By Joe Auriemma
The one observation that I have made since my arrival to Spring Training is how loose the players are. These guys are just having a lot of fun out there. Derek Jeter arrived at around 2:30 right in front of me on a golf cart and within two hours it was like Jeter had never left. He was out on the field and laughing with his teammates.
Jeter and the “Clubhouse Clown,” as Brian Bruney called Nick Swisher, in his interview with Chris Shearn on YESNetwork.com, had a nice laughing exchange over at first base. Jeter had some fun with his best friend Jorge Posada behind the cage and they all seem to have their own new sayings. Two minutes for hooking is when someone in the cage pulls a ball foul. “Did he?” is asking the hitter in the batting cage if he got it all. Jeter always replies, “No, no, no, I’ll let you know.”
I spoke with Joe Girardi in my Q&A about the atmosphere and Girardi said he loves it. When asked to go more in depth about his squads new found penchant for the loose attitude, Girardi said, “That’s important because you’re going to go through some adversity and the closer your group is, the better you are.”
Swisher was actually quoted in our interview with him as saying, “The clubhouse was stuffy,” when he arrived at camp. This new attitude toward having fun, while still taking care of business might be just what the Yankees need.