The New York Yankees took one on the chin Saturday, figuratively speaking, losing CC Sabathia’s final regular season start in Cleveland 8-4 to the Indians.
Brett Gardner took one on the chin too, and in that instance we mean quite literally.
The frustrated outfielder required six stitches in his lip after his helmet-tossing dugout meltdown backfired.
Gardner stormed into the Yankees visiting dugout after a long sixth-inning fly ball was hauled in by Cleveland’s Jordan Luplow. With all his might, he then fired his helmet into the helmet rack. With almost the same power, the helmet sprang back into Gardner’s face and busted his lip open.
It’s a good thing Gardner’s lip blocked that. Otherwise he might have been following the Toronto Raptors’ Fred VanVleet to the dentist’s office.
Gardner’s frustration is understandable. He has only one hit through his first 23 plate appearances in June. The slump has dropped his batting average from .239 to .217, and could mean less playing time for the veteran once the Yankees outfield is back to full health.
What’s more difficult to comprehend is how Gardner failed to learn from a previous meltdown gone wrong.
“I get pretty angry often.” Said he threw his helmet in the past & got a big goose egg on his head. Needed five stitches on his lip a few springs ago when he fouled a ball off the plate.
— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 9, 2019
We recently looked back at some of the most destructive meltdowns in MLB history. Gardner won’t be joining that list.
Fortunately, he also won’t be joining the likes of Kevin Brown, Milton Bradley and Troy Tulowitzki as players who missed time after suffering injuries while beating up dugout equipment.
He is, however, one of the very few repeat offenders.
Gardner managed to avoid disaster on strike one and strike two. We’re hoping he doesn’t find out what strike three looks like.
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