The honorable Judge Mariano Rivera presiding
The Yankees held their first Kangaroo Court since 1995 this afternoon at Yankee Stadium, with Mariano Rivera – the elder statesman of the clubhouse – doing the honors as judge. Xavier Nady served as the secretary and court stenographer, and Derek Jeter, A.J. Burnett and Johnny Damon served as the jury.
What’s the court all about? Basically, Nady has been keeping track of infractions for weeks, called out by teammates. Derek Jeter said that he can’t ever remember one being held in his pro career, even in the Minor Leagues, but word is the practice disappeared when Joe Torre took over in 1996.
The guys seemed to love the process. Nick Swisher did a television interview in Detroit shirtless and Burnett hit him with a $20 fine for that. Phil Coke’s wallet was $30 lighter as a result of the home run he served up to the Twins’ Joe Mauer. Coke pointed to the drive off the bat, thinking it was a fly ball that could be easily tracked by center fielder Brett Gardner, but the ball carried out and hit the netting over Monument Park. Johnny Damon was fined $100 for showing up late to court, blaming New York City traffic. But no fine was crueler than this one — Alex Rodriguez got hit for being late … for the season.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Nady said. “Hopefully it gets better. It’s just entertaining how people plead their cases. That’s the best part.”