The New York Jets Head Coach, Rex Ryan, called the Yankees on Monday to request some help teaching rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez how to slide. Both Ryan and Sanchez are in their first seasons with the Jets and Ryan apparently met Yankees manager Joe Girardi earlier in the baseball season.
Girardi had some time on Tuesday and headed over to the Jets’ practice facility to help teach Sanchez how to slide. I was at Sunday’s game between the Jets and Panthers, which the Jets managed to win 17-6. Sanchez had three runs Sundqay for a total of 27 yards, and each time he landed awkwardly. One time, he slid headfirst, another time he just crumpled to the ground and a third time he was hit going out of bounds, injuring his already sore left knee.
Here is what Coach Ryan had to say about it, (thanks to Lohud Yankees Blog):
“Today, we had the privilege of having Joe Girardi out here. We had a couple of issues that we needed to go over. Number one, the obvious free agents, who’s available. So, after the counseling and my input, which I know he regards highly (laughter), then we got into the other business. I had Joe come out here and teach Sanchez how to slide (laughter). That’s the truth. I actually did that. We had a little sliding mat out here. I told Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer), ‘I’m going over your head. I’m going over (Matt) Cavanaugh’s head. I’m going over my head. We’re bringing in a world champ to get this done.’ We did have Joe Girardi out here and quite honestly, we spent 10 minutes out there. He was running and learning to slide off his right leg. We literally did that. He’s (Sanchez) too valuable and he needs to understand that we need him out there and people are going to take shots at him if he doesn’t start sliding. I really did want to make an emphasis to Mark and get the best guy that we can in the area. I made a call today to the Yankees and I was really happy that Girardi came over and did that for us.”