The Yankees position of Captain is open. Brett Gardner was given a pitch here yesterday to be the next in line. As readers point out, not so fast, Steve…
The Yankees have been Captainless since 2014 when Derek Jeter retired. The pitch I made yesterday for the Yankees to install Brett Gardner in the position drew hundreds of comments from readers. I learned a lot, and this is to share some of the thoughts from received readers…
The Timing Is Off
While many readers agreed with the choice of Brett Gardner, they disagreed on the timing – asking a good question. Why appoint a player who has only one year, at the most two, of playing time remaining in his career?
I countered that with the idea that sometimes, a team has to do the “right thing.” The argument came from sentiment with no thought given to longevity, viewing the award as recognition of a player who has given his all as a Yankee.
Brett Gardner Is Selfish
This one surprised me, but when I got to thinking about it, there’s an element of truth.
Remember during the year when Gardner adopted that annoying habit of banging his bat on the roof of the Yankee’s dugout? And how that led to one umpire ejecting him from a game for “saying nothing”?
That incident stung Yankees fans, leading readers to point out a team captain needs to be on the field, helping his team at all times. It was not overlooked that Gardner’s behavior led to Aaron Boone‘s ejection as well when he went out to protect his player from aggravating the situation that could have led to a suspension.
There’s Only One Yankee’s Captain – And It’s Not Gardner
Tons of readers took off on this one, arguing strenuously on behalf of Aaron Judge as the true leader of the Yankees. Even if he has not been designated with the title of Captain.
I couldn’t agree more, and in no way was my push for Gardner meant as a snub to Judge.
I revert to the idea that Garner’s appointment is symbolic as a recognition of what he has (and still) means to the Yankees as exhibited by his play on the field.
The Yankees Have Many Captain Eligible Players
Many readers argued for other players on the Yankees who are equally or more qualified than Gardner for the title.
Didi Gregorius received several “votes,” as does Gleyber Torres, who many feel it’s only a matter of time until he becomes the Yankee’s captain.
One reader made me laugh, saying Jacoby Ellsbury should be appointed Captain of the IL.
But it’s true. The Yankees have a “Captain-A-Day,” it seems. It’s been the team’s calling card throughout the 2019 season. Different players are stepping-up on different days.
In retrospect, these readers are correct. Who needs a Captain?
The Last Word
Doing what I do as a hobby of sorts, it’s always refreshing when readers take the time to embellish, counteract, or propose new ideas to what I have written.
And it gets even better when several readers engage each other in a dialog, which was commonplace on this one.
Most, when they agree, hit the like button. My feeling is that most of these readers see the title, and say to themselves – “Mmm, I agree with that” – and move on without reading the content of the story.
Or, if they disagree, they’ll use one of the funny or sad faces. Which is fine, but I always am left with asking – why?
In sum, then, I’ve changed my thinking. The Yankees don’t need a captain. They already have several exhibiting the leadership qualities necessary in making the team they are today…