Friday, July 10, 2015
HE REMAINS THE CONSTANT GARDNER
Brett Gardner has made the 2015 American League All Star roster. But whatever the outcome... one thing is certain, Gardy will still be Gardy. The kid we call “The Jet” will play the second half of the season with the same heart and focus that he has always played with. In a way #11 is the NEW FACE of the New York Yankees. No, he is not Derek Jeter, although Brett is a Homegrown Bronx Bomber and shares a similar, quiet swagger that the Captain possessed. Gardy is a win and win always type player. This team is now his team and our scrappy left fielder is more than up for that challenge.
The unfortunate thing for a player deserving of an All Star nod and playing in a big market is that they don’t get the votes the way small market players do. Just look at the Royals. Their fans see getting their boys to Cincy as a public responsibility. They vote early and often. And now…well, the AL is lousy with Royal Blue ballplayers. In New York, we don’t worry about it as much. There are a lot of other things happening in and around the Tri-State area that take priority over sitting at our computers and pushing the #VOTEGARDY hash tag. We assume that with so many people somebody else will vote Brett to his rightful place in the Mid-Summer Classic…not so much. The upside is Brett plays for the greatest franchise in Sports History…the bad news is NOBODY outside New York cares to help a Yankee.
I’ll admit I worried a bit about what would become of our beloved ball club in the Bronx Post Jeter and Company. What would Alex be? (He has been outstanding by the way) What would Tex possibly give us? (He has given me a tall glass of “Shut The Hell Up Juice” and is heading to Cincinnati) Who would be the leader? Who would have thought it would be the quiet guy from a little town in North Carolina. He has the look and “A shucks” of a Mini Me Mickey Mantle. He seems to have a hitch in his giddy up as he walks to the plate to some good ol’ Country music. His bat speed is like a jackrabbit and he has deceptive power. Gardy is a ballplayer…it’s as simple as that. He isn’t a household name and doesn’t seem to care. He gets to play baseball everyday and the rest seems to be gravy. Don’t you wish we all had a little Brett Gardner in us? He is happy and comfortable in his own skin. An All Star selection is great, but it doesn’t come close to helping get his team back to October. That was the mantra of the Core 4. It was about the team. The Yankees don’t wear their names above their numbers for a reason, and #11 is the epitome of that.
A Baby Bomber that made it to the show and grew up to be a leader with his play and team first mindset. Whether he became an All Star yesterday or not, Brett Gardner is still our guy. He is a link to the past and a look to the future.
On behalf Yankee fans everywhere I’d like to say thank you, Brett. No matter what anyone else says, you are our ALL STAR, and when it’s all said and done you’ll be a Yankee we all remember.
** This one is for The Jet! It was once his walk up song and I liked it so much it’s on my workout play list. **
Senior "Features" Writer
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