Yankees: Brett Gardner Doing Roll Call in Empty Stadium Will Warm Your Heart

Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner flexed for Roll Call on Tuesday.

It’s natural to feel terrible for every Yankees player who entered 2020 anticipating a packed house in the Bronx for 81 regular season games, but I…I feel the worst for Brett Gardner.

The longest-tenured Yankee, Gardy continues to return on one-year deals in perpetuity, hoping to add a final piece of hardware to his one-item ring collection before riding off into the sunset. This year won’t be a fully satisfying ending for the 36-year-old Gardner, who turns 37 in August.

He intends to go out on top, but while we can’t predict the emotional release of a World Series win after a 60-game regular season, we do know that something feels hollow about a farewell tour without fans.

Don’t believe me? Believe Gardy, who saluted the Yankees fans who weren’t in the bleachers on Tuesday night with his signature Roll Call flex.

Brett Gardner saluted the Bleacher Creatures in the Yankees “crowd.”

Some things, like Gary Sanchez tossing the ball unnecessarily around the horn after a strikeout, are a force of habit. Some things, like trying to feel something by acknowledging the fans who can’t walk through those gates, are entirely intentional, and very emotional.

Gardner has always been powerfully connected to Yankees fans, as the little spark plug that could, exhibiting far more range than he realistically should have. The time-honored veteran showed off his speed last night, tracking down a few hard-hit balls in left to help out Gerrit Cole, who by and large dominated in his first home outing on the Yankee Stadium mound.

If and when the regular season begins in earnest, this empty ballpark will be the reality for Gardner and the Yankees. Hopefully, the routine doesn’t get stale — perhaps there’s even a way to pipe in the sounds of the Bleacher Creatures going through their signature salute?

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That’d be a good one to add to the soundboard.