After catching a ball from the first baseman, Wang Chien-ming, who is practicing covering other position, takes his time and jogs to first base.
This isn’t because Wang is not dedicated, but because nobody at the Yankees will tell him to sprint full strength for the time being. His coaches are telling Wang to take things slowly, even with fielding practice which is meant to be done in as realistic a manner as possible.
Many people are still unable to forget last year when Wang injured his foot running across third base. A single twist to his foot saw the Yankee’s star pitcher miss half a season.
Wang was also originally expecting a pay rise that year, but in the end only received US$5 million. After losing their star pitcher, the Yankees lost their way and performed poorly for the remainder of the season.
Because of this, the Yankees are doing their best to protect Wang’s foot. This is obvious from the way in which the pitchers go about their fielding practice.
Phil Coke, from the minor league, sprints with all his might on every ball in the hope of leaving a good impression on his coaches for his future in the major league. However, Andy Pettitte and Wang, who are on the same rotation team, take their training at a noticeably slower pace. This is because they have to touch foot on base when covering base and could injure their ankles if they are not careful.
“They tell me not to hurry or rush and to jog through my fielding practice,” said Wang with a smile, adding, “Maybe they are worried that I will injure myself again.”
Although Wang takes the exercises slowly, he does not slack off at all and focuses on doing them as precisely as possible. Sometimes, Wang even “forgets” the advice of his coaches and does a bit of sprinting.
Coach: That was the worst performance I have ever seen in my life!
Player: Sorry coach. I was doing my best.
Coach: No you weren’t. You were slacking off.
Player: That’s not true!
Coach: Yes, it is. And if you don’t pull your socks up you’ll be looking for a new team.
Player: Ok, I’ll try harder in future.
Coach: You’d better!
pull your socks up 振作起來
When somebody tells you to pull your socks up, it means you have to try harder. For example, “You’d better pull your socks off or you’ll end up failing the test.”
當某人叫你「pull your socks up」，意思就是你得更認真努力。例如：「你最好加緊腳步唸書，否則考試可能會被當掉」。
Wang remembers the injuries he sustained last year very well: “It took me a whole five months from the time I got injured to recover totally.” The hardest thing for Wang was that he had no idea whatsoever as to when he would recover. “In July and August, I was actually thinking that I would be able to play again in September. I never imagined that the season would end like this.”
When asked about whether he was worried about running now, Wang thought for a second and said: “I am not worried. I have fully recovered and I don’t think about it.” (liberty times, TRANSLATED BY DREW CAMERON)