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Prado facing culture shock with Yankees

8/2/2014

BOSTON -- Martin Prado heard rumblings for weeks leading up to the trade deadline, so when the news came Thursday afternoon that he was no longer an Arizona Diamondback, it was anything but a shock.

What was a shock was learning what he would be the rest of this season, and two more besides.

"I never saw the Yankees," he said. "I never saw that one."

And as of now, it's unclear whether that was good news or bad.

Martin Prado

#14 3B
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM106
  • HR5

  • RBI42

  • R44

  • OBP.317

  • AVG.270

Unlike just about everyone else who gets traded to the Yankees, Prado did not immediately profess that wearing the pinstripes was his boyhood dream, or that he has waited all his life to worship at the altar of the cathedral of baseball. (Even Brian McCann, at his introductory news conference, said, "It's great. It's absolutely great. Sports fans, they don't get much better across the world. I mean, they love their sports here, especially the Yankees.")

But when I asked Prado what his very first reaction to learning he had been traded to the Yankees was, he volunteered that when he was an Atlanta Brave, coming to New York to play the Mets was hardly his favorite trip.

"I was always like, 'Oh, man,' " he said. "It’s crowded, I didn’t like the crowded stuff, I was like, 'I don’t like the city.' "

In time, Prado said, he came to like the city better by bringing his family along on trips. However the prospect of living in New York still seems to be a little daunting to him.

"There’s a few guys who called me, let me know it was going to be fine, because I was a little concerned," he said.

McCann apparently was one of the people who called Prado to reassure him. "He told me it’s a new, new, new, new beyond experience, and I was thrilled to get here and get to know everybody," Prado said. "I’ve got two months left, and I’m just going to do everything I can."

Two months and two years, to be precise. And the Yankees have started Prado off by asking him to play a position, right field, where he had played all of two innings in his nine big-league seasons, which can't have increased his comfort level. He never did get a ball hit to him after coming into Friday's 4-3 loss as a pinch-hitter for Ichiro Suzuki in the seventh inning.

"It’s been a while since I’ve played right field, but I told [GM Brian Cashman] that I’m open for it, to help my teammates, help my team win games," Prado said. "Whatever I have to do, I will prepare myself for any challenge to help the team win. But I will make sure to get a lot of work there, and get used to it."

The question is, which one will he get used to first? Playing right field? Or playing in New York?

Up now: The Rapid Reaction from Friday's loss, plus my story on Joe Girardi's evident, and increasing, displeasure with the performance of his offense.

On deck: Game 2 of this three-game series, Shane Greene (2-1, 3.28) versus fellow righty Allen Webster (1-0, 3.28), first pitch at 4:05 p.m. The clubhouse opens at 12:35. I'll have the lineup and all the pregame news and notes shortly thereafter, so do yourself a favor and stop by. And as always, thanks for reading.