Brett Gardner may have gotten knocked down in the New York Yankees match-up Wednesday but what he did after is far more important.
A tie game, a tense situation and a pinch-hit appearance by Brett Gardner. That was the scene for the bottom of the sixth inning in Wednesday’s New York Yankees game. So peaceful yet so tense.
What just happened?
As Gardner collided into the Tampa Bay Rays first baseman, we imagine it felt like getting slugged by Mike Tyson. Yet despite the severity of the hit itself, Gardner took it like a champion.
Not only that, but he crawled back to first base and immediately touched it before collapsing on the ground in agony.
With pain staring him right in the face as he approached first base, he didn’t let up and didn’t slow down. He didn’t give up on accomplishing his goal of reaching first base and allowing that run to score. He sacrificed his body for the sake of the team.
Isn’t that what a team player should do?
He didn’t actively seek danger but when he was faced with it, he didn’t let up. Gardner took the hit and then stumbled back to finish what he started by getting the Yankees in the game.
Some may think I’m being dramatic. However, how many times have you seen a player succumb to a horrific injury only to get up and keep playing?
We saw Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton avoid a potentially rough hit in the Super Bowl. We’ve seen players shy away from plays in fear of getting hurt. Gardner showed everyone up by doing his job and more after a particularly brutal hit that would have knocked down any other player. And Gardner did it in the seventh game of the season.
Now THAT is impressive.
That one play is so much more than what it seemed to an average fan’s point of view. It reinvigorated the Yankees as they surged to an easy victory. However, it also showed the Yankees the type of attitude they should have moving forward this season.
They’re still figuring things out going into the season and expectations for this team are not great. The Yankees are young and looking to use this season as an opportunity to rebuild and get comfortable.
The first few games showed them simply rolling over after getting behind. As of late, they’ve been fighting through all nine innings, using their late inning heroics to pull away for the win. Gardner just showed that fight to inspire the Yankees for the rest of the season.
No matter what happens, Gardner doesn’t give up. We’ve always credited Gardner for his dedication to the game and his hustle on the field. Some people have looked down on him because he has struggled.
Nobody can deny now that Gardner took a hit for his team and then ultimately continued to play the game.
Like him or not, Brett Gardner plays the game hard and with no regrets. And to those haters who think they can do it better, I’d like to see you drag yourself to first base in a semi-concussed state. Can’t you?
That’s right, because Gardner is a baseball player who plays the game even when the odds are against him. That’s how the New York Yankees should be playing this season.