Nothing evokes the pageantry of spring training more than the post-game perp walk, when the visiting ball club must navigate its way from the smelly, media-clogged locker room to the team bus.
In Sarasota this week, Yankee security was beefed-up and ready to snap into action at a moment's notice.
Dressed as civilians, few Yankee perps were recognized by the crowd. In fact, considering that most were minor leaguers whose jersey numbers are not listed on the roster, some could not even be identified during the game. Nevertheless, fans could tell the players by their containers of take-out food, pilfered from the clubhouse buffet.
Note how they keep their eyes focused on the freedom bus. The pressure is on. This is no time for eye-contact.
One familiar face invoked shouts from the crowd of "JOE, JOE, JOE.." It was none other than Joe Girardi, the most recognizable Yankee. He signed one ball and then bee-lined it to the traveling coach.
With the perp walk successfully navigated, the Yankees headed home.
Coming up next: The view from the greatest seat in spring training!