Last night on the Discovery Channel, bearded and bespectacled scientists updated the world on their continuing search for mermaids, or the "aqua-ape." At one point, a bearder subjected deep sea recordings to a super-spectrographic, magnetic-sequencing digital analysis, isolating individual frequencies and slowing them to sound levels conducive to the human ear. The result: It sounded like crowd noise at a Yankee game.
As I was watching, two thoughts fluttered out of mental cocoons: 1) Should I grow a beard? (Not a Jerry Garcia thing, mind-you, but a chin-hiding mink, the kind that would grace the face of a Kelsey Grammer or Celine Dion); and 2) If humankind has evolved enough to measure voices of aqua-apes akin to Kevin Costner in "Waterworld," why are our modern scientific methods unable to solve the mystery of Brett Gardner's elbow?
Ah, the vagaries of life! Gardner took a few swings yesterday, and only God and he truly know if time and Florida is curing his ailment. We will always have Florida - (Make what you want of that) - but we are running out of time if Gards is going to supercharge the oceanic depths of our batting order this season. If the elbow barks, and we push Brett back another month, that lands him nearly into September, and it's a Jacoby Ellsbury year.
Now, some of you could ask, who cares? We're winning without Gardner. But Girardi has placed his two posterboys - Jeet and Arod - in a wave of great hitters. For example, Arod bats between Curtis Granderson and Robbie Cano, two lefties; if he can't make it there, he can't make it anywhere. But Jeet, sadly, comes up behind Russell Martin, who has done nothing this year. As Martin's spring slump deepened, Jeter's spring surge diminished. Batting ninth, Gardner can wreak havoc on pitchers, a daily 100-mg of viagra for Jeet that could spill over to Granderson's meager .260 average, as well.
Yesterday's most important swings were not Arod's pop-up with the bases loaded. They took place in Florida. And I hope the Yankees don't let Gardner swim in the ocean. The aqua-apes are pissed. And they are not shouting "Yoook."