Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome home, Gards. But why am I thinking this is a bad idea?

Brett Gardner - aka, the Yankee Jacoby - could be activated today for the twinbill against the Toronto Not-That-There's-Anything-Wrong-With-Thats.

Gards still cannot hit. Basically, that puts him on an even keel with Nick Swisher after August 1. In fact, with runners on base, I'd take my chances with Gardner bunting over half the "professional" hitters on this team. At least he wouldn't strike out.

Nor should it seem Knicks-like to have a one-dimensional player on the roster. Good grief - with Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez and Clay Rapada, et al - we already have a team of one-trick ponies.

Still, I dunno about this. Gards played nine games this year, not counting botched rehab assignments in farm league swamplands more akin to Sookie Stackhouse than MLB. He kept hurting himself. If there's one thing we've seen about Gardner, it's that he relentlessly runs into walls. He's like a retriever who chases cars. He always pushes the envelope. If he pinch runs, he's going. And over the last two years, he's started slowly on the basepaths.

Last year, in the beginning of the season, he had a miserable record for stealing bases. He turned it around at the end. But right now, which is it for Gards? -- the beginning of his season, or the end?

Don't get me wrong. When the rosters expand, a manager can mix and match. Good grief, we have Melky Mesa sitting on the bench, presumably for blowouts or 26-inning ties. Also, Gardner is a positive influence. No slacker. I just worry that this is a bad time to be shaking off rust. And I  don't see Gards coming into a game to just stand there and look quick.

They'll know he's running. That will only provoke him further. He's been gone a long long time. This isn't rehab. It's crunch time.