One of the biggest questions left for the 2009 Yankees is how well the offense will perform. Despite the addition of Teixeira, some concerns remain about a team that scored just 768 runs all last season. Yet General Manager Brian Cashman remains confident that the offense will bounce back. The reason for his confidence? Cashman claims that the underperforming offense was the result of a series of distracting incidents that occurred in the Yankee clubhouse.
"I'm not really sure how they got in." Stated a baffled Brian Cashman as he recounted the event. "I was in my office prior to the game, when I get a call from Joe [Girardi] saying there was a situation in the clubhouse. As soon as I step in the room I see three large men in ski masks holding guns. I said 'What's going on here? What do you want?' They respond 'We don't want you to score any runs this season.' I laughed at them and said, 'Shoot me, 'cause we're scoring runs.' But they told me that if we score runs they would kill a puppy. We weren't sure what they were talking about until they pulled a puppy out of a box they had brought with them. They held a gun to its head, and it wasn't even two weeks old. They were like, 'So, what's it going to be?' And how was I going to answer? If we go score 12 runs, then we have puppy blood on our hands and hearts. I can't live with that."
"I remember the situation well." Recalled Robinson Cano. "Melky and I were walking in when Girardi called us over and told us there was a situation. We walked into the clubhouse and there were these men with ski masks holding a puppy." Cano paused, revisiting the terror. "They had a gun, and a golden retriever, it was so young it could barely open its eyes. They told us not to score runs, or the puppy would get it. It was so heartless. It took me all season to recover, and Melky never did. He would have nightmares. He would have them all the way down to Scranton."
"It was not an isolated event." Assured Yankee manager Joe Girardi. "The first time it happened, we came in after the game and the bandits were gone. To be honest I kind of forgot about it. Then I came in the next morning with a fresh cup of coffee, turned the corner of the clubhouse and there they were holding a puppy and a gun. This time a black lab. I was like, 'Seriously guys?' They said 'Yes. No runs today or the lab gets it.' I went out into the dugout and tried to call the police, but it kept dialing to the bullpen. After the third time Mike Harkey was like 'Stop calling me.'"
But what about the offensive surge witnessed in July?
"In July we started playing well mainly because they were getting sloppy." Stated Outfielder Johnny Damon. "They would show up with a Chihuahua and be like 'The puppies going to get it.' But we were like 'That's not a puppy.' And then we'd score 14 runs. One time I'm pretty sure they brought a rat with a collar on it. We threw a stick to see if it would fetch it, but instead it gave Betemit rabies. Another time they brought a hamster. By August they had pulled their act together."
Could this situation occur in 2009?
"After last season I made sure to install locks in the new stadium. I suspect these locks will deter these kinds of incidents." Explained Brian Cashman.
The hopes of the 2009 season certainly depend on it.