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Brett Gardner Disrepected

Brett Gardner has not been given the respect he deserves since he has left the New York Yankees. He has shown nothing but heart and loyalty.

Once A Yankee, Always A Yankee

Every football fan knows the famous lines from Eli Manning’s retirement speech, “once a Giant, always a Giant, and for me, only a Giant.” Well, the same applies to former New York Yankees LF Brett Gardner. Just a small-town kid from Holly Hill, South Carolina, Gardner spent his entire 14-year career with the Yankees. After playing his college ball at the College of Charleston, he was drafted in the third round in 2005. Gardner had a career .740 OPS with 44.3 WAR, and he led the league in steals in 2011 and triples in 2013.

Never Given a Proper Farewell

After an illustrious 14-year career, including a Gold Glove, All-Star selection, and a World Series title, Gardner never received a proper farewell tour. He never received a tribute video or anything along those lines. Meanwhile, mediocre or worse Yankee players like OF Aaron Hicks received one. Unlike Hicks, Gardner was always a fan favorite, and many fans are and were disappointed he never got a proper sendoff.

Should Have Been Special

A tribute video would most likely have been the only acknowledgment Gardner was going to get as he was not good enough to be in the Hall of Fame and he is not good enough to be in Monument Park. Also, the Yankees should not retire his number as he was not good enough for that either. Plus, the Yankees already have 22 numbers retired. A tribute video should have been required for the amount of blood, sweat, and tears Gardner has poured into the organization considering he spent his entire career with them.

Gardy Goes Yardy

Despite being just 5’11 and 195 pounds, he had some power to him with 139 career home runs. Yankees announcer John Sterling had his own special call for Gardner home runs, as he does for most of the Bronx Bombers.

Menace on the Base Paths

Brett Gardner was elite at baserunning, as in 2011 he led the league in stolen bases with 49. Gardner is also third in franchise history with 274 stolen bases. His also used his speed in other ways as he led the league in triples with 10 in 2013.

Chose Loyalty Over Money

Heading into the 2022 free agency, Gardner wanted to test his value and declined his $2.3 million dollar player option. The Yankees never made another offer so he decided to listen to other offers. He had serious interest from the Atlanta Braves and had a $6 million dollar offer from the Toronto Blue Jays. However, he showed his true colors and sat out the whole season because he only wanted to be a Yankee. That meant he had an unceremonious end because he still wanted to play, but New York didn’t want him back.

Cursed at Left Field

Since Gardner has left, the Yankees have failed to adequately replace him long-term. They acquired OF Joey Gallo, and he struggled before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last season, they acquired OF Andrew Benintendi at the trade deadline, and he got hurt before signing with the Chicago White Sox in free agency. The Yankees have since gone the younger route with OF Oswaldo Cabrera, but his mere .205 batting average and .574 OPS have been brutal. They also have giving UTIL Isiah Kiner-Falefa some opportunities at left field, but he is not playing every day. The Yankees have been cursed in finding a franchise left fielder since Gardner’s departure.

Helping the Current Yankees

Even though he is not on the team now, Brett Gardner is still helping the Yankees. Rookie SS Anthony Volpe, once he made the MLB roster, called and asked Gardner permission for #11. Gardner gave Volpe his blessing. That is a much nicer story than reports that the team gave away his locker.

Old Timer’s Day Invite?

Hopefully soon Gardner can get invited to Old Timer’s Day one day. Many fans would love to see him run around the bases again and even hit some short porch home runs.

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Brian Ramos is a contributor on Back Sports Page. Along with receiving his B.A. in Sports Communications, he has over a year of experience in the sports industry, and has interviewed a variety of people in the sports industry such as Bobby Portis, Don La Greca, Adam Schefter, and others. In addition, to writing, Ramos has called women’s lacrosse and baseball on ESPN+. Ramos has a podcast on YouTube called Cut The Nets along with his co-host Jeremy Gretzer. You can find Brian on Instagram at @Brian.ramos0219 and Twitter at @brianramos0219.

 

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