As a New York Yankees insider opened his mouth today in regards to the Greg Bird injury, it’s time to remember some basic respect.
An insider reported to the New York Daily News‘ Bill Maddon that “you’d think with Judge and Sanchez, the guys he came up through the system with, doing so well up here he’d want to be a part of. I guess not.”
And the floodgates have officially been torn open. So much drama has not been produced since the unapologetic musings from Randy Levine himself regarding Dellin Betances.
It was a problem then and it’s a problem now. Remember, we have not been given any clue as to who this mysterious “insider” is who was quoted in the piece. Regardless of whether he’s the owner of the club or a small member of the media train that parks himself outside the clubhouse each night, it’s still unacceptable.
Everyone has a right to speak their thoughts but in this case, I have to disagree. This insider expressed frustration with Bird‘s recovery from injury, enough to question whether or not he’s got what it takes to be on the New York Yankees or in the sport of baseball.
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I’m so glad a member of the Yankees crew is frustrated enough to voice that to the world. I couldn’t think of anyone that this situation could be more frustrating for. But hey, let’s let this insider share his harsh opinion simply because he has a massive platform to work with.
Greg Bird has always been an upstanding guy. He has never given fans or the Yankees front office a reason not to trust him. He was a highly-touted prospect who impressed on all fronts in both the minors and his 2015 debut in the majors.
If Bird says that he is still hurting, he is still hurting. We don’t know what’s going on with him but it’s unfair for the media or any “insider” to discredit what Bird is feeling and turn it into another issue entirely.
Greg Bird is a human being first and an athlete second. That should earn him at least some respect, especially when in the midst of dealing with an incredibly difficult situation.
He has worked his whole life to become a baseball player. Think of all the hard work he put into the game, all the sacrifices he likely made to make it through the minor league system. Become a professional baseball player isn’t something that just happens.
Bird has worked hard for it and the suggestion that he simply does not want to play is not only ludicrous, it’s even more frustrating than the injury itself.
Fingers can certainly be pointed, questions asked about his rehab stint, his struggles and the lack of physical evidence for a serious injury. But Bird says his leg hurts enough for him to not play. And we should believe that.
He’s not some teenage boy who is faking sick to avoid school. He’s a 24-year-old kid from Memphis, TN who missed last season with shoulder surgery. The last thing he wants is to miss out on the sport he loves due to another injury.
The Yankees have had a history of misdiagnosing players. Think Derek Jeter in 2012 with his “bone bruise.” Mark Teixeira is another who has been misdiagnosed in the past, covering up more significant injuries.
If I were Bird, a young player coming back from another significant injury, I would be concerned. Maybe they missed something in the initial tests and scans. And if Bird says that his leg hurts, then it hurts. It’s unfair to discredit how he’s feeling simply because they don’t see anything.
It’s time to stop treating Bird like he is lying. Like I’ve said before, we have every reason to believe that Bird is telling the truth about his pain level. He’s a human being…he’s not impervious to pain. At the grand scheme of things, he’s a person who deserves to be treated with respect when he’s given everyone else that same respect in the past.
So, give him a break. Greg Bird will get better and he will be everything the Yankees have been hoping for. There’s no need to express frustration in a way that questions Bird’s integrity or character when Bird is the one feeling even more frustrated with the whole situation.
Greg Bird, you’re only human. Do what you need to do to get back to us. We’re anxiously awaiting your return and are behind you 100% of the way.