brett gardner yankees
Dan Hamilton | USA TODAY Sports

Despite what some people might want to believe, Brett Gardner no longer plays for the Yankees. In fact, his Yankees playing days — and MLB playing days, in general — are over.

Gardner was a beloved Yankee. So it’s understandable as to why it’s hard for some to accept that the fleet-footed outfielder won’t be coming back to the Bronx to don the pinstripes again. Unless he eventually gets an invite for Old Timers’ Day (which he most definitely will).

Anyone holding out hope for a triumphant return was likely upset multiple times this spring. First, it involved giving away his Spring Training locker to Aaron Hicks. I mean, couldn’t they have picked someone else? He’s now in DFA limbo and will no longer be associated with the Yankees very soon. Then, I’d imagine there were feathers ruffled over Anthony Volpe getting his number 11 jersey. But at least Volpe called to ask Brett Gardner for his permission to wear it, right?

So, yea — for those still wishing for a Gardner comeback, it’s definitely not happening. He’ll be 40 years old this August and is soon to be two years removed from the game. But we don’t have to be sad it’s over — we can be happy it happened. Plus, after logging 14 big-league seasons with the Bombers, the 2009 World Series champion has given us plenty of moments to look back on and enjoy.

But why look at the home runs, great catches, or stolen bases when we can watch a highlight reel of him getting pissed off at umpires blowing calls?

This is just outstanding. All of it is pure gold. We obviously have part of the famous “Savages in the Box” situation included here. However, Gardner clearly had a go-to way to get his aggression out. If he had a bat in his hand, he was using that bad boy. And more specifically, banging it on the roof of the dugout was another favorite activity.

This right here is probably one of the reasons why he’s so beloved by Yankees fans, right? New Yorkers want to see their teams win, but most of all, they want to see the consistent effort. They want to be sure that you care as much as they do. When you have a passionate player that used to run hot like Gardner did, there was no doubt he cared about every little detail.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.