Even though, as a Toronto Blue Jays fan, the New York Yankees are my sworn enemies – it’s probably a relationship very similar to Toronto and the rest of Canada: The rest of Canada hates Toronto, and Toronto barely knows that the rest of Canada exists – I can’t help but really, really like several members of the current team.
For every Alex Rodriguez lighting rod of hate on the Yankee’s roster there’s a Brett Gardner (who was Sam Fuld before Sam Fuld), a Mariano Rivera (the epitome of class) and even a Nick Swisher (who despite his douchey exterior is well regarded for the time and money he contributes to charities).
However, if there’s one member of the squad that appeals to me more than any other it’s Curtis Granderson. Sure, the Yankees center fielder has his shortcomings (ahem: left handed pitching), but few players can combine power, speed, defense and what I like to call the elan of pizazz the way that Granderson does.
Even more so than the increased intensity (read: hostility) that accompanies Yankees games at Rogers Centre, he’s been the reason that I’m sure to attend every game when New York is in town, just as it was when he was with the Tigers.
Last night’s game was no exception, and while this may be old to Yankees fans who see it all the time, I witnessed an amusing bit during each mid-inning warm up in the outfield. While Swisher in right field warmed up by playing catch with a ball boy, Granderson in center and Gardner in left exchanged tosses on the other side of the outfield. When the umpire called for the game to get going and the warm ups to cease, Swisher would toss his ball to the ball boy, turn to face Granderson and stand in place with his glove extended. From about 120 feet, Granderson would whip a ball straight into Swisher’s glove without causing so much as a flinch from the receiver.
I’m sure a number of Major League Baseball players could do the same thing, and I’m not trying to make a bigger deal out of it than it was, but it was a cool little thing that felt like a treat to someone who already thinks highly of Granderson.
And if that’s not enough, there’s always this: