Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Enjoying Yankee Baseball Again


Yankee fans who have slipped away over the past few years may want to revisit the YES channel for some really good baseball.

Bronx Bomber management has added some darn good players over the last couple of years that just might – maybe – provide a few World Series appearances in the near future – and maybe a ring or two.

Rookie outfielder Aaron Judge just might be the real thing.
What real thing, you ask? Would you believe Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle?

Yeah, I know it’s much too early to know for sure what Aaron Judge will bring to banquet over the next eight, ten years or longer. But currently he’s leading the American League in homeruns (22) and RBI’s (49), BA at .347. Judge won the game against the Anaheim Angels yesterday with a two-run dinger in the 8th. He’s a big fellow, bringing a six-feet, eight inch, 280-lb frame to the plate with mucho power. Sunday he rammed a near line drive 495 feet for a his 20th homer. Reportedly, he’s a cool dude with no ego. Just an easy laid back guy.

Catcher Gary Sanchez is getting his eye at the plate, after a slow start and a spell on the DL.

DiDi Gregorius, the best all-around shortstop in the league, is hitting .344. Second baseman Starlin Castro is second in the league in hits (81), while batting .328.

Aaron Hicks, currently in centerfield, is hitting .313 standing in for injured Jacoby Ellsbury. Last year Hicks couldn’t hit a lick. Time changes everything.

Four starting players batting over .300 – sounds like an all-star team.

 

The past few years I’ve strayed from my attraction for watching Yankee baseball. They just weren’t playing well – or it could be that that team just wasn’t a good team. They lost games they should have won, and it seemed that if they ever fell behind, the game for all intents and purposes was over. At seasons end they managed a one game playoff with the Astros, in which they failed to score. My opinion of the talent on that team cratered – it seemed to me they weren’t even trying to squeeze into the playoffs. All they wanted was to head to the golf course or go fishing, or otherwise start their vacations. My interest – because of the talents of Judge, Gregorius, Sanchez, Castro, Hicks, and veteran Matt Holiday (all new talent)  has returned, and I am once again enjoying watching Yankee baseball.

 

Back in ’04, I was in the same quandary. It got to the point I wasn’t  watching TV in the pm, except for an occasional western movie. My wife had started back to work – she always worked nights – and I was back to my job of waking her.  At that time of day it was always too easy to fall asleep myself, so I turned on the TV. Not wanting to get involved in anything lengthy, I went to the YES channel to watch the Yankees for a few minutes.

A curious thing was happening. Not only were they winning nearly every game, they were coming from behind to win. Game after game. I began watching again. Who doesn’t like to watch their team win? Especially in come-from-behind style.

Then came the ’04 playoffs. Remember? Yanks up three games to none in the ALCS over the Red Sox. Everyone believing the Bombers were going to the World Series. Then the bottom fell out. The Bean Towners won the next three. The first sports team to come from an 0-3 deficit and win a best of seven series. Then to show they were not to be trifled with, Boston took out the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight in the World Series. It was their first series win in something like 86 years. The Curse of the Bambino held up for a long time, but was finally over.

Then just last year we saw the end of the Curse of Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow (or whatever) in Chicago. I find myself sort of thinking it would be nice to see Cleveland win a series and break its long drought – but not if they happen to be playing the Yanks, of course. We all have our priorities.

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