Wednesday, May 9, 2018

It's time for the Yankiverse to save Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner's career, by the months.
Last night, Brett Gardner's bat continued its 2018 impersonation of an inflatable vape pen. Gardy went oh-for-three, with two strikeouts and a ground ball DP, and he now stands 3-for-22 (.138) in the torturous month of May, with a batting average two points below .200, baseball's notorious Mendoza Line, (though it should be noted that its banjo-hitting namesake, Mario Mendoza, produced  a career .215.) Had the Yankees lost, his at bats would have been YES-dissected and condemned. The winning streak has allowed Meredith and Jack to gloss over his failures, but nothing lasts forever - certainly not during a Yankee-Redsock series.  

Yeah, Gardy has drawn a few walks - he's second on the team behind Aaron Judge - but not enough to justify the wet cardboard bat. Last night, his .320 OBP was the 7th worst in our starting lineup, and though he's still speedy with wind at his back and a head of steam, he's stolen only two bases (2) this season, tied with Giancarlo and Judge. (Aaron Hicks, with three, is our Maury Wills.) When you ponder the Yankees' streak, what's amazing is that they've done it without a functioning lead-off hitter. Since April 21, when the Yanks rolled over Toronto, Gardner is 7 for 51, (.136.) Unbelievable. And perilous.

For a 34-year-old outfielder in his contract year, Gardner's play thus far suggests a looming career catastrophe. Last winter, a small wave of veterans were pushed into retirement by the owners' - um - frugality (NO COLLUSION! WITCH HUNT! NO COLLUSION!). Come December, it's not hard to imagine Gardy settling for a huge pay cut or being priced out of a job. Great leadership credentials cannot float a Mendoza Line lead-off hitter.

You can't predict baseball, Suzyn, but I'm here to say Gardner's train wreck is about to end. The stats show he traditionally improves from April to June, his best month. (Last year, he hit .205 in April, then .327 in May.) But that's not why he will soon start hitting.  

Tonight, in order to put some sparks in his love pump, we are hereby calling for a 
   PERSONAL BRETT GARDNER 
       JUJU INTERVENTION. 

When Gardy comes up, we call upon each member of the Yankiverse to assume your most potent juju position, and to channel your most effective stream of Rizzutons into the game video or audio device. This is not a team-wide application of juju. Think of it as a surgical, micro-targeted jolt of the juju method, like radiation treatment on a tumor. It's time to save Brett Gardner. Tonight, behind the full magnitude of the Yankee juju machine, it is time for Gardy to rise. Tonight. 

55 comments:

KD said...

I'm in.

Urban Farmer formerly Known as Dutchfan said...

I will be in bed obviously, drowsy but motivated. Headphones in my ear (most of the time only the left ear). When the games get exciting I usually poke my nose the feel if there is any fertile soil left for a Yankee win. One will appreciate the amount of A-level stuff I have unearthed the past few weeks.
I will now look for that specific soil that a Gardener uses for his most precious flower. The Grady Rose.
Further happy news: I am definitely going to see the Yankees beat the Socks in London next year.
I know I would be gutted if they would take our most important soccer matches away from us to have them played in Rwanda or Tibet. But in this case........ Jolly good sport!
By the way, nobody in England plays baseball. The only countries in Europe where there is an acceptable level of play are Italy and the Dutch Netherlands. There must be tickets in abundance. Even though the Brits are very much into weird events and eating strawberries with cream.

13bit said...

Love Gardy, always have, always will. A true Yankee. I don't care if he turns into Babe Ruth for the month of June, I'd rather give Red Thunder a chance come July.

Youth.

Anonymous said...

At times like this I turn to spiritual literature for inspiration. I don't worry about the source, I seek truth and guidance.

To solve this problem, this challenge, I lit incense, banged a gong, chanted, and then when the moment was right, threw a dart at my considerable collection of mystic tomes. The dart landed on (it's rubber) what many of you call The Old Testament.

But what page? What parable? What will save the career of this once great ballplayer?

Placing tea leaves in my Harry M. Stevens Cup O' Deciphering (TM) I swirled and swirled and then looked. The leaves had become a mass of red schmutz that coated the bottom of the cup and I had my answer.

In the story of Samson his power was derived from his hair. Brett Gardner is bald. He needs hair. Red Hair. We must send him a wig to fool the baseball gods into thinking that he is the upcoming Red Thunder. We must infuse him with youth and as JFK would say had he not been shot by at least 23 people by my count, "Vigor!"

Let us get him a toupee and restore him to his youth so that the master can change his HR call to "Gardy is hardy!"

Doug K.

KD said...

maybe number boy anonymous can be of use here. Is there anything (bat speed, contact metrics, anything) to indicate Gardy has hit a career-ending wall? you know, like ARod before he was cut. or that infielder what's-his-name that was a Yankee, then was traded away, then brought back by Coops, then DFA'd. that guy.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I'm in tonight, but I agree with 13bit, love love love Gardner, but give Red Thunder a chance this summer.

Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

@Doug K.
Hait is a delicate matter. Bringing the shine Gardy takes to the grounds every day -albeit most of the time hidden under a cap or helmet- into focus, may well destabilise him even more. Do not underestimate his possible sensitivity. Or shame. Or sheer lack of feeling manly. There is so much abuse a man can take.

I personally have no experience with baldness whatsoever of course! I choose to shave my head because I love it like that - nothing to do with hair loss. Just saying.

Joe F said...

Ahem!

The ladies of Spain feel left out of our post Beantown beatdown celebration.

Please atone for this travesty

Carl Weitz said...

Okay....Like Falwell, Robertson, Graham, Roberts, et al, during a prayer session, the Juju Gods came unto me and in one harmonious, mellifluous voice whispered gently in my ear: "Tonight Gardy goes yardy!" As it is said, so it will be written!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Duque, you are very good hearted. But I'm with 13bit on this: I love Gardy, but it's time for him to go.

He may or may not get back to his usual May-June production. But he's already well behind, and then will come his inevitable, second-half meltdown.

Time to bring the Thunder.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And speaking of those London games—more of MLB's absurd attempt to be the NBA, or FIFA—when do we start planning our 2019 Cruise to England??

Anonymous said...

Urban,

Don't blame me. Blame the Harry M. Stevens Cup O' Divination. (TM) I don't write the tea leaves I only read them and then act as Harry's amanuensis.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

If I'm not mistaken, Gardy's bat speed has slowed a hair..a few hairs....maybe a ponytail. Enough to get you down below .200.

KD said...

Love and respect Gardy but he does not deserve the "Jeter Farewell Treatment". by that I mean keeping the same position in the lineup no matter his performance.

Oh, how I hated Jeter in his last season being kept high in the order. and for no good reason except his ego. Bret has no ego problems that I know of, and should be moved down. Plus, we have a perfect leadoff man, currently batting ninth (the so-called "second" leadoff position).

Love this team but I do not understand some of this bone-headed stuff.

Anonymous said...

Bone headed... I like that. Wait. I have a Ouija Board made out of chicken bones left over from fried chicken strips processing. I will consult it.

"Is that you Harry? Did you want to add something? What should we do?"

B..U..Y.. T..O..N..E..R

"You're not Harry M. Stevens. What sort of devil are you?"

W...B...M..A...S...O..N

Ah yes, who but?

Doug K.

Carl Weitz said...

Hmmmmm....amanuensis. That one sent me scurrying to find my dictionary, Anonymous. You must be in the publishing biz.

Anonymous said...

Gardy seems to have trouble squaring up on the ball this year--lots of fouling off and popping up. Very little solid contact. Both he and Hicks have suffered precipitous declines in overall performance so far this year: Gardy's WAR has plummeted from a robust 4.9 in 2017 to 0.6 this year, and Hicks from 3.9 to 0.4--which makes Gardner no worse than Hicks so far this year--slightly better, in fact. Yet I don't hear a chorus of caterwauling about Hicks's future. I think Hicks will be harder to dislodge because he is one of Cashman's cherished reclamation projects; those guys seem to have a leash that extends into eternity--or at least until they crash into a wall.

TheWinWarblist said...

Hrrmm ... what do I have to break out to revive an aging speedy outfielder? It'll need to be a very special garment that adorns my head. I wonder if I can borrow a pair of shorts from a unicorn?

Anonymous said...


Anon WAR guy,

I caterwaul about Hicks all the time. He's my "Starlin Castro Award" nominee for 2018. First prize: A ticket out of here in a trade for whoever is this year's NL MVP.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

Anon WAR guy, Gardner is 34 years old. That's an age when many ballplayers come to the end of their careers. Especially those that rely on speed. Hicks is still 28, theoretically still in his prime years. I love Gardner, but he is no longer a 5 WAR player. And looks like he never will be soon.

TheWinWarblist said...

... never will be again. Again. (Dammit autocorrect, millennium hand and shrimp)

Anonymous said...

TheWinWarblist--thanks for wasting a micron or two of bandwidth by repeating everything in my post, with nothing added. It's obvious that Gardner's performance is to some extent age-related, although he's been a streaky hitter in the past. His 4.9 WAR of last year was an unexpected uptick from a previous string of three-ish years.

As for Hicks, he's in the prime of a mediocre career. His 3.9 of last year was an anomaly--before that he never exceeded 1.6 and was more typically in zero territory. At some point you have to realize that a player is who he is and not buried treasure. Cashman's alchemical longings to magically transmogrify other teams' discarded trash into gold are delusional--a symptom of chronic stupidity.

With Neil Walker firmly ensconced, can Adam Lind be far behind? I hear that Chase Headley, Chris Carter, and Steven Drew might be available as well. . . . Cashman just can't help himself. He needs washed-up-player-addiction counseling.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I would have much more patience with Gardner to let him work his way out of this bad stretch. He has had quite a few at bats where he wore the pitcher down, fouling balls off until he got a walk -- which were followed by big hits down the order. (I am watching the NESN replay of last night's game right now and Gardner is walking soon to be followed by Joe (Cy Young) Kelly coming in to throw gas on the fire.)

That being said (or written), if Torres is still hitting well at this time next month and Gardner is still meandering along the Mendoza line, I'd flip them in the order.

None of this will matter if Stanton and Sanchez actually revert to their historical averages.

As always, the need is pitching -- as someone (or a horde of someones) has mentioned here before.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand all the breast-beating about pitching. Are Yankee fans on this blog really twitching with anxiety over ONE loss in the last seventeen? No doubt they would whining still if the Yanks had managed to win eighteen out of seventeen.

German looks like the real thing, and Justus Sheffield is waiting in the wings. Montgomery may be back in a couple of months. You guys want to squander yet another fistful of prime prospects for another Sonny Gray? Cognitive difficulties, is it?

Anonymous said...

Forget flipping Gardner in the batting order--that's simply hiding a wound rather than treating it. If he's still stinking up the joint in another month, the logical move would be to promote Frazier and relegate Gardner to backup status.

The only living boy in Wishaw said...

Scottish Yankees fans branch signing up for this.

Joe F said...

I don't know, I watched Gardy play last night he looked GASSED like Post'Roids Pre JLo AROD. He looked closer to the nearest Gerriatric unit than even a 2 WAR season.

Put a pic of RED THUNDER on his locker.... That'll motivate him.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

It's WORKING!

Ken of Brooklyn said...

,,,,,,, but nothing else is working

Ken of Brooklyn said...

HERE'S THE MOMENT, you can do it Gardy!!!!!!!

Ken of Brooklyn said...

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT WORKED

BernBabyBern said...

Oh, my ...

Leinstery said...

My god. It worked. I can't believe it worked.

KD said...

A Gardy Party!

Unsustainable BABIP said...

That’s some good juju, guys.

Leinstery said...

I honestly thought we'd only muster enough for those two doubles, but a bases clearing triple off of Kimbrel. That's juju Suzyn.

TheWinWarblist said...

How's that for some mpother fuckin' JUJU!!!!

ALL RISE!!!!!

BernBabyBern said...

"Tonight, behind the full magnitude of the Yankee juju machine, it is time for Gardy to rise. Tonight."

Oh, yeah ...

TheWinWarblist said...

AAAaAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHaaaa-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaaaaAaAaHaHaHaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!! AAAaAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHaaaa-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaaaaAaAaHaHaHaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!

KD said...

This is a spiritual experience.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

TTTTTTTTHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
YANKEEES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Juju intervention is back baby, WOOWOWOWOWOWOWOOWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13bit said...

Good god! My nuts are tingling!

KD said...

Duque too pooped to post

Ken of Brooklyn said...

This has to be the most successful laser focused JuJu intervention in the history of Juju intervention,,,,,, I'm a little scared, to be honest, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken of Brooklyn said...

OMG> Me too 13bit, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

Tex Message said...

I'm a little terrified. What have we unleashed?

Ken of Brooklyn said...

El Duque is still levitating 50 miles above Yankee Stadium, he'll return to Earth shortly, please don't rush him, let him savor Nirvana

HoraceClarke66 said...

I know. Will we have to start worshipping El Duque as a living avatar of the Godhead?

Not that I have a problem with that...

Publius said...

Spooky

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

Juju: Erfolgreich (successful)! I have always considered Gardy the spiritual heart of the team and the de facto Captain (post-Jeter).

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Your right Hoss, I think we've just become Wild Wild IIHIIFIIC Country

Rufus T. Firefly said...

" May 9, 2018 at 5:18 PM
Anonymous said...

Forget flipping Gardner in the batting order--that's simply hiding a wound rather than treating it. If he's still stinking up the joint in another month, the logical move would be to promote Frazier and relegate Gardner to backup status.
"

Racist Townie Asshole Anon.

Or is it Racist Townie Asshole Statcast Sassy Anon?

Either way, wrong as usual.

Joe F said...

Surreal...I'm in a new York state of mind.

I believe in Juju

Anonymous said...

Rufus T. Firefly--you need some serious psychiatric intervention. You are plainly insane--in a way that bespeaks some terrible inner rot of the soul. I'm not jousting or taunting here. Please get help. And then learn which teams are in which league. In your last upchuck of vitriol, you demonstrated that you were in dire confusion about this. So try mastering the basics before you presume to dilate on batting orders . . . ya' sick, dumb dog.

TheWinWarblist said...

I'm running out of pants.