I’m spending several days in Tampa, Florida, attending Yankees Spring Training. And over the next few days, I’ll be blogging about the team preparing for Opening Day on March 22.
On Sunday, pitchers and catchers went through their drills in Steinbrenner Field and the other fields of the Yankees training center. The pitchers went through several plays to practice fielding bunts and picking off runners at first base. They were joined by first baseman Mark Teixeira, who greeted some fans between batting, stretching, and a workout.
I stuck around for a while after practice ended and was lucky enough to see Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long throw a couple of pitches to Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli at the back field. Long, who has been the Yankees hitting coach since 2004, gave Cervelli tips on how to follow through even after he finishes his swing. In his tenure with the club, Long has helped the Yankees be one of the top two teams in runs scored twice. He also led the Spokane Indians to the title in the minors 1999, earning himself the honor of Manager Of The Year.
Here’s a short video of Cervelli taking a powerful cut after getting some tips from Long:
After his workout, Cervelli signed baseball gear for fans. He also shared his love of baseball, calling it, “The most beautiful sport on the planet.” And he had some advice for kids who dream of the big leagues: “When you’re a kid, you need to have fun!”
Max Mannis is an 11-year-old special correspondent for sikids.com and a member of SABR. Catch his posts on advanced baseball statistics. To learn more about SABR and to join, visit www.sabr.org.
Photo and videos courtesy Max Mannis