Saturday, February 20, 2021

Brett Gardner... the captaincy, dugout roofs and Oumuamua

Brett Gardner is returning for one more go at a world series ring, a plaque in Monument Park, various evil AL umpires and the Yankee dugout roof, which - like a cursed teen's acned chin - shall forever show the scars of Gardy's inner rage. (See right.)

As our own LBJ reported last night, and as was expected since November, Gardner is back on a one-year Rocket Mortgage. At 37, each at bat will face the monochrome of a career in twilight, and Gardy last year hit a piddling .223, his worst ever. This could be his final shot at the glory that 12 years ago seemed a regular destiny - ticker tape parades, clubhouse champagne blasts and talks with Jimmy Fallon, fates that would instead befall our rivals. No wonder the dugout roof is so dimpled.

So, for now anyway, here is the Yankee outfield depth chart.

Aaron Judge
Aaron Hicks
Giancarlo Stanton
Clint Frazier
Brett Gardner
Mike Tauchman
Miguel Andujar
Greg Allen
Jay Bruce
Estevan Florial
Socrates Brito 
Ryan LaMarre
Michael Beltre
Thomas Millone
Trey Amburgey

From this, let's choose six. (Normally, we'd select five, but surely at least one main OF will tweak a gonad.) The bottom six are lottery tickets and fillers. 

My guess: Judge/Stanton/Hicks/Frazier/Gardner/Allen or Tauchman.

Allen is a switch hitter with defense and speed. Tauchman is either the 2019 Tauchman (keep him) or the 2020 version (cut him). Andujar simply remains a soul imprisoned in the limbo of the lost.

If Bruce has a great spring, he could complicate matters. But let's face it: Gardy is a lock. The Yankees didn't sign him to dump him. Also, last year, after hitting .077 in July and .190 in August, Gardner hit .288 in September. His season ended too soon to overcome the slow start. He won't hit .277 (in 2010, his career peak). But he won't hit .223 (last year, his lowest), either.

I'd argue that, to fully exploit Gardner's value - and to pay him tribute - the Yankees should name him Team Captain. He fills every leadership role and is the lone holdover from 2009, our last fling. The comparable captain candidates would be DJ LeMahieu, Gerrit Cole or Zack Britton. Gardy beats them all, and considering Aaron Boone's easy-peazy, low profile, maybe this team needs a captain.

Which brings us to "Oumaumua" - the turd-shaped object that in 2017 flew in and out of our solar system, prompting speculation that an alien probe was taking our picture. (This from a Harvard professor whose knowledge of the cosmos might rival his sense of what sells books.)  Who will be the Yankee Oumaumua?

Right now, our most likely Oumaumua is Jay Bruce. His time in the Yankiverse might last from Feb. 28 to April 1 - one brief glimpse of a mysterious object, with unknown implications for the future of Yankeekind. It could also be Green. We'll just have to see.

Welcome back, Gardy. May the roof in Tampa be made of rubber.


DickAllen1964 said...

Forgive me if this is completely off-topic. I couldn't resist. Maybe you've all heard this one before, but...

Baseball in Heaven

Henry and Rose had been married for over 50 years, and they loved baseball. They had met a baseball game, and they'd been in love ever since. In love with each other, and baseball.

Sadly Rose became ill, and was nearing the end of her life. One day as they were reminiscing and talking about the fun they had over these 50+ years, and all the baseball games they had been to, Henry said to Rose, "When you pass and go to Heaven my dear, please promise me you will find a way to communicate to me, and let me know if there is baseball in Heaven! Will you do it for me?"

Rose happily agreed and said yes. And finally, the next evening, she peacefully passed in her sleep.

After the funeral, a few days passed, and Henry had the thought, "I wonder if Rose is going to be able to find a way to tell me if there's baseball in Heaven?"

Sure enough, early the next morning, in the stillness before the rise of the Sun, Henry awoke to the sound of his beloved wife's voice softly calling out to him, "Henry - Henry - Henry - wake up! It's me Rose."

"Is it really you Rose? Are you in Heaven?"

"Yes! It's really me. And yes, I'm in Heaven! Ahhh - it's so beautiful here Henry! I miss you my love!"

"I miss you too my dear! But tell me - is there baseball in Heaven?"

Rose hesitated, but then replied, "There's good news and bad news regarding this Henry. Good news is yes, there is baseball in Heaven. Bad news is that you're pitching this Sunday."

Anonymous said...

Well, I've been a no on Gardner for at least two years and I'm a no today.

The worst thing about it, aside from taking AB's away from Frazier is, in looking at Duque's survivor list the notable absence is AnDUjar.

What a career arc:

Breaks Joe D's doubles record as a rookie. Named "Miggy Two-Bags" by David Cone. finishes second in the Rookie of the Year Vote.

Breaks (something) while diving back to third.

Loses his position.

Can't get AB's and learn LF in the minors because of Corona.

Still has an AYG-HAB of 6.8 (as opposed to Gardy's 4.6.)

and now isn't even on a six man OF list.


So, I guess he get to go to Scranton and play LF while batting .386?

Back to Gardner:

Don't know about a lame duck captaincy, but sure why not? Although, he won't be able to lead by example because if he's playing enough to do so we are truly screwed.

That said, I'm a big bookends fan so... Gardy won in his first year. It would be cool if he wins in his last.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...



I've heard it with golf, "You've got a noon tee time this Sunday" which in some ways makes more sense because Henry watched baseball not played. So it probably should be, "I've got us seats behind the dugout for Sunday."

and then add, "Who's pitching?" "Not Denny McClain"

Sorry. I can't help my self. It's a disease.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it, DickAllen.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also love Oumaumua. I think that should be our IBS Lady, Dr. Bougadon (or whatever his name was) for this year.