Brett Gardner could get a shot in the starting lineup

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been resistant to use Brett Gardner in the starting lineup because he only has four at-bats in the majors (including one on Saturday) since his elbow injury in mid-April, but the team’s continued struggles on offense have them reconsidering matters.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was on the “The Michael Kay Show” today and said that Gardner is “a possibility” to be in the lineup when the ALCS continues in Detroit this week.

“He still might play a role in this thing,” Cashman said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show.” “You could very well see Gardner in this big outfield that Detroit has. The way our offense is, it is a possibility. He deserves consideration considering what is going on right now.”

Nick Swisher is just 4-for-26 (.154) with eight strikeouts during the postseason while Curtis Granderson is 3-for-26 (.115) with 14 strikeouts, so both players are at risk for being benched. If Girardi really wants to shake things up, he could sit them both and go with Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez in the outfield and Eric Chavez out of the DH spot, though the prospect of using the 40-year-old Ibanez in that spacious outfield is a little scary.

Thoughts on a time without baseball

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This is a terrifying time to be alive. There’s no cute way of phrasing that or softening it. The coronavirus pandemic is completely and utterly terrifying. It’s a black cloud of dread hanging over our heads. The age of sheltering in place and social distancing has driven a stake through the hearts of our communities. It’s hard to not feel alone.

Sports were (and will be again) an excellent source of community. Whether it was in the stands, with friends at home or online, sports gave us something to bond over. It’s hard to do that with abbreviated replays of old events and Twitch streams of players challenging each other at video games. This was supposed to be the first weekend of the MLB season, the first in a long series of weekends when people would be crashing at home and yelling about infielders booting ground balls instead of a lack of ventilators.

I miss that. I miss that sense of togetherness. There’s an inherent sense of joy that togetherness. It’s missing from our lives right now. Even if we’re alone when magical moments happen, group texts and social media allow us to freak out with our friends and fellow fans. I was by myself at home when Howie Kendrick doink’d a ball off the foul pole in Houston, but the shared excitement on my Twitter feed enriched the moment in a way that wasn’t truly tangible until Opening Day came and went with nothing but old games to offer.

Obviously this concern is beyond secondary to the genuine suffering taking place right now. People are dying. That comes before everything else, end of discussion. The importance of sports as a social focal point pales in comparison to that terrible reality. People are dying and the acceleration of the number of American dead shows no sign of stopping. We can all go without sports for a long time if it means it will help curb the spread of the virus.

This is a baseball site. Baseball is on my mind, and so is the loss of the shared experience of baseball. There’s no good remedy for this. I applaud MLB for trying to fill that void as best as it can, but there won’t be an adequate substitute for the shared experience of real games until the crisis is contained and sports can begin anew.

I apologize if this post has been something of a downer. My intent isn’t to depress, but to share what’s been on my mind, and to try to spark some sort of sharing. You’re on this site because you love the game, and the game has been put on hold by a horrifying force of nature. Baseball has served as a way to get your mind off of terrible things, and now the terrible thing is front and center.

The best we can do is to be here for one another. I’m curious to hear from the readers. Have you found a way to fill the baseball-shaped void in your daily lives? Is there something you’re doing to get your sports fix? Have you been getting that sense of baseball fandom camaraderie from somewhere else? Share your thoughts in the comments, or reach out on social media if you like.

If you want to learn more about COVID-19 or think you might need to be tested, give the CDC’s site about the virus a read. Informing yourself is the most important step. Washing your hands and staying home, if possible, is the best way to protect yourself.

Stay safe and be well.

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