Tuesday, March 30, 2021

For a while yesterday, "Aaron Judge" was trending on Twitter. It was not pleasant.

When "Aaron Judge" started trending on Twitter yesterday - along with Suez Canal, Derek Chauvin and #Satan's shoes - the Yankiverse collectively shuddered.

Folks feared the worst. How could you not? A tweaked gonad, a lateral strain, the Brazilian variant... a culling by Thanos, a trade to the Dodgers, an appearance on The Masked Singer. (Dear God, shoot me.) Accompanying news links assured us that Judge was fine, that he'd been pulled from the final Grapefruit game this spring due to the sniffles - nothing here, nothing to see, move along, everybody - and Judge would not miss - oh, let's say - another half-season. 

Quickly, the Death Star nixed, quashed and pooh-poohed rumors of ill health: Judge was simply taking a day off. And - hey - maybe that's true. 

Maybe it's nothing. Maybe he was bingeing The Flight Attendant and couldn't take a break. Maybe he just needed a nice afternoon nap!

Unfortunately, the Yankees have a glorious history of lying about injuries. The front office feels no responsibility to tell fans about tweaks or tears. Information is power, and if the Yankees need to obtain a catcher, they'd rather not be compromised in their search. Thus, they'll tell us anything. It just doesn't matter what we know.

So - with the understanding that Brian Cashman was probably telling the truth - here is what we know: 

Last week, Judge hit his first homer of the spring. Since then, he's sat out. This scenario mirrors that of Luke Voit, who turned out to have a torn meniscus and will miss a month. But that was Voit. This is Judge. The Yankees claim he's resting. We will only know differently if they announce something differently.

I don't mean to prosecute the Yankees for doing what most professional franchises do. But here's the deal: 

All year, this will be our cruel reality.

The Yankees have several key players whose names are synonymous with injuries. At any time, one can strain something and miss the next six months. 

That will never change. 

Aaron Judge has a reputation across MLB: Great talent, cannot stay healthy. 

Same with Giancarlo Stanton: Great hitter, cannot stay healthy.

Corey Kluber: Great pitcher, cannot stay healthy. 

Aaron Hicks: Great potential, cannot stay healthy. 

Voit? Urshela? Frazier? Britton? The wild card is their health. It will be that way... all year. 

And the next time "Aaron Judge" trends on Twitter, the Yankiverse will once again shudder. Get used to it, folks. Because at some point, the bell will toll, and it won't be for the sniffles. 


Celerino Sanchez said...

The Cardinals had the Gas House gang back in the 30's. Now with Michael King, Luis Cessa & Losiagia we have the Gas Can Gang. Put them in and everything will go up in flames

JM said...

Turns out Judge was sniffling so they put him through a battery of Covid tests. You know, just to make sure. Because they have a bunch of them handy, and nobody seems to be using them, so, you know.

In glorious, season saving news, Cashman announced that Nick Nelson has made the team. Thank the Lard. He lost of lot of old fans when he put out "Garden Party," but there's no reason not to like both it and "Travelin' Man" at the same time.

Anonymous said...

"Aaron Hicks: Great potential"?

What potential? A lifetime .200 hitter? Come on, man, that's a stretch.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hicks was a first round draft pick, Hammer. And he has shown flashes of greatness—or at least near-greatness. In 2017, he came out of the gate and hit .295 in April, .299 in May, and .278 in June, belting 10 home runs, flashing leather, stealing bases.

Then...he got hurt, and played 28 games the rest of the season.

In 2018, he was up and down all year, but hit 27 homers and stole 11 bases in 13 attempts, finished 22nd in the MVP voting. Then...injuries. And the Covid year.

For the record, he's a lifetime .235 hitter, which in today's game is what hitting .275 used to be. Add in the power, the speed, and the glove, and you have a pretty fair ballplayer, who has often looked like he could reach another gear.

But he never does, before the injuries get him again. Which is why it was madness for Brain to give him that sort of contract.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Speaking of injuries, I guarantee you that Judge has already tweaked something, and that before long it will become an issue.

Telling stat in the Times, of all places, yesterday: of 222 potential games in 2019-2020, Judge and Stanton have been in the lineup together 33 times.

"But it's all right now
I learned my lesson well..."

Retired Stratman said...

And if anyone believes that Luke Voit will be back playing three to four weeks after knee surgery then I have a really nice Mario Cuomo Zee bridge to sell them.