Which was most impressive? Was it rolling a frying pan like a burrito? Ripping a license plate in half? Tearing a phone book into two pieces? Pulling a soda can apart?
“Everybody was looking at each other like, are you serious?” Robinson Cano said.
Before today’s game, the Yankees were visited by motivational speaker Donnie Moore, who works as a chapel leader for the Oakland A’s but delivered a religion-free message about determination. To punctuate the message, Moore performed feats of strength.
“He talked about having a vision and believing in yourself,” Girardi said. “My guess is, if you don’t believe you can do that, as tough as it is, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think to be successful in this game, you have to push yourself to a limit. And I think that’s what some of his demonstrations are. He’s pushing himself to a limit. You’re not going to see me try it.”
In the past, the Yankees have brought Navy Seals, Army Rangers and Olympian Michael Johnson to speak to the team during spring training. Girardi has known Moore for more than 20 years and had seen him speak in the past, but even Girardi was stunned by the rolled frying pan.
“You figure, if each guy takes one little thing of what he says, it’s a success,” Girardi said. “Everyone is motivated different ways. You talk about a vision, you talk about a goal, but it’s not always the same people talking about it. It’s a different voice of people that come in. I can talk about it and Jeet can talk about it and Al can talk about it, but at some point during the course of the year, you want a different voice.”
Does it make a difference?
“It really helps,” Cano said. “Especially in baseball, you’re going to struggle more than once, so if you send a positive message to yourself like, ‘I’m going to get out of this and I’m going to be good,’ you’re going to get out of it. The more you think, ‘Can I get out of this’ or ‘I’m in a slump,’ the more you’re going to stay in it.”