Yankees pitchers light up the season with candle power

New York Yankees' pitchers: Marcus Stroman and Clarke Schmidt

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The New York Yankees have found an unconventional way to enhance their pitching staff’s performance this season: scented candles. Unlike the Minnesota Twins, who relied on a summer sausage as a good luck charm earlier this year, the Yankees’ clubhouse now emanates pleasant aromas such as butterscotch, citrus, and bamboo, as reported by Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein.

Fire on the mound

Marcus Stroman, player of the new york yankees

This aromatic trend began with Marcus Stroman, who brought his fondness for candles to the Bronx upon joining the team. Stroman revealed that he started lighting a candle before every start a few years ago, aiming to create a calming atmosphere. He favors robust scents like bamboo or palo santo, which quickly piqued the interest of his fellow pitchers.

Following Marcus Stroman’s lead, the entire starting rotation adopted the practice, each pitcher bringing their chosen candle on the days they pitch. Initially, players’ wives helped select specific scents, with Clarke Schmidt‘s mother, who owns a boutique in Atlanta, being a notable supplier at one point.

However, the pitchers have now taken the initiative to choose their own candles, often going on group shopping trips to find their ideal scent.

The soothing fragrances and the potential calming effect of lighting a candle seem to have positively influenced the Yankees’ performance. The team currently boasts the best record in the American League at 46-21 and leads MLB with a pitching staff ERA of 2.90. Additionally, only the Philadelphia Phillies’ rotation has a better ERA than the Yankees’ impressive 2.85 mark.

As the Yankees continue their successful season, it appears that the power of scented candles has become an unexpected but beneficial addition to their clubhouse culture, contributing to the team’s overall success on the mound.

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