Monday, August 17, 2015

Brett Gardner takes on role of unofficial Yankees captain after loss: Report

It was a simple message scribbled in black on the white board near the door that led out of the Yankees’ clubhouse as they departed Rogers Centre Sunday.

But after the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays in Toronto, Brett Gardner's written words spoke volumes:
"Cheer up everybody. We won the series. Still in 1st place."

Sunday's loss to the hard-charging Jays was likely a tough one for the Yankees to swallow — considering they had the chance to get revenge on Toronto for sweeping them the week before and because their bats couldn't help Luis Severino, the rookie phenom who gave them another strong start.

But Gardner's leadership move was clear. By taking two out of three games from the Blue Jays and jumping back into the American League East lead, there was good reason to take pride.

Anybody on the Yankees who knew Gardner wrote it surely wouldn't have been surprised that it came from the 31-year-old veteran.

Gardner's influence within the clubhouse is noticeable. The scrappy All-Star learned a lot from the Derek Jeter school of captaincy:  Lead by example. Exude quiet confidence. Make a statement when necessary.

On Sunday, Gardner did just that.

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