Dellin Betances is in his second year as the Yankees set-up man and he’s already been on two All-Star rosters. Mark Teixeira is a three-time All-Star and Brett Gardner is on the All-Star roster for the first time in his eight year career with the Yankees. Teixeira and Betances had done this before, but Gardner hasn’t. And since Gardner doesn’t know if this will be his last All-Star appearance, he’s prepared to savor every moment as the three Yankees prepare to represent the Bronx Bombers during tonight’s Midsummer Classic.
“This is my eighth year with the Yankees and I haven’t really come close to making an All-Star team.” Gardner said during Media Day yesterday afternoon. “For the first half that I’ve had and the first half the team has had, I’m excited to be here representing the Yankees and the American League.”
Ned Yost has said he will use Gardner and Teixeira off the bench at some point during the All-Star Game while Betances will be in the American League bullpen. After John Farrel didn’t use Betances in last year’s All-Star Game in Target Field, Yost said Betances will pitch the seventh inning, giving the Yankees set-up man a chance to take center stage during one of the biggest events of the season.
“It would mean a lot,” Betances said. “I get to represent the best team, the New York Yankees. That’s something that I take pride in. Obviously the game means a lot. Just to get to pitch in front of my family will definitely be something that I’ll look forward to.”
As for Teixeira, he’s just glad to make his third All-Star team, especially since his last two seasons hadn’t gone to plan. Teixeira missed time in 2013 with a wrist injury and wasn’t the same player for the Yankees in 2014. Teixeira views him making the All-Star team after a dynamite first half as progress during a so far successful comeback season.
“Once the health was there, it took April to kind of get settled into the season and realize that the swing is feeling good,” Teixeira said. “I’m hitting the ball out of the ballpark and doing things that I was used to being able to do.”
So with Betances and Teixeira making the Midsummer Classic roster at least twice, what advice to they have for Gardner, who despite being the longest tenured Yankee of the three is a rookie when it comes to All-Star appearances?
“Just try to enjoy it, soak it all in and enjoy everything you can about it,” Teixeira said. “Then go home and rest, because you’re going to be tired when you leave here.”