When he gets upset about poor umpiring, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner has been doing ... whatever it is he’s doing in that GIF above. Some might call it a healthy venting of frustration, but others might call it obnoxious tantrum-throwing. Someone who is definitely on Team Obnoxious is umpire Phil Cuzzi, who ejected Gardner from Saturday’s game in response to this specific form of ruckus-causing.
Gardner was one of three Yankees tossed from that game during an extended argument over balls and strikes. Aaron Boone was run out by the home plate umpire, and CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner were ejected by Cuzzi, who made it clear that he would not tolerate any of Gardner’s antics:
Boone told reporters after the game that he spoke with Gardner about the possibility that umpires are now on the lookout for his bat-banging routine, and will eject him again if he continues doing it. Gardner managed to get through Sunday’s game without grabbing a bat and going nutso on the roof of the dugout, but that doesn’t mean the spirit of the bat-banging wasn’t felt. When Gardner’s name came up during the first-inning roll call, he pantomimed his bat-banging technique in right field, much to the delight of the fans. Then, when Aaron Judge hit a third-inning single, he did the same thing:
“We do a lot of crazy things in the dugout,” Judge said after the game. “We’re showing support for [Gardner]. He’s a leader of this stuff, so we’re supporting him with that. You’ll be seeing a lot more of that.”
It’s a safe bet that you are going to see a lot of Yankees imitating Gardner’s routine as the season goes on, and when it finally jumps from charming to annoying, you can thank Phil Cuzzi.