Both the New York Post and New York Daily News reported today that Brett Gardner has been working hard on his bunting skills hoping that he can get on base with his speed.
This strategy was first reported by this writer in a Brett Gardner Daily Update on Bleacher Report about two weeks ago.
George King in the Post reported Gardner saying he has been bunting more in order to utilize his speed.
This writer also was the first to report that Gardner has been going through about seven uniform shirts per day, because his blazing speed has been setting his shirts on fire.
Joe Girardi was checking with the New York Fire Department to determine if it was possible to incorporate some fire-resistant material in Gardy's uniforms, but neither the Post nor the Daily News had any update on this.
Gardner was also reported in both NYC tabloids as saying he would be happy to play any position as long as he was on the field.
The articles omitted the fact that Gardner had a catcher's mitt tucked under his arm as he spoke with King and other reporters. Apparently it was the mitt Andy Pettitte uses to catch his boys when they throw.
It was noted that manager Joe Girardi took the reporters aside and asked that they not mention the catcher's mitt in their articles.
Girardi has had Tony Pena working quietly with Gardner in the bull pen to determine if his arm is better than backup catcher, Francisco Cervelli. Girardi was overheard asking Pena if the footwork needed on bunts would help Gardy with his footwork if they decided to try him as a backstop.
Also, Gardner was seen by a few early-bird reporters tossing off the bullpen mound to Pena. There had been earlier reports he was working on his slider, as the Yankees have only one left-handed reliever on the 25-man roster.
One of the reporters did ask Gardner about the bulge under his shirt. Insiders know that it is the chicken claw Gardner is wearing around his neck.
The Gullah woman Gardner brought to camp made the talisman from a live chicken. The chicken had been obtained for Gardner by hitting coach, Kevin Long, as a pet.
Interestingly enough, neither the Post nor the Daily News made any note of the barn which has been built at the Yankee camp to allow Gardy to hit balls dropping off the barn roof. This allows the outfielder to practice hitting foul balls in case his bunting strategy does not work out.
This writer will continue to stay on top of Gardner's activities unless the Post or Daily News writers get ahead of the story. At this point, they are well behind the Bleacher Report, which had this news weeks ago.