Non-gameday spring training schedules are fairly straightforward: ballplayers get to the facility at, like, 7 or 7:30, eat some breakfast off of styrofoam plates, hit the cages or the trainer’s room or something and start working out on the field at 9 or 9:30. They’re usually done by noon at the latest and then are off to go play golf or something.
Not the Yankees. Not this year. Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal reports that Joe Girardi, armed with research about the importance of sleep and no small amount of common sense, has told his players to show up late. Like, really late. Workouts at 11 or 11:30 late, just as many other teams are starting to wind down. He’s adamant about it too, BTW. Go read the article and check out Girardi’s quotes about how early birds will not get the worm with the Yankees this year.
While such things offend the sensibilities of an early riser like myself — really, all of you who sleep late are morally weak and I can’t stand you — this makes a lot of sense for ballplayers. For the entire regular season these dudes work the second shift. Part of what makes spring training such a grind to them, I suspect, is the radical change of schedule for a month and a half.
It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.