Brian Gordon gets it. He knows he’s not the Yankees starter you ever imagined, but tonight he’ll make his second start in pinstripes, and Joe Girardi said the plan is to give Gordon at least a third.
Gordon’s a 32-year-old rookie. He’s a former outfielder, and he had all of four big league innings before his unlikely arrival in the Yankees clubhouse. You think his whirlwind ascent is mind-boggling? Imagine how he feels.
“It really is,” Gordon said. “Absolutely. It’s unbelievable. I try not to think about it too much, because I think you can get too excited. I just try to tell myself over and over, ‘You belong here, so just do your job.’ It’s something that excites me every day just to think about.”
I haven’t talked to Gordon a whole lot, but he’s the kind of guy you enjoy rooting for. He wasn’t perfect in his first start, but he made some big pitches, and he gave the Yankees all they could have wanted. He got the job done.
“It’s been crazy,” he said. “The most change is understanding now how many people are backing me and supporting me. The phone calls I’ve been getting, the support mail I’ve been getting. It’s tremendous and uplifting. Apart from that, I’ve been trying to do the same thing. Not much has been different. My days have been the same: I wake up, eat my breakfast and try to do the same things.”
Sometimes, it’s that simple. I couldn’t do it — you probably couldn’t either — but if you have the talent to pitch in the big leagues, falling into a routine and not being overwhelmed can make a difference. Gordon’s a nice guy. He’s easy to root for, and it looks like he can pitch, too. He’s excited to be here, but it doesn’t seem like he’s overwhelmed to be here.
One other thing: Chances are, Gordon’s going to have his first big league at-bat tonight. He was drafted as an outfielder in 1997, and tonight he’s going to not only start a game for the New York Yankees, but he’s finally going to hit as a big league player.
“That will be kind of neat, to be able to get my first big-league AB,” he said. “It’s kind of funny, if you had told me 10 years ago that I’d be getting my first Major League at-bat as a pitcher, I’d be laughing at you. It’s going to be special.”
Associated Press photo