New York Yankees: Brett Gardner continues to grind out plays

Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees have suited up several different names in the outfield this season but were fortunate enough to still count on reliable veteran Brett Gardner throughout.

The baseball season is rapidly approaching its final month, and the New York Yankees are continuing their impressive dominance over the American League East. A large part of their success has been the consistent all-around play of veteran outfielder Brett Gardner providing clubhouse leadership and old school grit.

The plan was never supposed to be Gardner starting a majority of games in the outfield when the Yankees broke spring training back in March of this year. He was expected to be a rotational bench outfielder to spell the starters and share his experiences with the rest of the team daily serving as a mentor. Gardner along with starting pitcher CC Sabathia are the only holdovers from the 2009 World Series championship team and are well respected amongst their teammates.

Sabathia announced his expected retirement at season’s end earlier in the year while Gardner prepared like he’s done his entire career ready to grind out another season. After a rough season last year that had many wondering if there would be a place on this season’s squad for the 35-year-old. The 12-year veteran has responded with a respectable season on both sides of the diamond approaching another 100 plus hit season and playing high caliber defense at every outfield position.

The passionate attitude of Gardner has often cost him regarding disputes with umpires most recently when he was tossed during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Triple-A umpire Chris Segal ejected Gardner for his antics during the game almost similar to the infamous savage Aaron Boone sequence a few weeks back. Gardner addressed his fiery exit and thoughts on the young umpire with reporters after the game.

"“Of course there’s not going to be [ramifications], There’s no accountability whatsoever. [Segal] probably doesn’t have to talk to anyone about it, unfortunately. He wanted me going out of the game, and that was that.”"

"“I told him I didn’t say anything,” Gardner said. “He told me I did say something. That’s why I got pretty irritated.” Gardner also called Segal “a liar.”"

The ejections are not his highlights this season but the passion to win is a strong trademark for Gardner as he continues to play a vital role in the Yankees lineup.

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The impending returns of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron HIcks will make things interesting playing time-wise for Gardner but rest assured Yankees fans his presence will always remain in that dugout.