New York Yankees Editorial: Greg Bird Shines On And Off Field


Yesterday was a special day for not only the New York Yankees organization but rookie Greg Bird. As Mark Teixeira recovers from his injury, Bird has assumed his role, and made it known he is very capable of doing that as he powered the Yankees past Minnesota for a three-game sweep, also moving them two games ahead of the Blue Jays. After the game, Bird was asked about the game and himself as he continues to widen eyes across the MLB.

Not only did his two home runs catch everyone’s attention but this interview was the icing on the cake. The maturity that was shown is what you expect of a veteran, a Derek Jeter or an Andy Pettitte. Greg Bird, 22 (23 in November), is everything you want in a home-grown player. He won the ballgame for the Yankees, but to put the team over something as special as what he accomplished today is something you simply don’t expect from an average 22-year-old.

It just adds to what the Yankees are all about, the way they’ve been known to carry themselves as an organization is the same exact reason they’re the most winning team of any franchise. This is a player that already understand what it means to win but to also be a Yankee. They knew they had something special in Bird and it’s finally coming to fruition.

However, what’s next for Bird? As I mentioned before Teixeira’s injury is only day-to-day and Joe Girardi has no immediate plans to put him on the DL. Now that we are having a look at Bird in Yankees Stadium, though, should Tex honestly be worried? Should he be wondering if he’s going to get ran out of town sooner than he thought? Will we have a replay of Wally Pipp and Lou Gehrig? Crazier things have happened, right?

The story was brought up relatively quick in yesterday’s game, much more in a joking matter, but of course New York fans have brought it up for real now. Pipp suffered a concussion in batting practice, he would be out for two weeks, and by the time he got back the name ‘Lou Gehrig’ was all anyone wanted to hear. Pipp was no scrub and neither is Teixeira, obviously, but the Yankees will have to figure something out when Teixeira does return, meaning playing time might be split a lot more between the two in hopes of preserving Tex for the post-season.

Am I saying Bird is the next Gehrig? No, and I personally think there is no chance of history repeating itself in such a way. If he was having another injury-hindered season such as last year, I’d probably lean more towards this actually happening but it’s the complete opposite.

Teixeira is the Yankees most important hitter this season and arguably best fielder, it might not seem like it because this lineup is stacked, but Teixeira has nothing to worry about. However, Greg Bird will be 23 next season, I do think it might make Teixeira’s life a tad bit harder to perform the same way he is this year, next year as Greg Bird will be hungry to come back. I’m also not taking anything away from Bird’s performance yesterday, but as any rookie, he does have more to prove. Teixeira isn’t going to be ran out of town from a rookie who has a week of major league experience under his belt, is he?

The same thing could’ve been said for Luis Severino and CC Sabathia, Sev’ is pitching as well as you could ask of him (despite having no run support), if CC was still struggling as he was earlier in the season this situation would also be possible. Severino could maybe take his spot in the rotation, and the Yanks’ would just move CC to the pen once Michael Pineda returned. However, CC has been pitching pretty well as of late, and when Michael Pineda comes back, life will go back to normal.

The Yankees aren’t going to take their best player this year and throw him to the side for a 22-year-old who has a week’s worth of work. To me, it’s kind of silly to think such things, but I am open to seeing why others might not think the same. Do you think Teixeira’s key role is in jeopardy? Let us know in the comments below.

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