Justin Christian was demoted in favor of Brett Gardner today. Gardner will be leading off, and starting in left. I've been anxious for this move since Spring Training for a couple of reasons. First, I love his speed and I thought it's something the Yanks absolutely need in their lineup. Also, he's an OBP machine, so ideal for the top, or bottom, of the Yankee lineup. Also, there was a question of what his promotion would mean for Melky Cabrera.
My steadfast defense of Melky was never an anti-Gardner sentiment. It's all about winning and putting the best possible team on the field for me. Gardner's up here now, in a situation where we should see plenty of him over the next couple of weeks. This is Gardner's audition, if he outperforms Melky on the big league level then you have to make a change when Matsui comes back. It's that simple. But we're still a couple of weeks away from a decision like that.
Tonight is game one in the battle for center field. Best-case scenario, both guys get red hot and the Yanks have a very difficult decision to make. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me who wins, as long as one of them can fill the position and produce with the glove and the bat.