Yankees: 2 players who’ve justified team’s faith and 1 who hasn’t

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Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Yankees Disappointment: Brett Gardner

No, the New York Yankees did not sign Brett Gardner to play every day in 2021.

Predictably, though, that’s happened — as it always seems to.

Without the juiced ball in his pocket, Gardner finally appears to have aged out of relevancy this season, which is upsetting and has revealed that a cheap contract to a fan-favorite veteran isn’t always a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. If the player is this bad, fans will turn on anyone.

Gardner just recorded his first homer of the season and fourth RBI. It is June.

Gardner’s defense has remained above average, but his bat hasn’t been close, unfortunately further exposed by being mired in the slop along with nearly every single one of his lineup mates. He wasn’t expected to start, but has been forced to in Aaron Hicks’ place. He wasn’t expected to be one of eight hitters struggling at any given time, and yet here we are.

When there are multiple black holes in a lineup, a plus-defender with a slowed-down bat like Gardy’s can no longer be hidden. Sadly, that’s the bizarre world he’s stumbled into, in which he can’t get the ovations he deserves because the machine isn’t working … no LeMahieu pun intended.

This whole situation wasn’t Gardner’s fault, but rather an issue of circumstance. Either way, he hasn’t contributed very much at all while being forced to play most days, a clear disappointment after the Yankees waited all offseason only to defer to his schedule for a farewell tour.