If you have an early-2000s party to liven up, we recommend you give Yankees minor-league manager Rachel Balkovec a call.
Balkovec, named to the position with Low-A Tampa back in January, has spent the recent portion of the lockout in Florida working with the team’s young talent — all non-40-man participants are free to join minicamp.
Everyone from 17-year-old signee Roderick Arias to super stud Anthony Volpe to, yes, The Martian Jasson Dominguez has been spotted at Balkovec’s camp — and the journalists who’ve scoped out the proceedings have noticed that the baseball’s fine, but the music is fire.
When Yankees prospector John Brophy pointed out that the proceedings have been livened up by Eminem/50 Cent/Dr. Dre/Mary J. Blige Super Bowl Halftime Show vibes in recent week, Balkovec herself was quick to jump into the conversation and assure everyone she was responsible for the bangers.
“Bangers” meaning both the sound off the bat in various cages, as well as “In Da Club” blaring from the speakers.
Happy to clarify.
Yankees coach Rachel Balkovec has an eye for musical talent, too.
This was probably obvious from everything you’ve already read above, but Balkovec is 34 years old, meaning she came of age smack in the middle of hip hop’s heyday.
“California Love” was slightly before her time (hey, mine too), but she likely grew up with “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and knew 50 at his best, long before he ever tried to throw a first pitch.
Kudos to Balkovec, who’s taken her job of teaching the young ones a thing or two to the next level.
Of course, she does realize how young her players are, and took a hilarious shot at Dominguez’s age in response to an excellent 50-inspired photoshop.
Tragically, “50 Cent” also refers to what Balkovec’s minor-leaguers get paid; recent discourse surrounding these training camps has been wholly negative, focused on MLB’s draconian efforts to cut jobs at the lower levels of the game.
This story gave us a brief twinge of good, followed by 19 more hours of shuddering and worrying about the game’s future, and we have to thank Balkovec for that.
After all, the minor-league season starts when it’s supposed to — or, as Balkovec’s iPod would put it, minor-league baseball is “Always on Time” (Ja Rule Ft. Ashanti).
Amid all the infighting, we at least have that to look forward to.