It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish baseball from cricket.

According to the Neward Star-Ledger, the new beverage of choice in the Yankees’ clubhouse is not Gatorade. It’s not pickle juice. It’s tea — and especially green tea.

From the Star-Ledger:

You can set your watch by Ron Villone’s morning ritual.

The Yankees reliever comes off the field, iPod headphones still in, clothes damp with sweat. He takes a carafe filled with some dark, shriveled-up leaves into the player’s lounge, and fills it with hot water. Five minutes later, Villone strains out the water through the bottom of the pot. He adds a little honey, and takes a slow sip.

“My best friend is monkey oolong,” says Villone, a native of Bergenfield.

That would be “Monkey Picked Oolong Oolong” tea, the origin of which the 37-year-old pitcher is happy to explain.

“Thousands of years ago, monkeys picked the tea leaves from the top of the tree,” he says as his morning cup steeps. “Monks taught them to do that. I guess it’s a lost art because they don’t need the monkeys to do that any longer.”

I’m all for eating, drinking and living healthy. The Phillies players recently volunteered to remove all Pop Tarts, Tasty Kakes and other artificial snacks from their clubhouse. The Devil Rays are doing yoga. And more power to them. But tea just seems like such an odd choice. I wonder why the Yankee players have suddenly turned to tea?

The Yankees don’t need help from monkeys to get their tea fix these days. They have manager Joe Torre, who drinks pints of green tea each day and is a spokesman for Bigelow Green Tea.

Joe Torre drinks green tea -- can't you tell?In his office at Legends Field in Tampa are three boxes of decaf lemon green tea and the players’ lounge is always stocked with green tea bags.

A clubhouse assistant brings him a steaming cup of tea every morning, which he carries in hand as he wanders the field inspecting players.

Ooooooooooooooh. I see now. The boss says drink tea, so the players drink tea. Makes sense. And hey, why not? I mean, look at young and spry Joe Torre! You can’t argue with results. I think I’m going to go buy myself a barrel of green tea. The monkey kind, of course.

One Response to “Tea time”

  1. Sarah Green says:

    Can’t beat those antioxidants! I propose the Red Sox start drinking Wonderful Pom.

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