseball. It's not being lazy and it is not a crazy idea. In fact, it is pretty darn smart and it's about damn time. As Billy Beane says in Moneyball "adapt or die" and for once, the Yankees are truly changing things up in a good way.
I have never understood why Spring Training is executed the way it is. This is supposed to be in preparation for the season, so why aren't we training and playing under the same conditions? Spring is supposed to get these guys geared up and ready for the regular season so the practice schedules shouldn't be handled differently. The guys need to get back into a routine and that routine needs to mirror what they will do for the entire season.
Science and baseball finally team up and make sense. So as of this season, the Yankees want their guys to sleep later! It amazes me how more teams have not done this before. What good is it for players to be practicing early in the morning when the majority of the games they will play are night games. How do you fine tune your body this way? What are teams accomplishing by practicing early and leaving so much of the day left? It's not likely that these guys go to bed earlier to stay rested.
This change in ideology is going to take time to get used to and Joe Girardi is going to have to be part of this change. Buying into this change is essential to get these guys on track with it, and based on his comments HERE, he means business. I like that he is taking charge and getting behind this change. In this case, the early bird does not get the worm and I like that he makes that perfectly clear.
Maybe this is a sign of what is to come with baseball. Last year, the Yankees experimented with their schedule by traveling for away games in the early hours of the morning rather than right after a game. The Chicago Cubs also cut out pre-game batting practice in efforts to keep players fresh and help avoid injuries. Maybe this is the next step.
Hopefully, if this catches on and shows that it benefits the players maybe we can also push back those Spring Training games to night games. Seriously, I would go to more Spring games if you weren't playing at one in the afternoon on a Wednesday.
I think the Yankees are on to something here. It may sound trivial to some, but baseball players and fans are creatures of habit. If we train our guys to play July baseball in the spring then maybe we will see more success and fewer injuries. Food for thought. What do you think? Tell us.
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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