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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 8/19/19

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Gardner’s bat antics may be the “Thumbs Down” of 2019; Boone doesn’t want any more ejections; Sevy continuing to make progress; King and Gittens thriving in Trenton.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Perhaps the most surprising thing about Brett Gardner’s dugout bat antics is that he’s stuck with it for so long. I thought it was going to be a one-off thing, but the Yankees’ longest-tenured outfielder has kept on doing it, breaking the gesture out in Saturday’s game, and miming it during roll call on Sunday. As Gardner’s bat pounding has become a routine act, other Yankees have caught on to the gesture, mimicking the motion after they get on base. Much like the “Thumbs Down” gesture of 2017, this has the potential to become a dugout fixture during the Yankees’ postseason run.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Heaven knows what Aaron Boone thinks about Gardner’s bat banging antics being adopted by the team as a rally sign, but he sure doesn’t want any more ejections. The sophomore skipper reportedly talked to Gardner about keeping it cool in tense situations, which probably means that any actual bat-pounding is off the table for the foreseeable future. Good on Boone for trying to rein his players in a bit - the Yankees certainly can’t afford to lose key pieces of the lineup during a tense game. On the other hand, Boone himself shouldn’t be afraid to give errant umps a piece of his mind.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: The Yankees rotation may finally get some much-needed reinforcements, as Luis Severino slowly but surely continues to make his way back to the major leagues. In his latest test, Sevy threw 15 pitches against assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere and bullpen coach Radley Haddad, and exhibited some sharp stuff according to Boone. The next step will be a sim game in Tampa this week, after which he will hopefully begin a rehab assignment in High-A or Double-A. Godspeed, Sevy, and may your pitch tipping issues be cured as well.

NY Daily News | Tony Paige: Finally, Paige has an engaging portrait of two prospects - one recovering from injury, and one making important progress - in Trenton: pitcher Michael King, and slugging outfielder Chris Gittens. Here’s hoping the two can restore value to a currently middling farm.