Sport Yankees: Gerrit Cole-Brett Gardner locker room drama, explained
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The New York Yankees got in their own way this season, with Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner's beef hurting the team camaraderie.
Cole was an AL Cy Young candidate for most of the season, so the kerfuffle didn't hurt the free agent acquisition statistically. However, given Aaron Boone's inability to reach this team in the locker room, any drama between a high-priced free agent like Cole and a veteran presence was sure to cause a rift.
Gardner islast remaining presence from the 2009 World Series team. He is the primary veteran leader on the team, making his decision-making all the more confusing in this case.
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The 38-year-old Gardner made fun of Cole for his spider tack drama in the middle of the season, and reportedly went around the locker room with pine tar on the bill of his hat as a joke. Cole didn't take kindly to this, despite the fact that Gardner was merely trying to break the tension.
Yankees: Gerrit Cole, Brett Gardner drama caused a rift
Cole pushed back against Gardner's musings in June, shocking the veteran outfielder. For a brief period of time, Cole struggled to maintain his consistency as the Yankees' ace due to MLB's crackdown on spider tack and other "sticky stuff" which clearly aided not just him but any hard-thrower in professional baseball.
Gardner has earned the right to make a joke or two, and Cole is new to the clubhouse. Eventually, Cole apologized to Gardner and admitted that he overreacted.
This type of locker room dilemma speaks toto handle the day-to-day drama of a professional baseball team. Despite the fact that he's a former player, Boone never really took that kind of leadership role. This is not some problem the Yankees' heavy reliance on analytics can solve, which is why they may benefit from some veteran staff additions who have playing experience in the majors.
For now, however, it's a bad look for a Yankees team that fell well short of expectations.
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