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How to Eat Like a New York Yankee Pitcher

How to Eat Like a New York Yankee Pitcher


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David Robertson is one of the key relievers for the New York Yankees, serving as the setup man for legendary closer Mariano Rivera, trusted to get the team through tough spots and coming through for them more often than not. The 28-year-old right-hander was a member of the American League All-Star Team in 2011, and this season he’s 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA with 39 appearances.

We caught up with Robertson, who was helping to promote Lipton's new status as the official iced tea of Major League Baseball, during this week’s Home Run Derby, and had the opportunity to ask him some questions about what his daily eating routine is like, what his favorite restaurants are, how the food is in the clubhouse, and how it feels to get a few days off during the All-Star break.

The Daily Meal: What do you usually eat during the season?
David Robertson:
That changes all the time. We travel so much that food is sometimes whatever you can find, and sometimes it’s by choice. For lunch, I’ll usually eat a lot of Chipotle or Jimmy John’s when I’m on the road. Those are my favorite spots and I hit them up wherever I go.

So it’s not just protein shakes?
No, you don’t need all that protein, just a healthy diet. I’ll eat that for lunch. For games, the clubhouse staff will provide us with a spread, and it’s usually chicken, steak, vegetables, salad, and maybe some pasta. They put a good spread out every time for you. And that’s usually my meal on the road. At home, we’re kind of pampered. We have a great chef. He makes a lot of different styles of food, like Italian, Latin, and American. He does a good job. It’s all healthy, and it’s all very good food.

Do you get to put in special requests for specific dishes that you like?
Occasionally, but for the most part he puts out a grilled chicken every day, something green, whether it be lightly steamed green beans, broccoli, or cauliflower, some kind of stew, whole-wheat pasta, and usually sweet potatoes. Those are my favorite, so if those are out there, I don’t really ask for much else.

During the season, is there an outright ban on having a beer after the game? Are there any alcohol rules?
There are no alcohol rules, but we don’t drink on the way back home, which is smart because some of us like to drive back home. I don’t think it’s frowned upon to get a beer after a game. Sometimes, you just want to have a beer after you eat a meal, and then go back to the hotel room to sleep.

I guess that at this point in your career, you can be trusted to not come in hung-over the next morning.
Yeah, I don’t want to play hung-over. I don’t want to go out there feeling like crap. I cut myself off with two beers. I feel like that’s OK sometimes. I’m not going to spend all night drinking and partying it up, get back to the hotel at 2 or 3 a.m., and then try to play a game the next day. It’s just not going to work. I wouldn’t be at my top level of performance in the field.

Is there anyone on the team who might occasionally go a little overboard?
Not that I can think of. I can’t think of anyone on our team who goes out that much. We have such a great group of guys. A lot of us go back to the hotels, we sometimes hang out at the clubhouse for a little bit after games. There’s no one on the team who’s a wild man out there.

Does most of the team tend to eat before the game or after the game? How does it work?
How about I explain a normal day? I’ll usually get up at 8 a.m. if I’m at home in New York. I’ll have coffee, scrambled eggs, and toast, and I’ll feed my 10-month-old baby. (He’s a little mess right now.) I drink citrus green Lipton tea a lot now. It makes me feel fresh for the day. I’ll have a caffeine boost but I’m hydrating at the same time. It’s a good morning drink.

I’ll eat a light snack at the field, whether it’s some chicken breast, Boston Market, a burger place, or a bowl of soup with some crackers. Then I’ll work out, and we’ll hang out at the clubhouse to speak to the media. From here, we’ll have batting practice. After batting practice, at around 5 p.m., we come in and there will be a chef putting out a spread for us, which consists of just about anything, like we talked about earlier. After that, we play ball, and after the game, there’s something else for us to eat. We eat a lot, but our schedules are different. I eat very light for breakfast, just enough get me going. My day really starts at 2, 2:30 p.m., when I get to the field and have a snack.

How many calories would you say you burn during each appearance in a game?
Not that many. I probably burn more at my workouts than when I’m actually pitching.

Any there any restaurants that you’ve fallen in love with since you have joined the team?
I used to know so many restaurants before we had a baby. My favorite place would probably be Outback Steakhouse. I would eat at Outback every night.

Is there a clique situation at the clubhouse where there are different groups of friends, or do you have to operate as a unit?
I don’t think it’s cliquey at all in the clubhouse. Everyone gets along really well. It’s a good mesh, in this clubhouse. It’s been really good.

When you’re on the road, how much time do you have to eat out at restaurants?
You don’t have too much time after games, because most of our games are night games. Occasionally, we’ll get day games for a weekend series. We’ll go explore the city and eat. It just doesn’t happen a lot. For the most part, you eat the field.

How does your routine change during the All-Star break? Does it take a little while to get used to the change of pace?
No, you just try to enjoy the All-Star game. After playing 162 games in 181 days, you’re glad you get three to four days off.

Are there any common misconceptions about being a Yankee? I imagine that it’s a glorified sort of situation, but at the end of the day, you’re going back to hotel room like anyone else.
I think people have a misconception that we’re superstars sometimes. I don’t want to come off funny saying that, but people think we’re out partying out every night. I go home to my play with my son and go to bed at 11 or 12 o’clock. I’m just a homebody.

When you think about being a Yankee and all that history that came before you, do you ever sit back and think, "I can’t believe this is what I’m doing?"
Yes. Every day when I go to my locker and see Mariano right next to me, I feel that way.

What’s your favorite thing about being a Yankee?
Playing for the New York Yankees, that’s the best thing there is!


Bullpen Is Baffled by Throwin’ Voice

Baseball players apparently never run out of ways to have fun at the expense of their teammates. Yankee relief pitcher Dave Righetti told the New York Times:

“Our bullpen is right under the bleachers, and we hear a lot of stuff from fans. In the last two years, Charlie Hudson would come out there and hide behind a pillar, disguise his voice and act like a fan. He’d ride us, give us the Bronx cheer, the whole works.

12:00 AM, Aug. 30, 1989 MORNING BRIEFING
Los Angeles Times Wednesday August 30, 1989 Home Edition Sports Part 3 Page 2 Column 1 Sports Desk 2 inches 69 words Type of Material: Column Correction
For the record: A recent item on the 1969 Miracle Mets said that pitcher Jack DiLauro joined a commune in 1970 and hasn’t been heard from since.
Wrong. Tom Klimasz of Los Angeles sends along this excerpt from “A Magic Summer” by Stanley Cohen: “At the end of the 1972 season, DiLauro took a job with a sporting goods company for the off-season, and it turned out to be the start of a new career. Since then, he has managed three of the company’s stores and opened a new territory in his native Akron, Ohio.”

“Scott Nielsen went for a month thinking it was the real thing. I don’t think Neil Allen ever found out.”

Trivia time: Who pitched the first no-hitter in Dodger Stadium?

Sweet dreams: Andre Rison, Indianapolis Colts receiver from Michigan State, on his $890,000 signing bonus, half of which is deferred: “My money is sleeping. I hope when it wakes up, there’s more of it.”

Slim-and-none Dept.: Indicating that Clipper General Manager Elgin Baylor never had a chance of signing Danny Ferry, Ailene Voisin of the Atlanta Journal wrote:

“Former Clipper Coach Gene Shue, who was fired last Jan. 18, is Danny Ferry’s godfather and a close friend of the family. During his 20 months with the organization, Shue tangled frequently with Baylor regarding personnel and coaching matters.”

Accursed one: Headline in the Seattle Times after Bert Blyleven of the Angels had pitched a shutout against the Seattle Mariners in the Kingdome: “Blankety-blank Blyleven.”

Fickle fates: Writes Russ White of the Orlando Sentinel, indicating all has not gone well for the 1969 Miracle Mets:

“Donn Clendenon, who gained a law degree after his playing career, pleaded guilty to a charge of cocaine possession last year in Sioux Falls, S.D. Catcher Jerry Grote served time in jail for cattle sale fraud. Left fielder Cleon Jones received a suspended sentence for forging checks. Reliever Jack DiLauro joined a California commune in 1970 and hasn’t been heard from since.”

White said 14 of the 25 players have been divorced, two of them twice.

Straight arrow: How straight is Mike Reid off the tee? Writes Gordon S. White Jr. of the New York Times: “Usually, you do not ask Reid how many fairways he missed. You ask him how many water sprinkler lines he missed.”

‘Fessing up: As he goes into his fifth year as a CBS football analyst, Terry Bradshaw told the Houston Chronicle, “I should’ve been canned right off the bat, but I was given a chance. I’ve cut out all the silliness there’s only one John Madden.”

Heat treatment: Boston’s Mike Boddicker, asked his secret after he had reeled off five straight victories with a 0.78 earned-run average, said: “More fastballs. You’d be surprised how many fastballs right down the middle hitters miss.”

Trivia answer: Bo Belinsky of the Los Angeles Angels. On May 5, 1962, he did it to Baltimore, 2-0.

Quotebook: George Brett of Kansas City, on the 17-5 loss to Cleveland while Bo Jackson was sidelined: “I knew we were in trouble because our only player who could score touchdowns was on the bench, and we didn’t have time to kick four field goals.”


51 Easy Kitchen Hacks That Will Change Your Life

You say your bookshelf has a dedicated cookbook section (or you have a dedicated cookbook bookcase)? You have a whole slew of recipe websites bookmarked and cooking apps downloaded? You&rsquove already tried all the online cooking classes you can find? There&rsquos no way any of these tricks are new to you? We bet you&rsquoll still find something useful in this list&mdashprobably a few things, at least.

And, OK, maybe these kitchen hacks won&rsquot change your life in an &ldquoI won the lottery&rdquo or &ldquoI just found out I&rsquom pregnant&rdquo kind of way. And maybe you have seen a few of these before. But we&rsquove mixed it up a bit and covered a lot of territory here&mdashfrom making over your refrigerator to the easiest one-ingredient ice cream you&rsquoll ever make (no cooking or fancy gizmos required). Not to mention neat tricks for edible bowls, ways to make unitasker gadgets into multitaskers, and even how to rescue burnt cookies.

1. Make Eggs in the Microwave

Are you sick of eating a mediocre a.m. meal of bland yogurt or a granola bar that&rsquos way more sugar than you need anyway? Meet your new morning best friend: the microwave. Find out how to make a breakfast-of-champions in just a few simple steps, plus the help of minimal equipment (a microwaveable plate or bowl). In under 5 minutes you can make scrambled eggs, or even fried eggs (hello desk-side huevos rancheros&mdashand fried egg tacos!), in the time that it would take you to order that overpriced cup of oatmeal. Your work day is about to get a whole lot better.

2. Section Ground Meat Before Freezing

Do this with ground beef, ground turkey and chicken, and ground pork and you can break off only as much as you need without defrosting the whole package. See more great freezer storage tips while you&rsquore at it.

3. Reuse Pickle Brine

Drop chip-size slices of fresh cucumber into leftover pickle brine in the jar and store in the refrigerator for a few days to make crunchy quick pickles. (You can also drop in other vegetables like green beans, garlic, carrots, or radishes. For best results, par-boil these veggies before pickling to speed up the process.) But that&rsquos not all you can do with pickle juice&mdashsee nine more ways to use your leftover pickle brine.

4. Wet Your Fingers to Remove Eggshell

Photo Credit: Somrudee Doikaewkhao / EyeEm / Getty Images

Stray shell bits in your cracked egg? Dab your finger in water before you go after it. Water acts like a magnet and the shell will stick to your finger without having to chase it around the bowl.

5. Make Limp Celery Crisp Again

Trim the top and bottom of the celery (cut it off of the root if it is still attached) and drop the stalks upright into a pitcher or jar of ice-cold water to re-crisp. You can also store celery like this as soon as you bring it home&mdashasparagus too. The ice water trick also works to perk up tired broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and spinach.

6. Make Crispy Bacon without the Mess

Photo Credit: Hana Asbrink

Forget about the cast iron skillet. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of foil) that has been crimped at 1-inch intervals to create a disposable bacon rack&mdashor place an actual wire rack over the foil if you have one. Then cook the bacon in the oven&mdashthe easiest, cleanest, and best way to do it. Elevating the bacon keeps it out of the grease and allows hot air to circulate around the strips, so they cook and crisp evenly.


For the New York Yankees, a Troubling Trade

Last month, a little more than a week after the progressive movement’s public relations guru Trevor FitzGibbon shut down his Washington-based firm amid allegations that he had sexually harassed and assaulted colleagues and prospective employees, and two days before the controversies surrounding Bill Cosby entered a new chapter, the Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman.

Mr. Chapman, a star relief pitcher whose fastball has been clocked at 103 miles per hour, comes to the Bronx from Cincinnati in a trade that cost the Yankees four minor-league players, an exchange roughly equivalent to swapping a Brooklyn brownstone for a few rooms in a high-rise in Weehawken.

Mr. Chapman came inexpensively because other teams had passed on him after allegations of domestic violence had surfaced. In October, according to a report filed by the police department in Davie, Fla., officers responded to a call from Mr. Chapman’s girlfriend. The police arrived at Mr. Chapman’s home, the report states, in the midst of a party, to find that the couple had had an argument involving his cellphone. Mr. Chapman told the police that in the course of the argument, he had poked his girlfriend, with whom he has a child, on the shoulder with two fingers, and she fell to the floor the young woman in turn said that he had pushed her against the wall and choked her. What does not appear to be in dispute, according to the report, is that Mr. Chapman then went to his garage, punched in the passenger window of his car, retrieved a pistol and, alone, fired it several times.

The police concluded that because of the he-said-she-said nature of the story, uncooperative witnesses and lack of evidence of physical injury, no charges could be filed. Major League Baseball is conducting its own inquiry into the episode, which could result in a suspension for Mr. Chapman, or not.

Although the issue of domestic violence migrated to the foreground of professional sports after the release of a videotape, in 2014, showing the football player Ray Rice beating a woman who is now his wife, any meaningful sanction of players has been rare. Last summer, the Harvard Journal on Sports & Entertainment Law published an analysis by Bethany P. Withers, a lawyer and domestic violence expert. The study revealed that of the 64 reported episodes of domestic violence or sexual assault allegedly committed by professional football, baseball and basketball players between 2010 and 2014, just one case resulted in a conviction. Only seven players received punishment from their leagues and two from their teams. Three years ago, the perceived inaction of Major League Baseball over sexual misconduct among players prompted Pete Rose, exiled from baseball for gambling decades ago, to observe, “I picked the wrong vice.”

The Yankees’ acquisition of Mr. Chapman raises complicated questions about the professional assimilation — and ascension — of the accused. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stipulates that arrests alone cannot be used as a basis to fire, suspend or avoid hiring a particular individual (the practice of which could disproportionally affect minority populations, and look like racial bias) — and Mr. Chapman, of course, was not arrested. Some social psychologists have even argued that dismissing a person from a job for beating his wife or partner simply puts that wife or partner at further disadvantage, given the potential financial repercussions.

Advocates for victims of domestic violence quickly expressed indignation over the Chapman decision because strangulation and access to firearms are primary predictors of future lethal violence, according to risk-assessment screening used by police officers.

In political circles, no one has been as outspoken about the Chapman trade as City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Democrat who represents part of the Bronx, a borough where incidents of domestic violence have been rising.

“I was disgusted, to be honest,” the speaker said of hearing about Mr. Chapman. But even in such expressions of reproof there are traces of the broader confusion that distinguish our societal response to domestic violence in the absence of consistent punishment. Pressed by a reporter at a news conference to say whether she would avoid a Yankees game now, Ms. Mark-Viverito said simply, “I’d consider it.”

The team has tried to maintain a reputation for rectitude since the iconic image of Gary Cooper playing Lou Gehrig appeared in “The Pride of the Yankees.” That image has been sustained, too, by the philanthropic work of former Yankees manager Joe Torre, who currently serves as Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer. In 2002, Mr. Torre and his wife, Ali, started an organization called the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation to help children and families dealing with domestic violence. Mr. Torre has spoken openly about growing up in a home in which his father abused his mother. Six years ago, President Obama appointed Mr. Torre to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women.

That the Yankees would embrace a player who turned to gunfire as a means of venting his frustration, during a period in which the country has been traumatized by mass shootings, cracks that sheen.


The Question: Why do you like the New York Yankees? (Asked by a special correspondent at the Itami Air Base, Japan)

MISS YAE UTSUMI
Toyonaka City
Bookkeeper
"Because Yankees have great heroes like Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth. All Japanese heard of them, know them good. Batters very powerful. Japanese not heard much of Dodger Bums. Rumor in Japan they beat Yankees. Bums no can beat Yankees. Yankees very powerful. Good batsmen."

MR. YOSHITSUGU KAJI
Osaka City
Fireman
"Yankees so different than others we see in Japanese sports. They have excellent pitchers. We have good pitchers, but Yankees have home-run maker, Mickey Mantle, and they have No. 1 catcher, the Yogi Berra. That Yogi have great name. Sound like name of god."

MISS TOMOKO HATANAKA
Kobe City
Sales clerk
"Yankees are very complete ballplayers. They show us great baseball and with great showmanship. But they are complete players. They show sportsmanship, too. Like the same spirit in judo matches. Great men, the Yankees. They beat us badly in baseball. But we beat them in judo."

MR. OSAMU SHIRAISHI
Suita City
Interpreter
"Because Yankees are champions. They win all World Series. They lose to Dodgers because all good Yankee men hurt. Cannot play good. Dodgers lucky. Pitcher win who do not win all year. Yankees again win World Series. No? I bet you Japanese kimono and two bottles Asahi beer."

MISS TATSUKO ARIMOTO
Kyoto City
Sales clerk
"Yankees have very good teamwork, you know. You see them in New York, no? They are speedy in throwing because of good shoulders. That Casey Stengel he make Japanese laugh. Japanese not laugh much. But laugh for him. He is skillful for the change of pitchers. Make us lose every time."

MR. YASUO TOGO
Kobe City
Newspaper editor
"Yes, Japanese like great New York Yankees. Why? Because Yankees are fine people. They smile with us. They shake hands with us. They walk and eat with us. That head man, Stengel, he is the funny man. Japanese head man never funny. Stengel he no smile, but he make you laugh."

MRS. TAKAKO EMORI
Osaka City
Sales clerk
"Yes, I like the Yankees baseballers. They are strong when they swing the bats and they are strong when they throw the baseballs. I wish they could show us more playing. Never can we see such wonderful baseball in Japanese baseballs. We are not big. But we like and we try."

MR. HIROSHI TOMITA
Amagasaki City
Base custodian
"I am liking the Yankees all the time. They are great baseball nine, but that Yogi Berra is the one I like. He is somewhat brave, like samurai. That Yogi Berra have great name. Easy to say, like Japanese name. Maybe he have Japanese ancestor. He no look like American."

MISS SALLY SASAKI
Minō-cho
Special order clerk
"I like all Yankees. Handsome men. But that great Yogi Berra is the great one. He is not the handsome boy but kind of boy I can think familiar with. Good guy. Japanese like him best. Yogi show us very good play. We like him stay and be No. 1 Japanese baseballer."

MR. YOSHIO FUKUSHIMA
Osaka City
Order receiver
"Because they play the great game, like giants. We cannot play like the Yankees, but they show us good game and we learn fast. Baseball Japan&aposs big sport. Our schoolboys talk baseball talk. With their Japanese, they say words like strikes, balls, bunts, squeeze play, blowup."

MR. HIROSHI MASHITA
Osaka Prefecture
Manager of tailor shop
"That is easy. Simple like ohayo [good morning]. Mickey Mantle the big reason. He greatslugger. Japanese love great men, big men, great sluggers. No Japanese hit like Mickey Mantle. No Japanese play like second-base fielder, Martin, My town, Osaka, is crazy for Yankees."


Welsh Rabbit

Shutterstock

Contrary to what its name may sound like, this recipe does not have any rabbit in it. Instead, it is a thick cheese sauce made from ingredients such as milk, butter, cheese, and Tabasco sauce, served over toast or crackers. This traditional dish, which dates all the way back to 1931, can easily be altered to spice it up a bit, too. For instance, the plain toast can be swapped out for ciabatta bread or you could also whip up a vegan version.

Get the recipe from The Henry Ford.


Yankees Magazine: The Daily Grinder

In a city such as New York, it's hard to find success of any sort, let alone on one of the biggest stages the city has to offer. And sustained success? Fuhgeddaboudit. There are always new shows hitting Broadway and "must-see" attractions cropping up. The "place to be" or the "it" socialite or celebrity will cause a stir one night and disappear from the zeitgeist the next.
Outsiders see these things and chase them. But true New Yorkers know what's up. They know that their favorite bodega around the corner will offer them a better sandwich than the chic new spot downtown with the line out the door. A real Manhattanite knows that the local hole-in-the-wall tavern is usually way more fun than "being seen" at the buzziest new club in the Meatpacking District.
Trends come and go in a New York minute, but what will always remain are the standards that have never failed.

The same holds true in the Bronx, where big names are always rolling through the Yankees' clubhouse, stirring up beat reporters and fans, and eating up the spotlight. There's nothing wrong with that. But just like New York City doesn't run only on what's hot, the Yankees don't win just with the biggest stars garnering all the back-page headlines.
For more than a decade, Brett Gardner has been the glue that has held the Yankees together. Since debuting in June of 2008 -- stepping into a clubhouse that included Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon and others -- to winning the World Series in 2009, to watching the Core Four members make their exits, to welcoming in the Baby Bombers, Gardner has operated in the background, grinding out at-bats, playing hurt and setting the table.
He has laid low for the most part. But as Gardner goes, so go the Yankees. Even though he's not making waves, the Yankees still ebb and flow with him.
From his perch in the lineup --- usually right at the top -- and from his corner stall in the home clubhouse, a prime spot reserved for the most respected Yankees, Gardner, reliable and trustworthy as ever, guides the team in the right direction.
***
There is a lot of talk about intangibles in sports, particularly baseball. A player who possesses these hard-to-define traits is seen as an asset to the team. But what exactly does that player do?
Look no further than Brett Gardner, who may as well be listed in the dictionary next to the word "intangibles."
"He is just a total baseball player," says Zach Britton. "When you think of a baseball player, you think of him."
Gritty. A grinder. Always hustling. Plays hurt. Scrappy. A leader. These are the words teammates, coaches and even opponents use to describe Gardner. He is everything you can't quantify.
"First time I met him, I thought he was a good player and scrappy," says Carsten Sabathia, who has been a teammate of Gardner's since 2009. "He works hard, runs hard and is always going to give you everything he's got. It hasn't changed at all. He's always the same. He's a jokester on the team he can get the energy going among the guys. But really, as far as his effort on the field, he never changes.
"I think the way he always plays hard on the field is a good example for guys to follow, and that naturally makes him a leader."
The veteran left-hander is right. There may be young players with more pure talent than Gardner, but they'd be foolish not to follow his lead when it comes to playing the game hard. And although Gardner will never toot his own horn, he recognizes how vital his experience is to leading the team.
"It's obviously a very important role and something that I don't take lightly," he says. "I don't want to say it was something that was thrust upon me or thrown at me because the longer you're here, eventually you kind of move into that role. Obviously, we've had a lot of turnover on our roster the last few years, and it doesn't really seem to me or feel to me that I've been here as long as I have, but when I sit down and think about it, I guess I have been here quite a little while.
"I've always just tried to play hard. And it sounds kind of simple, but I've always tried to do my best and take my job as seriously as possible. I think it can be a long season. And being mentally tough enough to be able to grind through it when times aren't good, being able to keep going and knowing that the best is yet to come and good things are around the corner, I think sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of that. I think it's about keeping things in perspective, compartmentalizing things … I feel like I've been able to do a pretty good job of that, and I think that's what's allowed me to still be here."
None of that is to say that his play on the field isn't superb. Between the white lines, Gardner's output speaks for itself. Although he is small in stature compared to many teammates, the 5-foot-11 Gardner has an enormous presence in the batter's box. His ability to make pitchers work not only puts pressure on the opposition, but it also puts everyone behind him in the lineup in a better position to succeed.
Through the beginning of August, Gardner was one of the best in the league at lengthening at-bats. His 4.18 pitches per plate appearance placed him among the top 25 batters in all of Major League Baseball. Leading off a game, long at-bats are especially important, giving his teammates ample opportunity to see what the pitcher is working with that day. And considering that the Yankees had scored 72 first-inning runs through the end of July -- only in the fifth frame had they scored more -- Gardner's efforts often made an immediate impact.
"It's always a challenge," Britton says of facing Gardner, which he did 14 times to mixed results as a member of the Orioles. "He's going to make you throw a lot of pitches, he's going to make you throw strikes, and then there's the chance that he puts the ball in play -- and he's fast. … And then when he's on base, he's a threat to steal. So, he's the total package. He's definitely a guy that, when I was on the opposing team, he was a guy you know you always had to keep your eye on."
For Gardner, grinding out at-bats is definitely part of his strategy, one that helps his teammates out in a way no scouting report can.
"I think everybody kind of knows what kind of stuff a pitcher has coming into the game and knows what to expect," Gardner says. "But it's nice to see him and what he has because not every day and not every start does a pitcher have all of his pitches. Maybe their slider is not working that great that day, and they're going to lean more on their curveball or their change-up or the cutter. So, I think that the more pitches you get a guy to throw and the more you get to look at them, the more of an advantage we have as an offense."
"He works the count like nobody else," says Didi Gregorius, who usually occupies the third or fourth spot in the lineup. "We'll see all [the opposing pitcher's] pitches because he'll probably have to go to his secondary or third pitch in the first at-bat. That's so big when you're leading off a game."

More than anything, though, it's about getting on base, which Gardner does in myriad ways. His .342 on-base percentage, 88 hits and 64 runs scored through Aug. 1 were all on par with the big guys in the Yankees' lineup, and his 49 walks were third only to Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks, who had 68 and 51, respectively. And, as Britton mentioned, once Gardner gets on base, he can create even more opportunities with his speed. Gardner had stolen 10 bases as of Aug. 1 this year, and the 251 he had racked up in his career put him in a tie with Willie Randolph for third on the Yankees' all-time leaderboard. Plus, Gardner's 29.1 feet-per-second sprint speed is the best on the roster and tied for the 13th-fastest time in the bigs.
"For me, the main goal is to get on base and be on base for those main guys in the lineup it's that simple," Gardner says. "But I do like to see my fair share of pitches and make the pitcher work and let him know that it's going to be a long day for him, hopefully."
Some of Gardner's most epic at-bats have seen him outlast pitchers that he forced to throw 10 and 12 pitches. With the Yankees on the brink of elimination in Game 5 of the 2017 American League Division Series in Cleveland, the left-handed Gardner had two 12-pitch at-bats, one against southpaw Andrew Miller and another against righty Cody Allen. Although Gardner struck out against Miller, facing Allen in the top of the ninth and the Yankees clinging to a one-run lead, the outfielder laced a two-run single to right field to give his team the breathing room it needed to win the game and the series.
"Every team in baseball could use a Brett Gardner," Allen said after the loss.
***
The 2017 postseason was thrilling for everyone in the Yankees' clubhouse, young and old. It marked a return to October for Gardner, who, other than an 0-for-4 night in the 2015 AL Wild Card Game, hadn't tasted a playoff run since 2012. The left fielder was lucky enough to reach the mountaintop in 2009 -- his first full year with the Yankees. But the dry spell since then helped put things into perspective for the South Carolina native, who turned 35 last month.
"That first year, I don't want to say you take it for granted, and I don't want to say you assume, but maybe you just figure and hope that this is what's going to come around every year," Gardner says. "But the longer you play, you realize how hard it is to get to that point and how much work goes in to get to that point just to have a chance to play for that championship. Last year, we got so close."
Gardner says winning now would mean even more than that first year because of all he's been through in his career, and he relishes the chance to anoint a new group of would-be champions who are champing at the bit for success and glory.
"We've got a pretty young team, especially for the Yankees," he says. "It's been a lot of fun to watch them continue to grow and watch them come into their own at the big-league level.
"As a young guy, you're wanting to get your career started and wanting to make a little bit of money and wanting to maybe get a contract," he continues with a smile. "But I think the longer that you play, the more a championship is what you're playing for. I know that's something CC and I have talked about a little bit. That's why we're here. We want to win, and we want to win badly. We've got a great team this year, and we've obviously still got a lot of work to do, but I really like our team and like our chances."
Should the Yankees summit the mountain, leading the ascent will be Gardner. He has been there before. He has seen it all. The bright October lights don't distract him any more than the ones in Times Square distract the Midtown local hustling to work with her head down.
New York hardens you. Only the strongest make it, and never without scars. The city leaves its mark. The special ones leave a mark right back. Gardner is still plowing through in the Bronx, leading the charge the only way he knows how -- hustling and with his head down day after day.
"When we come to the field and get to work, we're trying to get a win -- that's the only thing that's going to get us to where we want to be," he says. "Every day is a new day, but every day the goal is to win a game, get some rest and then do it again tomorrow."


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Hughes throws four different pitches - a 92-93 mph fastball, a curveball, a cutter and a new changeup that has gotten a lot of attention. He is only throwing a handful per game - 7 or 8% percent of his pitches are changeups, Eiland said - but it is an effective weapon to at least sit in hitter's heads.

Friday, Hughes will arrive at Fenway about 4:30 p.m. to begin his routine for his start. Because of the discomfort he felt earlier in his career, he says he never set a good routine, something some starters cling to. Now he has. "I'll grab something small to eat, something easy on the stomach but at the same time gives you lots of energy," Hughes said. "Sandwiches, high protein. I relax, get stretched, get ready. I don't do anything crazy superstition-wise."

He's eager to start against the Red Sox again - his last start at Fenway, on April 13, 2008, was the shortest of his career (two innings) and he allowed a career-worst seven runs.

"They are a really good team and Fenway is a tough place to play," Hughes said. "That's one of the better home-field advantages in baseball, just with the fans and the weird things about the ballpark.

"Obviously, they're not playing as well as they'd like to right now, but we can't take them lightly. They are a really good team. They beat us eight straight last year and their pitching staff is better now."


A Pitch of Faith: Fox Nation explores the medical downfall, comeback of Yankee prospect Ty Hensley

Pitcher Ty Hensley recalls injuries that sidetracked MLB career in Fox Nation's 'Pitch of Faith'

2012 New York Yankees first round draft pick Ty Hensley has been knocked down continually due to injuries but has never stopped perusing his ultimate dream.

A new Fox Nation special, "Pitch of Faith", explores the story of Ty Hensley, a once promising New York Yankees prospect born into a professional baseball family, who had everything going for him until life-threatening injuries hit.

Fox Nation takes a look at the medical tribulations of the Oklahoma native, and how he is defying the odds and rising again athletically in the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) and the American Association of Professional Baseball (AAPB).

Selected by the Bronx Bombers in the first round of the 2012 draft, turning down college ball at Ole Miss, Hensley tells Fox Nation how he was overjoyed at the opportunity.

Hensley began his professional career in the Yankee's minor league affiliate in Tampa, but tragedy struck during a team training outing to the Dominican Republic.

The pitcher told Fox Nation that he heard a "pop" in his stomach area while pitching in the D.R., and upon showing Yankee staff, was rushed back to the United States for medical attention.

Fox Nation also spoke with Dr. Bryan Kelly, a renowned New York orthopaedic surgeon, who soonafter the abdominal injury, operated on both of Hensley's hips.

After one of the surgeries, Hensley developed what his mother told Fox Nation was deemed a "life-threatening" infection.

He was rushed from a Tampa hospital to New York to be seen by Kelly, and an infected abscess was removed.

"He came through the front door to my office and I thought I'm glad he made it because he looked absolutely terrible," recalled Kelly.

From that point, the Fox Nation special, "Pitch of Faith", chronicles his eventual return to playing ball, before being sidelined by another injury, this time in his elbow.

But the persistent Hensley pressed forward, with his most recent career reaching its pinnacle in August 2020 when he pitched a no-hitter for the Utica (Mich.) Unicorns against the Eastside (Detroit) Diamond Hoppers of the USBPL.

In January 2021, Hensley most recently signed with the AAPB's Milwaukee Milkmen.

Watch "Pitch of Faith" now on Fox Nation.

Fox Nation programs are viewable on-demand and from your mobile device app, but only for Fox Nation subscribers. Go to Fox Nation to start a free trial and watch the extensive library from your favorite Fox News personalities.


Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán suspended for 81 games after domestic violence investigation

Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán will miss the first 63 games of the 2020 season as part of an 81-game ban following Major League Baseball's investigation into alleged domestic violence incidents. The league announced the suspension Thursday, and Germán has agreed not to appeal.

Germán was put on administrative leave on September 19, and the MLB investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child. He missed the final nine games of the 2019 regular season and all nine of New York's postseason games. Those missed games will count toward his ban.

The right-hander went 18-4 last season with a 4.03 ERA in 24 starts and three relief appearances. The 27-year-old had a $577,000 salary, but will not be paid for the time he missed after being placed on leave. He is expected to make a similar salary for 2020, but he will not be paid while suspended.

Germán will be eligible to return June 5 against Tampa Bay, barring any postponements.

The Yankees said in a statement they "remain steadfast in our support" of MLB's investigative and disciplinary process regarding Germán.

"We are encouraged by Domingo's acceptance of his discipline, and we sincerely hope this indicates a commitment to making a meaningful and positive change in his personal conduct," the team said. Germán will participate in a treatment program and will also make a contribution to Sanctuary for Families, a New York-based nonprofit group that aids victims of domestic violence.

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Germán's ban is the longest levied by MLB under its domestic violence policy for a player who was not formally charged. Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs was suspended 40 games spanning the 2018-19 seasons following a series of allegations by his ex-wife.

Former San Diego pitcher José Torres was banned 100 games in 2018 following an arrest on domestic violence charges.

The Yankees have been preparing to go on in 2020 without Germán. The club signed right-hander Gerrit Cole to a $324 million, nine-year contract last month, the largest deal ever for a pitcher for total dollars and average annual value. Cole is expected to be followed in the rotation by left-hander James Paxton and right-handers Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino, with lefties J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery also available.

The suspension will delay Germán's eligibility for free agency from after 2023 to after 2024. If he returns June 5 and remains on the big league roster for the rest of the season, he will still likely be eligible for salary arbitration after 2020.

First published on January 2, 2020 / 7:30 PM

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