Ex-Yankee Martinez starts new role as team's special instructor

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tino Martinez played on four World Series
championship teams with the New York Yankees. Now the former first
baseman is back as a special instructor.

Martinez joined the Yankees on Wednesday at the team's minor
league complex, working one-on-one with outfielder/first baseman
Shelley Duncan, who is competing for playing time this season.

It was the first time since 2005, when he played for the
Yankees, that Martinez has taken part in on-field drills with the

"It's awesome," Martinez said. "I really enjoy this, the
opportunity to come out and coach and help these guys get better,
especially the young guys."

Martinez will be involved with the team throughout the season,
and is also starting his second year as a volunteer assistant coach
at South Florida, where his brother-in-law Lelo Prado is the coach.
He hasn't ruled out coaching or managing full-time in the future.

"Probably, eventually, down the line," Martinez said. "I
didn't know how much I would enjoy coaching in college last year,
and I really enjoyed it. Right now, I'm just very content with the
role I have."

Martinez said Duncan made a good impression.

"He's got soft hands," Martinez said. "He's a tall, lanky guy
who is a great target at first base."

Martinez stood behind the batting cage, without a bat, when
Duncan, catcher Jorge Posada and shortstop Derek Jeter took batting

"I'm used to coming in here geared up for spring training,
trying to find my swing," Martinez said. "It's nice to come out
here and really enjoy the part of being a coach and helping the
players get better, and not worrying so much about what I have to
do to get ready for spring training."