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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/23/17

Greg Bird might only be two weeks away from being back from the DL; Brett Gardner is the power hitter we always knew he was; The Judge’s Chambers made their debut in Section 104 at Yankee Stadium; Michael Pineda has been the Yankees most consistent pitcher; HOPE Week is here

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees
Didi 100% jumped for this high-five
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Around the Empire

New York Daily News | Seth Walder: Greg Bird is getting better. Yesterday, he began hitting off of a tee. Today, they plan for Bird to hit off the tee and toss the ball a bit. Tomorrow, we shall know how the batting caged Bird swings. Friday and Saturday, he’ll take batting practice. Sunday, he’ll conquer the world head to Tampa to begin a rehab assignment. The hope is that he’ll be back in two weeks or so. Hope is nice.

Newsday | Brian Heyman: Brett Gardner has nine home runs this year. It is May 23rd. Last year, Brett Gardner had seven home runs. Unless my math is wrong, the gritty gutty one is hitting dingers a tad better than he did last year. This is probably a good thing. Marcus Thames talks about how Gardner’s adjusted batting stance has helped him become the power hitter we all knew he was. Gardner has been on an absolute tear this month. Hopefully it carries into June. Oh, and July, August, September, and October as well.

Cut4 | Michael Clair and Bryan Hoch: The Yankees returned home yesterday. They had a surprise waiting for their fans and their right fielder.

In case you didn’t know, Aaron Judge is okay at baseball. He’s a hot topic among baseball fans everywhere. His name is super punnable. The Yankees are having fun and rolling with it. The Judge’s Chambers’ seats will not be for sale. Instead, they will be reportedly given out to select fans, some hailing from charity groups, little league teams and non-profit organizations. This is a fantastic way to not only celebrate one of the most talked about players in baseball, but add some fun decor to the stadium. Well done, Yankees. Defense rests.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Michael Pineda has been less annoying and much more “Substantial Miguel” as of late. As crazy as it sounds, he has probably been their most consistent starting pitcher this year. Is he still giving up dingers? Yeah, he is still consistent with that. He’s also given up no more than three earned runs a game over his last eight starts. With Tanaka being questionable and CC being CC, this is exactly what the Yankees need out of Pineda right now. | Matthew Martell: Finally, it’s HOPE Week for the Yankees. This is always one of the best weeks of the year to talk about and yesterday’s HOPE Week story is a treat. Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Aroldis Chapman, and Starlin Castro surprised Victor and Nayyelen Garcia with a trip to the Bronx Zoo. Nayyelen saved her brother’s life by donating some of her bone marrow to him. The Icha da Silva Foundation flew the Garcia family from the Dominican Republic to New York to undergo the procedure. A really touching story. HOPE Week is the best.