Earlier this month, the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer Society (PBATS) honored Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue as the Best Athletic Trainers in Major League Baseball for the 2010 season. Good stuff for two remarkably nice men. Here’s the announcement.
PBATS?is proud of all of its athletic trainers and athletic training staffs, they’re among the most skilled and respected in professional sports. But each year PBATS members are given the opportunity to honor one major league team’s athletic training staff based upon their skill, their professionalism and their dedication to the core mission of PBATS. In 2010, that honor was presented to the athletic trainers of the New York Yankees, Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue.
”With a total of almost 65 years of combined service as professional baseball athletic trainers with the New York Yankees, Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue have set an example for all athletic trainers to follow, working on possibly the toughest and brightest stage in all of professional sports. The length of Gene and Steve’s tenure in baseball is only exceeded by the extent of their generosity and leadership in helping advance fellow athletic trainers,” said Richie Bancells, President of PBATS and head Athletic trainer of the Baltimore Orioles. “We salute their wonderful efforts and thank them for being premier representatives for PBATS.”
Each baseball season, the membership of PBATS vote on who they believe is the Major League Baseball Athletic Training Staff of the Year. The criteria for this award is ability related to their profession, professionalism, dedication to health of their athletes and a demonstrated desire to advance the profession of athletic training.
During his postgame interview this afternoon, Yankees manager Joe Girardi choked up one time. Not when he was asked about Hideki Matsui. Not when he was asked about George Steinbrenner. Girardi had to fight tears when he talked about longtime Yankees trainer Gene Monahan, who’s been away from the team while fighting cancer.
“Knowing what he’s going through, it was really emotional,” Girardi said. “We’re all thrilled to see him.”
Monahan got the first ring during the on-field ceremony. He was first member of the staff to come onto the field, and the rest of the Yankees gave him a standing ovation from the dugout. The crowd at Yankee Stadium seemed to respond as he waved from near first base.
“It probably more to us than to him,” Derek Jeter said.
Here’s Girardi’s postgame interview.
• As emotional as he was about Monahan, Girardi said his pregame visit with Steinbrenner was “one of the best parts of my day.”
• The Yankees gave Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher fake World Series rings. It was apparently Jeter’s idea to replace the real rings with the fake versions given out before the final spring training game in Tampa. Matsui got the real thing when Girardi was introduced pregame.
• Nick Johnson’s choice of at-bat music — Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus — was chosen for his daughter, who loves Cyrus. For those of you who know my obsession with music, you can imagine how appalled I was to hear it. But Nick gets a pass for the daughter thing. Maybe someone can introduce her to some Allman Brothers.
• Girardi said he was happy with Chan Ho Park, who got pitched exceptionally well except for the home run to Kendry Morales. “He made one mistake,” Girardi said.
• Speaking of great pitching, Andy Pettitte was outstanding. His biggest pitch was his last, the double play to end the sixth inning. “I don’t know if I made a good pitch that whole inning until I threw that ball right there,” Pettitte said.
• Brian Cashman, Randy Levin, Lonn Trost, Reggie Jackson and members of the Steinbrenner family were also in George Steinbrenner’s suite when Girardi and Jeter gave The Boss his ring. Cashman said the whole thing was a surprise for Steinbrenner.
• Alex Rodriguez said he was more nervous to get his ring than he was to play in the playoffs last year. “It was really a dream come true,” Rodriguez said. “I felt like a 10-year-old boy.”
• Jorge Posada hit his 345th double, moving him past Mickey Mantle for seventh place on the Yankees all-time list. He then hit his 346th.
Those are Associated Press shots of Monahan during the pregame ceremony and of Rodriguez showing off his ring postgame.
Yankees release statement on Gene Monahan • 02.14.10
First, a quick announcement. Sam and I will be video chatting here at the LoHud Yankees Blog on Monday at noon. We’ll be talking about the Yankees offseason, their upcoming spring training decisions and whatever questions are sent our way. Should be a solid way to spend part of your Presidents Day, and we hope it’s a good way to kickoff Pitchers and Catchers Week.
Here’s the Yankees’ statement regarding head athletic trainer Gene Monahan.
The New York Yankees announced today that Head Athletic Trainer Gene Monahan has developed a significant illness and is taking a medical leave of absence effective immediately, which will cause him to miss 2010 spring training in Tampa, Florida, and possibly the first portion of the 2010 regular season. Prior to this season, Mr. Monahan had worked 47 consecutive spring trainings for the Yankees organization from 1963 through 2009.
Mr. Monahan will remain in New York to receive extensive treatment, which will take place over the next several weeks.
“I miss not being around my professional family already, but I’m battling,” Mr. Monahan said. “The New York Yankees have gone above and beyond in this most difficult time. I couldn’t do this alone, but with the support and love of my immediate family, my family within our organization and the dedication and expertise of many fine doctors, I look forward to resuming my role with the team this season.”
Mr. Monahan is the longest-tenured head athletic trainer in the Major Leagues, having worked in that capacity for the last 38 years. He was honored with induction into the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2009, Mr. Monahan received the National Athletic Trainers Association Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.
Steve Donohue, who has worked 25 consecutive seasons as Assistant Athletic Trainer under Mr. Monahan and 31 overall seasons in the Yankees organization, will serve in Mr. Monahan’s role during his absence.
Longtime trainer will miss start of camp • 02.13.10
Head trainer Gene Monahan, who has been a presence in the Yankees organization for decades, has reportedly fallen ill and will miss the opening of spring training.
There’s no official word from the Yankees on Monahan’s status and it’s unclear how long he’ll be away from the team. It’s believed that this will be the first spring training in 48 years that Monahan will miss. Assistant trainer Steve Donahue will fill in and the Yankees may add another trainer to the major-league staff to assist Donahue.
Every baseball reporter has a story about the time they got sick or the time they stabbed themselves with a pen or the time they got a bloody nose in the clubhouse, and Monahan is a great guy who was always there with a band-aid or a Tylenol. Here’s hoping he gets well quickly and is back with the Yankees soon.