TAMPA – Do not tell Troy Tulowitzki that spring training matches do not count.
On the second pitch that he saw from former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman on Monday, the Yankees' new low-stalls sent him over the straight ground wall.
As he skirted the third goal in front of the Blue Jays canoe, Tulowitzki let out a "Let'f-king go" in the direction of the canoe.
"You know the story, you know what happened. No doubt about it, it was extra special. Basically, they told me I could not play anymore, Tulowitzki said after his first match in the first set gave the Yankees a 3-0 win at the George M. Steinbrenner Stadium. "I play with a lot of emotions and I really care about this game. I work a lot. I think of all the detox sessions that I did, every hour after my surgery.
"A lot of people said it was only a day and a lot of people said I would never come back to a baseball field. There was an extra emotion about it. It's the biggest springtime home run I've ever seen. I'm a little excited, but if someone tells you that you're done, you're going to be a little excited. "
The Blue Jays released Tulowitzki in December, while Manny Machado listened to the Yankees. Tulowitzki organized a training session for the MLB clubs and the Yankees were impressed. They asked for a private showcase at Tulowitzki and walked away thinking that he could play shortstop while Didi Gregorius was recovering from Tommy John's operation on his elbow.
Finally, the Yankees signed the 34-year-old – who had missed last year because of spurs on each heel requiring surgery – for a minimum of $ 555,000 MLB. The Blue Jays had freed Tulowitzki while he owed him $ 38 million.
"Today, it did not matter, but it mattered to me," said Tulowitzki, who, while staying healthy, could see the Blue Jays play 19 games in the regular season. "I like to compete. I like being on the field, like playing.
Tulowitzki also played a shot at the hole to deny J.D. Davis at once.
During the re-education hours, Tulowitzki, who will have two days off, was not pushed by the Blue Jays. Instead, it was an opportunity to see his son, Taz, see him play at an age when he would remember him.
"When it was over, it was over. My motivation was my son, "said Tulowitzki, whose son was in the park on Monday. "He was 3 years old the last time he watched games, and he does not remember. For him to see me, that's what I thought every day. "