Thank You, Brett Gardner

Thank you: “I feel like things have been slipping away for a few weeks.  To be honest, I haven’t looked at the standings the last couple of days because at this point they don’t really matter. We’ve got to win every day. Until we’re five, six, seven games out with five, six, seven games to go and eliminated, I’m still going to hold out hope, and I still believe in the group of guys we have here. I still come to work every day and play hard, but like I said, we’re not in a good spot right now, and it’s a shame because our pitchers have really stepped up the last couple of months and done a good job. As an offense, we haven’t...

“As well as we’ve pitched, we didn’t need to be great.  We just needed to be good. And we haven’t been...

“You feel like you’re due at some point.  I don’t feel like it’s been a couple of games. I feel like it’s been pretty much all season. We’ve had flashes of being pretty good, but for the most part, we’ve just struggled to get guys across the plate. It’s frustrating because, with all the injuries we had to our rotation, the guys that have come up and come in from other places have really stepped up and done a great job, pitched really well and kept us in the ballgame. Just like tonight, all we needed to get was just one or two runs and we couldn’t even get that. It’s just really frustrating. Guys are working really hard. Guys are trying. Guys are putting in the effort. For one reason or another, we’re just not getting it done.”

See, that's what I'm talking about.  Was that so hard?  To man up and admit you know you're not getting it done?  Nowhere in there does Gardner say or even imply that he and his teammates have given up.  He goes out of his way to say that they aren't, just like everybody else has been saying for months.  But he also doesn't dodge the reality of his team's offensive ineptitude.  He takes it head on, acknowledges that it's frustrating and that he isn't happy with it, and offers a realistic take on the team's situation.

That's all I'm asking for.  A little realistic perspective and a genuine expression of feelings and emotions tied to team and individual performances.  I know everybody on the team is trying, I know they aren't going to come out and say "yep, we suck" after every loss, and I don't want or need a bunch of fake "rah-rah" speeches to the media either.  All I want is a little honesty and realism.  To talk without it is to take the ownership approach of sticking to the "we're committed to building a championship-caliber team" company line even though everybody knows that's not the truth, and the last thing I want to feel like when players are talking is that I'm being talked to by the Steinbrenners.

Gardner broke that mold last night, gave some real answers, and I appreciate that.  So thanks again, Brett.  It's good to know there's still some clubhouse leadership left with the old guard almost gone.