But upon hearing it was a hamstring injury, I thought something was amiss. With Hughes out with a hamstring injury, he joins teammates Hideki Matsui, Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang on the sidelines with hammy injuries. Mix that with Andy Pettitte (sore back from lifting weights) and Johnny Damon and his calf injury (calves and hamstrings are related) and it’s easy to wonder what in the name of the assistant to the travelling secretary is going on in the South Bronx?
So it really didn’t come as much of a surprise when the Yankees announced that they had fired their strength coach on Wednesday. But when reading the story about the strength coach, 34-year old Marty Miller, it’s not surprising that he was a little unpopular with the players on the Yankees. Most baseball players, believe it or not, take fitness very, very seriously. Miller just didn’t seem to have the credentials to be in charge of keeping the Yankees loose and limber for a 162-game season.
Why not? Well, Miller had not worked in baseball for 10 years before general manager Brian Cashman hired him just before spring training. Prior to that, Miller’s previous job was director of fitness at the Ballen Isles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.? What, the Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association didn’t want the gig? Was Izzy Mandelbaum available?
Regardless, reports on the Internets indicate that Tim McCarver had the answer for all the hamstring trouble plaguing the Yankees and other clubs during last weekend’s telecast of the Yanks-Red Sox game… how about mandatory yoga? Yeah, that’s right, yoga.
Oh don’t laugh. Yoga is extremely popular with not just baseball players, but also many other top-level professional athletes. On the Phillies, Mike Lieberthal was a devotee for years, which influenced many other players on the team to take it up. Geoff Geary tells some entertaining stories about his Bikram Yoga sessions.
McCarver is definitely on to something, and maybe Miller (Marty, you’re doing a heckuva job… ) wasn’t quite hip to the trends of fitness, who knows. Either way, I will go out on a limb and say there is no better stretch than the downward facing dog, though my best pose is savasana.
Remember when Bobby Abreu played for the Phillies and fought the notion that he could be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game if he would just agree to moving up on the batting order? Remember all of that? Well, guess who has hit leadoff twice already this season?
You got it, Bobby Abreu.
For the record, Abreu hit leadoff for the Yankees for the first time since Larry Bowa bumped him up there for about 20 at-bats with the Phillies in 2003.
Someone told me that the NBA Playoffs were going on… really?