Most walk-off wins are met with jumping around home plate, hugs, a pat on the back, lots of high fives—and shaving cream pies?
The Yankees have taken to rewarding the heroes of their walk-off wins with a shaving cream pie in the face. A.J. Burnett started the tradition, and it's something that's apparently sticking.
What makes this even more unique is that the pie to the face occurs right before the game's hero gets interviewed for a post-game report. Who wouldn't want to give an interview with shaving cream all over their face?
Up until this season, the Yankees would've celebrated a walk-off win with excitement, but that would've been the end of it.
This season, however, the Yankees are making the most out of every victory that they get, a sign that this team is having a lot more fun than in the past.
The shaving cream pies to the face aren't the only thing the Yankees have incorporated as part of their clubhouse fun.
Burnett gave Johnny Damon a wrestling belt as a way of saying thanks for showing his kids some wrestling moves. The belt now gets passed on a daily basis to the guy who has the best game. Everyone wants the belt, so that little added incentive is another positive thing in the clubhouse.
However, the biggest sign that the Yankees are all enjoying the loose clubhouse atmosphere was the holding of "kangaroo court" in the clubhouse last week.
Players, coaches, and staff were gathered in the back room of the clubhouse for over an hour, where fines were issued for a variety of antics that have occurred during the first 39 games of the season.
Mariano Rivera served as the judge, while Derek Jeter, Burnett, and Damon acted as jury members. The fines handed out could be for just about anything.
Phil Coke was fined $30 for giving up a home run to Joe Mauer, Nick Swisher was fined $20 for agreeing to do a post-game interview and forgetting to put on a shirt, and Damon was fined for showing up late to court.
The fine that earned the most laughs throughout the clubhouse was when Mo fined Alex Rodriguez for not showing up until May 8 to start the season.
All of these things have nothing to do with playing baseball, but in their own way, they are important.
A loose, pleasant clubhouse atmosphere is good for the entire team. That's not to say that they don't focus on winning, because the victories are what keep the smiles on everyone's faces.
Many of the players credit the new feel to the clubhouse to the day back in spring training when Joe Girardi canceled practice and took his players on a field trip to a pool hall as a way to break up their schedule and to have some fun.
Another factor is that the players' families are now allowed in the clubhouse. In years past, families have been barred from the clubhouse, most likely because they are viewed as a distraction. This season, Girardi has changed that rule, and his players couldn't be happier.
While the pies, the belt, and kangaroo court may seem insignificant, they have brought the players together. Of course, if there was a lot of losing going on, this merriment would not exist.
Most people view the Yankees as an all business type of organization, but this group of players is showing that they know how to win and have fun all at the same time. The fact that there are new personalities on the team this year, like Burnett and Swisher, add to a new type of vibe surrounding the entire team.
Sometimes all it takes is something so small to keep a team going in the right direction. Over the course of the season, the Yankees will experience their share of wins and losses, but as long as there is the prospect of shaving cream pies and a championship wrestling belt, there is something that is bonding them in a way that hasn't existed in a long time.
Hopefully this band of brothers can translate their good vibes into a lot more success that will last all the way through October.