Browsing Posts tagged Brett Gardner

The Yankees gave 30-year-old center fielder left fielder, Brett Gardner 52 million reasons not to test free agency next season. The Yankees’ speedy left fielder agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract that will keep Gardner in pinstripes through 2018. The contract includes a team option for a fifth year. The signing may come as a surprise. The Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a $153 million contract in December which solidifies center field for the foreseeable future. Gardner has been adamant about his desire to play center field, but he actually grades out better as a left fielder. Gardner does not fit the prototypical, power dependable mold for left fielders. Gardner hit a career high eight home runs and drove in a career high 52 runs in 2013. However, baseball is always evolving and this signing is a microcosm of this notion. Relative to his peers, Gardner’s signing tell us a lot of the future of the game. After the jump, I’ll show why the Yankees did a great job by locking up of their home grown players at a very reasonable price.

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Considering his age (40) and pre-season role as a pinch hitter, it was extremely easy to write off Raul Ibanez as a non-factor for the 2012 New York Yankees. However, after Brett Gardner suffered a wrist injury, Ibanez was thrust into the everyday lineup and has delivered time after time. While he doesn’t present much value defensively, Ibanez has carried a big stick, clubbing 12 home runs in 228 at-bats. Last night’s eighth inning grand slam off of Jason Frasor broke a 2-2 tie as the Yankees notched their AL-best 55th victory. 

While Ibanez has had his share of adventures in left field, the Yankees couldn’t ask for more out of their 40-year-old journeyman. It’s hard to believe that Ibanez has started 46 games in left field and only served as the DH 14 times. While Ibanez has clearly surpassed his pre-season expectations, Yankee fans will continue to expect more clutch hitting (and serviceable defensive play) from their left-handed masher. A few balls deposited in the right field stands won’t be too shabby, either.

Baseball players aren’t robots (Except Albert Pujols)

The game’s best hitters cannot hit on command.  The best hitters may produce in the regular season, but fail to do anything in the playoffs (cite: Mark Teixeira & Nick Swisher). The playoffs are all about hot streaks and trends. To illustrate this point, let’s look at two sets of numbers:

  • 10 HRs, 55 RBIs, .297 BA, .350 OBP (97 games)
  • 5 HRs, 21 RBIS, .397 BA, .464 OBP (18 games)

These were David Freese’s numbers during the regular season and playoffs. Are Freese’s post-season numbers a sign of things to come? Is he the next coming of Babe Ruth? Both answers are obviously no, but these stats just show us that hot streaks are arbitrary and players can’t be forced to hit on command. Albert Pujols, the game’s best hitter, went just 3 for 21 in the World Series if you remove his historic Game 3. The Rangers weren’t throwing four aces at the Cardinals, either.

The point of this post? Relax.

I’ve read/listened to/heard so many different fans claiming that the Yankees need to get of Gardner, A-Rod, and even Teix. Without Teix, the Yankees are short 40 HRs and more importantly, a Gold Glove at first. Without Gardner, the Yankees are a one-dimension power hitting team. Without A-Rod, they do not have the pure presence of one of the game’s best hitters. All three of these players (plus all 22 others) make up the Yankees. Most of these players are under contract into the forseeable future.

The playoffs are so short; teams get hot and teams go cold. The Yankee bats happened to turn into ice during Game 5 of the ALDS. It happens. They aren’t robots.

Even though you probably wanna strangle A-Rod when he strikeouts with the bases loaded, he’s part of the family. When Derek Jeter can’t get to a ball in the hole, he’s still part of the family. Love’em, embrace’em, and scream at em when necessary. You never know when one of these guys will unlock their inner David Freese… 

In the match-up of aces, only one truly stood out. And he’s your 2011 Cy Young Award winner.

Bottom line, Justin Verlander is good at throwing the baseball. The Tigers’s ace struck out eleven Yankees over eight innings to earn his first win of the post-season. His counterpart, CC Sabathia, struggled through 5.1, walking six. Both Verlander and CC allowed four runs,but Delmon Young’s seventh inning home run off Rafael Soriano put the Tigers ahead for good. Jose Valverde came on to record his second save of the series as the Tigers won, 5-4.

We Are Gonna Get To This Clown--AP Photo

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The New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays tonight by a final score of 3-2. Ivan Nova picked up his tenth win of the season, and the Yankees take first place back from the Red Sox, who got smoked 10-0 tonight. The A-Rod and Teix-less Yankees still managed some power from a very unlikely source.

The Bomb - AP

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The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the New York Yankees tonight by a score of 6-4. Mariano Rivera came into the game with a tie score, but allowed a two-run homer to former Yankee Bobby Abreu. Then, with the game-winning run (Mark Teixeira) up to bat with runners on first and third in the ninth, Curtis Granderson fell for the old Jeff Nelson third-to-first play to end the game. With the terrible loss, the Yankees fall to 69-45 on the season.

New Look, Same AJ - Mike Stobe, Getty Images

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The stage was set. After four hours, the Yankees handed Mariano Rivera the ball with a 2-1 lead. Rivera would give way to a Dustin Pedroia sac fly, plating Marco Scutaro to tie the game at 2. Boston would win the game an inning later on an RBI double by Josh Reddick off Phil Hughes. It’s a devastating loss for the Bombers as they drop the series to their divisional foes and fall behind them by a game in the AL East.

Damnit

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The trade deadline came and went without much movement as the Yanks topped the Birds, 4-2. Brett Gardner’s, bases-loaded, RBI triple in the fourth proved to be the difference. Freddy Garcia picked up his tenth win as he struck out six in six innings. The bullpen was electric as the Yanks improved their daytime record to 31-7 and overall record to 64-42. 

Freddy Dealin'

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The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays tonight by a score of 4-0. Curtis Granderson smashed his 26th home run on the season, giving the Yankees all the run support they would need. The four-headed monster of Freddy Garcia, Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera got the shutout for the Yankees as they move a game closer to knocking the Rays out of the playoff race for good. With the victory, the Yanks are now 57-38.

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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A famous broadcaster once again, ‘Welp, you can’t predict baseball, Suzyn’. Oh how the irony reigns supreme.

With the Yankees clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning with TB runners on first and second, a fly ball was hit fairly deep to center. The Grandy Man went back and lost the ball in the ceiling. We’ve seen him make that routine play time after time, but Granderson lost the ball in the ceiling, allowing all runners to advance. Boone Logan induced a grounder back to the mound for the 1-2-3 double play, but it hopped off his glove, allowing the Rays to take the lead, 3-2. The Rays would not relinquish this lead, which leads me back to this famous saying: ‘You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn’.

Crap.

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