When Giancarlo Stanton hits one, and that doesn’t mean one of those cheap ones is perfect, they keep hitting. There was a time when Alex Rodriguez, in his prime, threw balls out of sight for the Yankees, though we’ll never know how many of those home runs were chemically aided. And we had Godzilla, Hideki Matsui, for a time, through homer he hit against the Phillies in Game 6 in ’09, the last time the Yankees managed to win it all.
It’s different with Aaron Judge, who has seen the kind of tears from him five years ago, when he scored 52 home runs in a season and rookie until Pete Alonso came along to break it on the other side of town. made a record. , In so many dramatic ways, Number 99 is the most exciting at-bat for the Yankees since Reggie, and one of the most exciting at-bats anywhere.
“They used to call me a hot dog,” Reggie once told me. “But no one is going to buy it when I step into the box.”
The judge is the Yankee that everyone wants to see, not just Yankee fans. Derek Jeter was chivalry and excellence and grace and triumphant. And great accuracy, both on the plate and in the field. And sometimes there was magic in Jeter’s game, as with The Flip against the A’s back in 2001, and the night he hit that home run against the Diamondbacks and became Mr. November. There was also a night against the Red Sox when Jeter came running from shortstop and then face-planted into the third base stand to dismiss his team.
Of course, last night Jeter had a game-winning single at Yankee Stadium.
But the ballparks didn’t stop when Jeter stepped up to the plate. They do it for Aaron Judge. He did so the second night when he hit that three-run, walk-off bomb to defeat the Blue Jays in the bottom of the 9th. We’re being reminded, last season and this one in particular, why the judges mean as much to the Yankees and Yankees fans as he does.
Remember that old Yankees marketing campaign? Any moment a great moment? Judge now. Stanton has been just as hot as a judge over the past few weeks, there’s no doubt about it. He and Judge are once again combining to be the best front line in baseball, with Stanton at 6-6 and Judge at 6-7. But as long as the judge is here, Stanton will not be hugged like a judge here. Nothing against Stanton. He has held himself in New York as much as possible even in difficult times for himself, with fans and even when he was injured.
But Yankee fans see Judge as one of their own, and always will. Maybe some of them are already wondering if Judge would already have his new, long-term contract extension if the Yankees weren’t paying Stanton crazy money. No problem. This is the judge who is the most popular Yankee ever. It is the judge who is the face of the franchise. It’s the judge who made a huge bet on himself by turning down a $213 million, 7-year extension, just before Opening Day. Again: By the end of this season, if Judge stays healthy, that money could look like some sort of bargain.
Stanton has done his part to lead the Yankees as much as he can lately. In that 15-7 win over the White Sox on Thursday night, Judge hit another homer and Stanton hit two. But as the Yankees were scoring seven in the eighth after two dismissals, perhaps the most important moment was No. 99, not only beating an infield hit toward second base’s shortstop, but also hitting two runs until the end of the game. was making. ,
Here’s what the judge said when that game ended:
“It speaks volumes about the type of people we have in this clubhouse. It doesn’t matter what the score is. It doesn’t matter if we’re down, it doesn’t matter if we’re up. We want to win.”
Now the Yankees are winning in a way they haven’t in years. They just aren’t making their fans pay attention to them again. They’re not just making Ray and Jay, note the two teams behind them in the American League East. They’re doing all of baseball. They’re the Yankees again in April and May. all caps. A lot of it is built around the judge going as hot as Stanton.
It is impossible to believe that if the judge becomes a free agent at the end of the session he will be going anywhere. But I thought the Yankees would lock him into one of those $300 million contracts before closing talks just before Opening Day. He didn’t. Then the Yankees announced to the whole world what they offered to the judge, to tell you how fair they were, and what kind of effort they made. Also: there are no medals for trying in situations like this.
I remember a time in the old days when the late George Young freely admitted that paying his star Joe Morris to walk back was more than he wanted when negotiations began between Morris and the organization. The Giants and Morris finally reached an agreement in September of 1986. Then the Giants won their first Super Bowl nearly four months later.
“Your finances change,” Young told me over the telephone one day, “when you have a chance to win.”
Not so with the Judges and the Yankees right now. He’s not going anywhere for now, maybe forever. But if the judges didn’t go for the Yankees’ original offer, it wasn’t enough, so easy, knowing how many games he missed due to injuries in 2018 and 2019 and 2020. Can I watch them play somewhere else? Season? I can’t. I believe he’s going to be a Yankee for life the way Jeter was, and Mo Rivera was. And Bernie and Posada. It’ll still be interesting, if he has a monster, MVP-type season, to see how much more money Hal Steinbrenner is going to spend at seven than the $213 million.
And ask yourself this question: Do you think this narrative will still be open if Steve Cohen owns the New York Yankees? Actually, there is no need to ask the question, as everyone in the city already knows the answer.
For now, Yankee fans are enjoying the show. Enjoying the return of our team. Before Judge arrived, the big Yankee attraction for nearly a decade was the farewell tours for Jeter and Moe. Now the big man is the big attraction again. Best Yankee at-bat since Reggie. You know the drill by now. all rise.
Harden turns to Ben Simmons, Greg Norman’s double bogey and Brady finally catches a break…
You know who won the Nets-Sixers trade?
Perhaps the most delicious irony is that when it was on the line for the Sixers, James Harden turned into Ben Simmons.
And were afraid to shoot the ball.
No kidding, there was a point on the second night when the Sixers were being eliminated by the Heat when I started to feel like I was going to put in more shot attempts in the second half than Harden.
One of these days maybe the Knicks will have a young star like Luca.
There had to be some time during the loss of those two blows to the Penguins, when Rangers fans might be wondering where Heinrich Lundquist was when his team really needed him.
Kyrie Irving just isn’t going to keep quiet, is it?
It’s worth noting that the Heat’s Eric Spoelstra is already a Hall of Fame coach.
Jenny Buss says she’s consulting her ex-boyfriend Phil Jackson on how to fix the Lakers, and I just keep wondering, what could be wrong?
My friend Barry Stanton, after learning what Tom Brady is going to make from Fox when he retires, explains how short Joe Montana’s run at NBC was when Joe was still a goat.
Greg Norman, who wants his brazen flackening for this new Saudi league to appear noble in any way, said this the other day while addressing the alleged and brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government:
“Look, we all make mistakes, and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can improve them going forward.”
No one asked this meathead how he thinks that helps Khashoggi.
Norman is not leading this new league because he thinks it is good for golf.
He thinks it’s good for Norman.
As did Phil Mickelson.
These two deserve each other.
It’s going to be great tennis fun at Roland Garros to see if kid Carlos Alcarz at age 19 is ready to win the French Open.
And while we’re on the topic of tennis:
Man, wouldn’t it be something to see that Roger Federer has another great day on center court at Wimbledon?
The Way Jeff McNeil Is Hitting for the Mets Now?
That’s how he always hits before last season.
Gleber Torres seems to have gotten it all in his head that he is still considered a baseball star.
John Henry’s Penguins have more firepower than Henry’s Red Sox right now.
“Bosch: Legacy” is everything I thought it was going to be.
Does Kevin Durant still think Charles Barkley is being mean to him?
I was actually really happy for Touchdown Tom, though, when I heard about the Fox deal.
Finally, the man catches a break.