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Yankees Manager Hands Out Lunches in Harlem Pool, Admits He Can't Float

By Gustavo Solis | August 6, 2015 6:10pm
 The manager of the New York Yankees visited the public pool at Central Park to promote the city's free summer meal program Thursday afternoon.
Joe Girardi at Lasker Pool
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HARLEM — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not the strongest swimmer, but he told kids during a meeting at Central Park's Lasker Pool on Thursday it's OK not to be good at everything.

"I can't float on my back," the Bombers skipper said. "I sink."

The big league manager joined City Councilmembers Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal at the pool in the morning to promote the city’s free lunch program.

Many of the kids were excited to see the Yankees manager at the pool although some didn’t recognize Girardi.

“They didn’t know he was the manager, they thought he was a player,” Renee Stubbs, 50, said of her nephew and his friend. “They asked him where Derek Jeter was. He said he was probably in Florida.”

The free school program is meant to give any child a meal during the summertime. Meals are distributed in city schools, parks, libraries, and NYCHA developments. People can find the nearest distribution station with a mobile app, Rosenthal said.

The program is available to anyone under 18 but Levine joked about trying to get a meal to a Yankees rookie who recently turned 21.

"Luis Severino doesn’t make the cut off,” he said. “We’ll give you an extra meal to take back to him.”

Girardi credited the Yankees’ success this season — they are currently atop the AL East standings — to staying healthy by eating nutritious food. He told the children at the pool that his players meet with nutritionists almost every day.

“One of the most important choices you can make is about what you put into your body every day because that is how you fuel the machine,” he said. “If you don’t put good things in your body it won’t start.”

Most of the children and parents at the pool had no idea they would get a visit from the Yankees Thursday afternoon.

Stubbs, who goes to the pool almost every day, said she likes the free lunch program because she doesn’t have to worry about fixing something at home. Also, because the kids work up an appetite in the pool, food rarely gets thrown out, she said.

“Being out in the pool makes you hungry,” she said. “They don’t throw the food out like they do with the school lunches.”