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Know Your Enemy: Yankees of New York

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They’ve had some big names, but what have you done for me lately, Steinbrenner?

Ruth In Action
Let the kids play.
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

The Yankees are not a creative or fun team. And they might be owned by Mr. Burns.

They’re responsible for some of the least creative minor league affiliate names of the last five years:

Wikipedia

“GCL Yankees East” and “GCL Yankees West” are my personal favorites. No matter what, you’re a Yankees fan at most minors levels. The names have gotten a little more creative for 2021 and beyond:

Wikipedia

Not by a lot.

They appear to have had an official mascot once from 1979-81, a terrifying entity known as “Dandy” that kind of looked like Thurman Munson.

“Hi, I’m the stuff of nightmares.”

The Yankees take themselves WAY too seriously. Yeah, a bunch of titles, and baseball history, and blah blah blah. Have some fun, for once.


2020 Yankees: 33-27 (second in AL East)

The big talk of 2020 for the Yankees was that they signed Gerrit Cole. Sentient human thumb Brett Gardner re-signed for one-year ($12.5 million), and those two were really it in terms of notable transactions. Playing a regional schedule was beneficial for the Yankees in the beginning of the short 2020 season, and they started off 16-6. They then went on to lose 15 of their next 20 before ultimately ending the season 32-25. At least they weren’t as bad as the 2020 Red Sox!

It was nice of them to sweep Cleveland in the best-of-three Wild Card, because it’s always nice when Cleveland loses. After making it to round two of the postseason, the Yankees were tossed by the surprisingly good Tampa Bay Rays and missed out on a trip to the World Series, yet again (fun fact: the World Series has been Yankees-less since 2010).

Some other 2020 things we’re never going to hear the end of include the Yanks becoming the first team in MLB history to hit more than six home runs in each of their previous three games, DJ LeMahieu finishing the season with a .364 BA, and future farmer Luke Voit hitting 22 home runs.


2021 Manager: Aaron Boone

We’re in Year 4 of the Boone Era. Did you know he’s descended from Daniel Boone? I wonder if having a place in early U.S. History is one of the many Steinbrenner rules when it comes to hiring (I’m not looking back at the rest of the managers, so we’re going to just say yes here). Aside from that, his relatives stretch out across MLB: his brother Brett Boone played from 1992-2005, he’s the grandson of Ray Boone, and the son of Bob Boone.

His wife was also a former Playboy Playmate in 1998 which isn’t important, just something I thought was interesting.

Boone had a pacemaker implanted in March, and was back on the bench two weeks later (feeling “awesome,” apparently), so hopefully the umps don’t do too much to upset him — but no promises there.

I can’t hate on Aaron Boone because he was one of the few coaches who took a measured response to the Mercedes/La Russa Debacle of 2021. He’s also floated the idea of a mercy rule, not necessarily saying he’s for it, but that it’s worth discussing because it could help teams navigate the stupidity (my word) of unwritten rules.


2021 so far ...

The Yankees are OK. You’d think with all the money Brian Cashman has to throw around they would be a whole lot better, all the time.

The supposed “Savages in the Box” are 11th in the AL in batting average, sixth in home runs, 11th in slugging, and ninth in OPS, so maybe less “savages” and more “angry Chihuahua after the cat stole its treat.”

Corey Kluber, who was a big get for them during the offseason, recently joined the 2021 No-Hitter Club when he threw one against the Rangers. They added Rougned Odor on April 6 and true to Yankees dress code, he shaved. Aroldis Chapman still pitches for them, and I can’t stop staring at this picture of Gleybar Torres:

The Yankees just had a group test positive for COVID-19, though, which is less fun, especially after all of the infected had been vaccinated. The team confirmed everyone was feeling good, and one only of the infected had mild symptoms but recovered quickly (get your shots, y’all, despite breakthrough infections things are working like they’re supposed to).

Giancarlo Stanton won’t be facing the White Sox this weekend, as he’s out with a quadricep injury until May 25, part of a long, long, career-long injury that Stanton pauses on occasion to actually play games and earn some of his nine-figure deal. Clint Frazier will probably be back for the series, but the White Sox won’t be seeing Zack Britton at all as he’s out with an elbow thing until June. Baseball giveth, baseball taketh away.


Series matchup: Lefties, yum!

Today is going to see Carlos Rodón vs. Jordan Montgomery. Rodón lost for the first time this season during his most recent trip to the mound (Saturday, against the Royals). Overall he’s given up 12 walks, thrown 49 strikeouts, and still has a sub-2 ERA. Montgomery only went three innings during his last outing against the Orioles, allowing five runs. This appears to have been a fluke, as he’s had two quality starts prior. He’s throwing a 4.75 ERA with 41 strikeouts, so look to him to try to right the ship.

Saturday is Dylan Cease vs. Gerrit Cole. Cease, believe it or not, has never pitched at Yankee Stadium (good news, it’s just the shiny new one so it’s not like there’s big history there, Dylan). He’s also never faced the Yankees, so let’s all say a prayer his confidence doesn’t get rocked. Cole had a bad start Monday against the Rangers, where he allowed five runs in five innings so maybe that won’t be a fluke. Looking forward to seeing who wins the battle of wits in this game, no-walks Cole vs. no-swing Yasmani Grandal.

Sunday has Dallas Keuchel facing off against Jameson Taillon. Keuchel’s 3-1 with a 4.44 ERA and 24 strikeouts. He’s been up and down this year, so here’s hoping he’s found his rhythm. Overall his career starts at Yankee Stadium have resulted in a 3-2 record and 2.45 ERA, so that bodes well for our Dallas. Taillon has made eight starts this season and has a 5.73 ERA for his troubles. He’s struck out 46 and allowed 10 walks during those eight starts, so here’s hoping he doesn’t find his footing on Sunday.

Everyone knows I don’t really care about lefty/righty but here’s hoping the Sox facing some lefties this weekend works in their favor.


Everyone hates the Yankees!

Usually I poll the Twitterverse for reasons why we hate our enemies, and lots of the results are funny. This time I learned a whole lot of y’all hate the Yankees (is this the great baseball unifier?). Mostly it’s the fans, a lot of it is their weird grooming rules, and I think I saw something about George Costanza.

Some reasons are succinct:

Some were not. But here’s some highlights, because I had way too many responses to put them all here:

Be safe this weekend, everyone. Boo the Yankees, swing on 3-0, and Mattingly, shave those sideburns!