SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brett Gardner dove into first base to beat out an infield hit in Monday's game against the Orioles, and you could excuse the Yankees' bench for being uncomfortable at the sight.
Fortunately for the Yankees, Gardner bounced back up uninjured, but Gardner said that he heard from "a lot of people" about the dive into first base, which came less than 24 hours after the Yankees lost Curtis Granderson from their starting outfield.
"It's funny because I didn't get hurt," Gardner said. "You know, I've done it countless times. Let's get serious, I broke my thumb sliding feet first three or four years ago. It's a silly game. It's definitely not something I should have done. I'll work on not doing it anymore."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was "not crazy" about Gardner's slide and planned to speak to him about it.
"The hard thing is, it's instinctual," Girardi said. "But no matter how many times you tell a guy, I mean, how many times do you think I told Bernie [Williams]? When they're hustling and playing hard, it happens."
Gardner did show a valuable part of his game in a third inning at-bat, dropping a beautiful bunt single down the third-base line against Baltimore pitcher Tommy Hunter. It was the second of Gardner's three hits on the day.
"I feel really good with it, and a situation where [the third baseman is] playing me back, it wouldn't have mattered if he was playing in, probably," Gardner said. "I'm just trying to stay in there, take my time, make a good bunt. It's something I plan on doing a lot of."