Saturday, October 16, 2010

...Brett Gardner

What to commonly becomes a lazy run to first base turned into the spark the New York Yankees needed in the top of the eight inning last night to shock the Texas Rangers.

Down five to one in the top of the eight, Yankees' left fielder - and the ninth batter in their lineup - hit a ground ball to the Rangers' first baseman Jorge Cantu. If you watch Major League Baseball frequently, all to often you see the batter concede the out and simply jog to first as if the out has already been recorded. But Brett Gardner didn't.

Brett Gardner sprinted down to first base and dove head first toward the bag as Cantu was throwing the ball to Rangers' pitcher C.J. Wilson, who was covering first base because the ball was hit to the first baseman.

The umpire correctly called Gardner safe and the play jump started the Yankees. A 5-1 deficit at the start of the inning turned into a 6-5 lead by the time the Rangers came to bat in the bottom of the eight inning.

A common saying - no matter in which sport - is that you don't need talent to hustle. You don't have to be the most talented player on your team, on the field or in the league to give 100% effort on every play.

It would have been easy for Brett Gardner to take the play off, go through the motion of running down the first base line and head back to the dugout. Because he didn't, the Yankees hold a 1-0 lead in the best of seven American League Championship Series.

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