The New York Yankees have produced one of the top pitching rotations in baseball this season, and Gerrit Cole has not even suited up for them yet. One unusual feature may be to thank for that success.

Yankees pitchers have begun to decorate the home clubhouse with scented candles, according to Stephanie Apstein of SI.com. She notes that as many as a half-dozen candles are lit at any time, and that is largely the work of the starting pitchers.

The tradition started with Marcus Stroman, who burns candles at home and wanted to bring a sense of calm with him to the stadium. That prompted the rest of the rotation to start bringing candles, and not only did the wins keep coming, but the clubhouse smelled quite nice, too.

“We started doing them in the lockers, and it started smelling great,” Clarke Schmidt told SI.com. “So we’re like, ‘We’re doing this every day.'”

This quickly escalated into Nestor Cortes buying custom-engraved candles for the entire starting rotation. Schmidt’s mother runs a boutique near Atlanta and has provided him with a whole host of scented candles to share with his teammates. The practice has caught on enough that position players are starting to get involved, with shortstop Anthony Volpe requesting a candle of his own. The starters are also adamant that they are candle experts themselves, and are making their scented decisions without the assistance of moms or wives.

The Yankees enter play Monday at 46-21, and their 2.85 starter ERA is the best in the American League. Cole is on the verge of making his season debut, too. They seem to have everything going their way, so why not embrace something like this?

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2024-06-10T21:29:13Z dg43tfdfdgfd