Yankees reliever David Robertson has certainly had no trouble filling his days since the season ended. He and his wife, Erin, are preparing for their first Christmas with their son, Luke, who was born during a Yankees homestand in late August.
The right-hander has also been busy with his foundation, High Socks for Hope, which was founded after tornadoes devastated Robertson's hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the charity found new ways to lend support.
Robertson joined MLB.com for a Q&A to talk about the holidays, his efforts in the community and the Yankees' outlook for the 2013 season:
MLB.com: I'd imagine you've had a lot going on over the last few months. What's life like in the Robertson household right now?
Robertson: I'd say life is good. The baby is doing really well, which is great, but other than that, it's a little stressful. We're trying to get everything unpacked; we've been traveling a whole lot this offseason. Both my brother and Erin's brother got married, so we've been to Maine and to Nashville, and Alabama and Massachusetts, so we've been all over the place.
MLB.com: What has it been like getting ready for Luke's first Christmas?
Robertson: It's great. I wish he was a little bigger and able to open presents, but he's not quite there yet. He's still trying to get to the crawling stage; he just learned how to roll over. We haven't been able to take him to see Santa because we've been traveling so much, so we haven't had a chance to get that picture yet.
MLB.com: Do you sense that the holidays have more meaning for you?
Robertson: For me, now that I have a son, it's a lot better to be able to see family, especially during the holidays. We're actually going to be in Florida, in St. Petersburg, so we're probably going to go hang out with the Swishers at some point.
MLB.com: Since you bring it up, Nick is obviously a free agent. Any hints for where he might be playing next season? (Note: This Q&A was conducted before Swisher agreed to sign with the Indians.)
Robertson: You know what, I haven't talked to him in a while. Erin just talked to JoAnna, his wife. I called him probably a week ago. I haven't talked to him since then, but we just got back into town and got settled in. I'm sure I'll be playing golf with him soon.
MLB.com: Let's talk a little bit about the efforts with your foundation, High Socks for Hope. What have you been able to accomplish in the wake of Hurricane Sandy?
Robertson: We've been able to contribute a lot of stuff, especially during Sandy. We sent a lot of items up and had a good group of people in Alabama who were willing to go out and actually get the items that were needed for Hurricane Sandy. They were actually nice enough to drive the stuff up to the towns that needed it. We sent grills, generators, chainsaws, gasoline -- anything there was a real need for. We furnished households, 200 mattresses, all sorts of stuff to try to help.
MLB.com: I would imagine that watching the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy had a personal impact.
Robertson: It did. I know firsthand after seeing Tuscaloosa when it was hit by the tornado how bad a natural disaster is. A hurricane is slightly different, with the tidal surge and flooding, but it still ruins all your belongings. To see families that don't have anything, for us, it was a no-brainer to try to jump in and help. A lot of other organizations were doing the same thing, but we were willing and able.
MLB.com: Let's get back to the holidays for a moment. What was Christmas like in your house growing up?
Robertson: Christmas was all about fun. I have two brothers, so every year it was great. In the morning we'd wake up and my mom would make -- it's hard to explain -- omelette pizza with sausage, eggs, everything on it. We always had that for breakfast. Then we'd open gifts and usually get all sorts of things from socks to clothes to guns to bows to bikes; gosh, you name it, we got it. I can remember tearing through the wrapping paper and leaving the house in devastation because of all the wrapping paper and everything, and running out with the new toys that we got.
MLB.com: What was the best gift you can remember finding under the tree?
Robertson: For me, I got a shotgun from my father when I was probably 12 years old. I think he bought it with a good purpose because he knew I wasn't big enough to use it. It was actually too big for me to hold, so I had to wait another two or three years. Still, knowing that I had a real gun like my dad had for dove hunting or shooting skeet, I thought it was the greatest thing. I think I finally hit a growth spurt in eighth grade and grew about nine inches, so I could finally hold it.
MLB.com: What's the best gift you've ever given?
Robertson: [long pause] I can't think of a gift that I've given. I'm more about trying to please the person, but I can't think of one I've really awed anybody with. I haven't really gotten that perfect gift yet. Maybe this Christmas I'll get it [laughs].
MLB.com: How closely have you been paying attention to the Yankees' offseason, and how do you think the team looks for 2013?
Robertson: I always feel good about our team going forward. We're the Yankees and we're expected to win, and we always compete and manage to make the playoffs. I saw we signed [Kevin] Youkilis, if I'm not mistaken, and I haven't really paid much attention besides that. I kind of don't want to pay attention to it too much because it's not my decision. I'm not able to really call [general manager] Brian Cashman or someone and say, 'Hey, I'd like you to get this guy.' That's not my job. I know when I show up, there will be a good group of guys and we're going to play hard and try to win a championship.
MLB.com: One of the other moves the Yankees made was re-signing Mariano Rivera. Did you have any surprise that Mo is coming back, and how would you feel about the bullpen if Rafael Soriano signs elsewhere?
Robertson: I could have sworn Mo said he was coming back last year, so when Mo says something, I believe it. He sticks by it. It'll be like years past. Hopefully Mo stays healthy this year, which I'm sure he will. We'll just give him that time to get ready, and I don't think anything is wrong with his arm, that's for sure. He knows how to throw the ball. If Soriano goes somewhere else, that's just going to be the way it is this year. We'll play hard with what we've got and make it work for us.