I have a good friend named Nathan who leads hunting safaris in Africa. I was never a hunter myself, but I’ve decided that one of Nathan’s Bullet Safaris t-shirts is a solid choice for this morning’s paintball game with the Yankees coaches, front office staff and beat writers. I feel like it gives me some sort of psychological edge, like I’m a big game hunter who’s now going after pro scouting directors.
Anyway, I’ll obviously be away from my computer for a while. To fill the space while I’m gone, I thought I’d post a tour of the home clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field. It’s kind of an awkward place to explain — the room is uneven, and there are some lockers that are not along the outer wall — but this should give you some idea of who’s locker is where down here in Tampa. See you in a few hours when I’m all bruised and battered.
There are three ways into the Yankees clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field, but the main entrance is a set of double doors that come in from a hallway that leads to coaches offices and eventually to the dugout. Coming in from the hallway, the doors open into what we’ll call the front of the clubhouse. The door is more or less in the middle of a wall that has lockers on either side.
In other words, when you walk in the room, Bernier’s locker is to your immediate left and Monahan’s locker is to your immediate right. The empty locker between Bernier and Ayala was supposed to be Brandon Laird’s, but he was moved after it was decided Reegie Corona wouldn’t be in camp. Laird took Corona’s old locker and never actually moved into his original locker. You pretty much never see Monahan, Donohue or Cavalea at their lockers.
Far left wall (starting in the corner, next to Ayala and going toward the back of the room): CC Sabathia, Joba Chamberlain, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, (gap), Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, Sergio Mitre, Pedro Feliciano, Rafael Soriano, Mariano Rivera
The left wall is obviously where most of the big league pitching staff is stationed. Last year, Logan had a different locker — that empty locker on the front wall — but he was moved into the big league row this spring. Rivera’s locker is slightly bigger than the rest (the size of a catcher’s locker). In the space between Burnett and Robertson, there’s a television hanging on the wall. It splits what is — for the most part — the rotation half of the wall from the bullpen half of the wall.
Past Rivera’s locker is an open doorway that leads back to the player’s dining room. A few feet past that doorway, the left wall ends, running into a back wall that’s home to five oversized lockers, large enough to handle bulky catcher’s equipment.
Not much that needs explaining here. Posada and Martin get the choice spots on the ends. Montero is new to this wall — he was in the middle of the room last year — but Romine had a spot on the catchers’ wall last spring.
Next to Martin’s locker is a big open doorway that leads to the showers (essentially the showers are on the back side of the catchers’ wall) The right side of the clubhouse goes farther back than the left side. In other words, the catchers’ wall does not extend to the right side of the room. The back, right side of the room is as far back as you can get, maybe 10 feet farther back than the catchers’ wall.
In perhaps the biggest clubhouse move from last spring, Curtis went from the very front of the room — in a decidedly minor league section of the clubhouse — to the very back, which is a decidedly Major League section. Former Oakland teammates Swisher and Chavez are side-by-side, just like former Detroit teammates Granderson and Marcus Thames were next to one another last year.
Teixeira’s locker is in the back, right corner. The right wall starts at his locker and runs the length of the clubhouse to the front of the room. Beginning at Teixiera’s locker, the first 10 feet or so of the right wall has no lockers, only a single door that opens into a corridor that leads to the batting cages (hitters come in and out of that door all the time). Lockers start just past that door.
Far right wall (starting just past the door to the cages): Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez, Greg Golson, Ronnie Belliard, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, Derek Jeter, (gap), Andrew Brackman, Romulo Sanchez, Andy Sisco, Brian Anderson, Buddy Carlyle, empty, Mark Prior
The empty locker used to belong to Neal Cotts. The gap is only a few feet — more or less directly across the room from the gap on the left wall — and it essentially splits the hitters from the pitchers. That three-locker section of Brackman, Sanchez and Sisco is big-guy central. Lockers in the corners and next to gaps are kind of prime real estate. Brackman’s been in big league camp for a long time now, so he gets a good spot, and Prior’s veteran status seems to have landed him a good spot as well. Prior’s locker is in the corner where the right wall meets the front wall. Prior is next to Roman Rodriguez.
The middle lockers
When you walk in that main entrance at the front of the room, the Yankees clubhouse is very clearly divided into a left side and a right side. The left side of the clubhouse is wide open. You could walk straight from Bernier’s locker to Martin’s locker without running into anything. The right side of the room is the opposite. The right side has row after row of lockers, with each row running perpendicular to the right wall. It’s crowded over there.
These lockers face the front wall. Basically, Molina’s locker is directly across from Roman Rodriguez’s locker, and the empty locker is directly across from Monahan’s locker. The lockers face one another, with a few feet between them. The empty locker used to belong to Maxwell, but he was moved one spot over when Brian Schlitter was claimed by the Phillies.
Second row: Dellin Betances, Daniel Turpen, Hector Noesi, Jose Gil
Third row: Melky Mesa, Jordan Parraz, Robert Fish, Kyle Higashioka
The second row is back-to-back with the first row, facing the opposite direction. The third row faces the second row, so that the second and third rows form their own little section. Essentially, all eight of these players share one second.
Fourth row: Warner Madrigal, D.J. Mitchell, Steve Garrison, David Phelps
Fifth row: Adam Warren, Eric Wordekemper, Brandon Laird, Manny Banuelos
Like the second and third rows, the fourth and fifth rows face one another and form a little section. This is where the young pitchers hang out all the time. Brackman and Pope sit around in this section a lot. In fact, you’re just as likely to find a pitcher sitting at Laird’s locker as you are to find Laird sitting at Laird’s locker.
Sixth row: Austin Krum, Daniel Brewer, Jorge Vazquez and Brad Suttle
These lockers are back-to-back with the fifth row, and they face the back of the room, with a lot of room between these lockers and the row of lockers with Swisher, Granderson and Teixiera. Suttle is actually right next to Gardner and Alex Rodriguez.