January 29, 2010
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was seen last night wandering the back streets of Holly Hill, South Carolina in search of Brett Gardner.
Local police reported a 9-1-1 call in the early evening from Gardner's distraught wife saying that Gardner was so upset over the recent signing of Randy Winn that he had left home, and she could not locate him.
Girardi hoped to find and comfort his favorite player before the Yankees' wayward outfielder did something desperate. Any caring fan has to feel for Gardner considering how many ways Yankee management has dissed him this offseason.
I had to take off one of my shoes and a sock to count all the outfielders the Yankees have piled up this offseason.
Let's see, first they traded pitcher Brian Bruney to the Nationals, got the rights to a Rule-V draft choice from the Dodgers and chose an outfielder, Jamie Hoffmann.
Second, they traded at least one really good prospect (Austin Jackson), a bullpen regular (lefty Phil Coke) and a young first-round draft choice (right-handed pitcher, Ian Kennedy) and got back Curtis Granderson.
Granderson, of course, was announced as the solution to the Yankees problems in center field for years to come. That is until Girardi announced earlier this week that Gardner would probably start in center, and Granderson would be relegated to left.
Then the Yankees made a deal for Greg Golson, who was added to the 40-man roster.
Then they signed free agent Randy Winn, who has played 12 years in the majors, and in the past eight years, has never played fewer than 149 games.
And they still have Nick Swisher and Gardner.
There are reports that they are interested in signing Rocco Baldelli to a non-roster deal and bring him to spring training to see what he can do.
There have also been rumors of Yankee interest in several other outfielders, including Jonny Gomes, Reed Johnson and Marcus Thames.
So, by taking off my shoe and sock, I was able to get up to four new outfielders the Yankees have brought in, at least one other they have offered a contract and three more they may be interested in.
That makes nine.
(If you are wondering about why I had to take off one shoe and sock to count to nine, I have to have one hand to count with and one to count on. So that makes me use a foot.)
All of this has come on top of a 2009 season when Girardi picked his personal favorite, Gardner, as his center fielder and man crush.
If only Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner and George Costanza had had as much confidence in Gardy as Girardi, maybe the Yankees would not have seen the need to collect outfielders like snow globes.
The New York Post reported today there is a possibility the Yankees would consider a trade for Gardner, and at least four teams have enquired about a trade. One even offered one of their John Deere Gators in exchange for Gardy.
All turned out fine with Gardner last night. Girardi found him huddled in a corner and wrapped his arms around Gardy, assuring him that there would be a place on the team for the speedster as long as Girardi was manager.
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