Ladies and gentlemen, Brett Gardner has arrived. This is great news for Gardner, his family, and his vocal supporters (you can find the latter all over the net). But is it good news for the Yanks? Well, it either means that Hideki is done for a long time or that the Yanks have lost faith in Melky. So, in a way, it’s never especially good news when you’re back up option becomes your first option.
Gardner is the type of player sportwriters and a vocal segment of the Yanks fanbase are likely to overrate. That’s not the same thing as saying that he’s not good, or not valuable. But he doesn’t have any power, and hits a lot of singles. And without this type of player and the discourse he inspires, Fire Joe Morgan doesn’t exist. Still, he does a few things that the Yanks need very much. First, he gets on base. Melky hasn’t been doing that since April. And for some odd reason, the Yanks haven’t been doing that at a rate comparable to last season. Secondly, he’s supposed to be a good outfielder, someone who can cover a lot of ground. Personally, I think Melky is above average out there, but there are some people who think his interesting routes to balls hurt the team.
Whether Gardner will prove to be the next Brett Butler or Jason Tyner, remains to be seen. However, there is one thing of which I am certain. We’ll be hearing a lot of "gritty" talk during YES telecasts from now on.