Marty Miller, Director of Performance Enhancement for the New York Yankees, has been summarily relieved of his duties following the most number of injures on his watch to a platoon of men ever not directly involved in lethal and armed combat. The Yankees first hired Miller out of BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach, Florida, which is appropriate, considering the team is made up of a bunch of geriatrics. But having a “czar” of performance enhancement was a ridiculous notion before it was even conceived, making it one of baseball’s few (but glaring) pre-emptive failures.** And why is it thus? Let us count the ways!
First off, you can’t possibly trust anyone who goes by their nickname on their business card. It shows an outrageous lack of civility, and stretches the boundaries of good taste. He went by “Marty?” Are you going to put that on the top of your letterhead? What the heck is that? Before you know it, good and decent professionals will be calling themselves “Will” instead of “William” in a business setting. Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria.
Second thing-- Director of “Performance Enhancement?” Do you see those quotes? I think Jason Giambi’s performance has been enhanced quite enough over the years, don’t you? I mean, his comeback from 2003 was basically the stuff of miracles, and proof to everyone either the benefits of a clean lifestyle or better living through chemicals. Not to mention getting the Sheff out of the kitchen don’t make it less hot, baby.
And speaking of stretching, apparently Miller wasn’t interested in it. Now, I’m not expert in the philosophies involved in allowing world-class athletes to reach their potential, but hasn’t stretching been in basically every single self-fitness guide since the times of Teddy Atlas? Are we trying to go beyond the paradigm here? Is stretching too “new wave” for you, Marty?
Let’s Survey the Damage:
Johnny Damon—Hamstring problems that persist to this day.
Mike Mussina—Injured for a month.
Chien-Ming Wang—Injured for slightly less than a month.
Hideki Matsui—Injured, and just recently returned.
Jeff Karstens—Injured hamstring, out to start the season.
Phil Hughes—Injured for 8-10 weeks, might be back in time for the All-Star game.
According to some sources, Brian Cashman had a “sleepless night” when trying to decide whether or not Miller should be fired, which makes the independent observer wonder which inmates exactly are running the asylum that is the Bronx Zoo circa 2007. That list seen above? That’s not a disabled list, that’s a hit list. You couldn’t send a sleeper cell into an enemy locker room and cause that much destruction.
“Marty” has been the worst trainer for a baseball franchise since the Greg Anderson fiasco, and that guy is in jail. It appears to me that Miller got off easy. Don't forget to tell the folks back in BallenIsles to stretch, Marty, and don't pretend that you and "Jetes" are friends-- he probably hates you.
*C'mon. You guys gotta know know where this is from.
**Others being the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, The All-Star game counting, and actually recognizing David Ortiz as a 1B all come to mind.