I spent nearly thirty minutes in the Yankees clubhouse, prior to last night’s game. I wasn’t there to attempt a conversation with any players or infringe on their space. It was merely my desire to observe and gauge the atmosphere among sports celebrities and their collective egos. And, I was pleasantly surprised.
Although, I’ve only visited the Orioles clubhouse on two occasions, I found the Yankees quarters to be much more upbeat …. very much abuzz. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly no expert on clubhouse manners of tradition. In fact, I’d say I absolutely lack the experience and collective credibility to suggest one clubhouse is more “team oriented” than the other.
However, I can provide a fan’s or novice point of view. Thus, I was really impressed by the camaraderie and positive vibes felt throughout the Yankees camp. Most players interacted with media, in one way or another. And, they seemed to genuinely like being around each other. Alex Rodriguez was one of the more boisterous characters, talking with teammates in Spanish and English and laughing, often. He gave me the impression he really enjoys being at the ballpark.
This did not appear to be a team that had lost 5 out of 6 games, or a team that rests 10 games out of first place. This Yankees team appeared at ease …. as if they’ve been here before. I suppose the poignant part to this statement is “they have.” These guys showed no sense of urgency – no “players only” meeting or such. I truly felt they maintained the confidence expected of a contender.
Perhaps, this is the distinguishing difference between the two clubhouses. I paid a significant visit to a crowded Orioles clubhouse, about a month ago. The mood in that room was much different …. and that was before the “swoon.” I’m not knocking the O’s, but these two clubhouses were “night and day” for me.
If I were a player, I’d harbor no doubt about which clubhouse I’d want to be a part of …. regardless of win/loss record. But, then again, I’m just a fan. What do I know?