The Ups And Downs Of Being Yankees’ First Baseman Greg Bird

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Photo: New York Yankees' Greg Bird (AP Photo)
New York Yankees' Greg Bird follows the flight of his home run off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Andrew Bellatti during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Aurora's Greg Bird is living the dream, depending on the day. He was "on" Sept. 22, 2015, when the graduate of Grandview High School hit the game-winning home run for the New York Yankees, as the team tried to qualify for the postseason. It capped a month of surprising productivity, and praise came quickly: He was called a “phenomenon” and “clutch beyond his years.”

But things change quickly in the big leagues. Now, as Spring Training gets underway, Bird is on the bench, out for the season after getting shoulder surgery. Even before the injury, he was not expected to make the Yankees' roster for Opening Day, though he is expected to be the team's starting first baseman in 2017.

Bird spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner from the Yankees' training facility in Tampa.