Last night’s Yankee win was all about the Baby Bombers. While Damon kept up his torrid hitting, another Yank who’s been late to the party had a big night, and Andy Pettitte was solid, it was Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli that stole the show. In his week of action since being called up Francisco Cervelli has shown that he’s a capable big league backup Catcher right now, and Brett Gardner made his case for more playing time. Having Gardner pushing Melky all year can only be a good thing after the Melkman’s lost season last year. Mark Feinsand agrees, and adds this:
Cervelli made an interesting comment after the game, praising Girardi for the way he treats the young players in a very veteran clubhouse.
“The manager trusts everybody and he gives you confidence all the time,” Cervelli said. “He always says, ‘You can do it, just don’t try to be a hero or try to do too much.’”
Pena put it in different terms.
“It feels great what is happening now,” the shortstop said. “Every day is like the best day of my career.”
Jeter and Matsui will be back in the lineup in the next day or two, while Posada, Jose Molina, Xavier Nady and Cody Ransom will return eventually as well. But what these kids are showing right now is the ability to handle the pressure and contribute to wins. What more can you ask for if you’re the Yankees?
That doesn’t surprise me. The Yanks are a team that is still in the process of transitioning away from an aging core to a younger team with a more flexible roster. For the four remaining Yanks with rings (Mo, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte) Girardi will always be an ex-teammate and the guy who managed the team after Torre. But they are all getting to ages where we should view them less and less as the center of the team. Still key contributors, but with each passing year their impact on the team wanes. There is a new core being built around starting pitching and position players like Cano, Tex and Swisher with regular injections of youth from the farm system. Whether these new Yanks can match the success of the old Yanks remains to be seen, but if you view the Yanks as an aging team of fading veterans, you’re missing the most important thing Brian Cashman has been doing since he took control of the Baseball Ops in 2006.
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