Thursday, April 29, 2021

A laugher victory brings a few laughs... and concern over Aaron Judge

Last night, the Death Barge won its third Grade A, stock-issued, certified laugher of 2021 - all three over the hoary hosts of Baltimore. 

The other two came in our 4th and 5th games of the season - behind J. Montgomery (7-0) and G. Cole (7-2). The Yankees blitzed the O's, but managed to piss them off enough to win the final game of the series. This afternoon - with luck and J. Tallion - we can take this series 3-1 and skip town ahead of blowback. 

Hey, a laugher is a laugher. Last night, everybody chuckled. Clint Frazier made a stupid baserunning error, but could laugh about it, having homered for the first time this season. Kyle Higashioka went 0-4 with two strikeouts, but could laugh, because he's the starting catcher. (Higgy is tied for 8th among MLB catchers with 4 HRs, despite having played in only 12 games.) Aaron Hicks went 0-3, lowering his average to .147, second worst in the majors among CFs - (his once-vaunted On Base Percentage at .225) - but he could laugh, I suppose, because - well - it's called a laugher.

Unfunny, though, is the continuing bewilderment over how the Yankees handle questions about Aaron Judge. He sat out last night's game with "lower body soreness," whatever that means. He's listed "day to day," whatever that entails. Later, to clarify matters, Aaron Boone said.

“Because I think there’s multiple minor things that pop up that I don’t think it’s really necessary at times to go into — there’s times when it is absolutely clearly is specific - there are other times when it’s a little bit gray. It’s a little bit of wear and tear and that’s what I leave it at.”

Aaron Stengel. 

In a normal time, with a normal player, against a normal tomato can, this would be no issue of consequence. Judge has played 21 games this season, a serviceable number, more than Mookie Betts, Michael Comforto, Adam Eaton and many other starting RFs. If the Yankees are resting him, fine. They've made a decision to rest Giancarlo Stanton - a fulltime DH at age 31 - for the next eight years. Without a DH spot, when Judge needs a rest, the bench beckons.

Here is where, in my opinion, the Yankees' continuing refusal to disclose or discuss injuries undermines the franchise. By playing mum, they leave the fans and the festering media to their imaginations, and here goes mine: At any time, a news release will announce that Judge shall miss the next [fill in the number] months due to a tweaked [fill in the body part], which has been hampering him. They didn't tell us he was playing in pain - subjecting him to criticism if he failed - and then he's gone. That's my dirty old imagination. And here's the scariest part: What are the odds that it won't prove to be right?  

I realize that the job of the Yankee front office is to win, not appease segments of the media. If the Yankees win, we fans will fall into line. Happily! I would add. (Seriously, Yankees, just win and you'll find the dark and dismal opinions on this fan site change dramatically.) I believe that, by being vague about injuries, they are seeking to protect their players from criticism; in this case, Judge's health record poses an existential threat to his popularity in Gotham. But saying nothing might work in a small market. In NYC, it just fuels more fear. 

And I can't help but wonder if that's not what they really want: More attention, more controversy, more media narrative. Never forget: Ink is ink, and the Yankees - for the first time since we began taking count - are not leading in the tabloids back pages race. Right now, the Mets are New York's top team.

I don't expect an itemized printout of Judge's aches and pains. I'd just like to see the Yankees more open to discussing such matters. As it is, when it comes to injuries, whatever the Yankees say, there's no reason to trust it. So whadda we think about Aaron Judge? Damned if I know.


Anonymous said...

HMMM...I've seen pictures of Judge with his you think SHE ever complains about lower body soreness?

Anonymous said...

It was a laugher, but it came against probably the Orioles' worst pitcher, throwing meatballs over the plate. Domingo German also shut 'em down, making it seem like a double digit lead. Are the bats really waking up? I would throw the caution flags. I'll believe they can hit when I see them squeeze a few runs off really good pitching here and there, steal a game here or there where they got outpitched by a top of the line starter. Kind of like the game the Tampons won against us the last time Gerrit Cole pitched against them. Kind of like the games we used to win when we were champions during the late '90s. Which prompted guys like Pedro Martinez to say "I guess the Yankees are my daddy."

The Hammer of God

DickAllen said...

A Yankee made a base running error? Really? I’m absolutely shocked to hear it!

And the idea that this site would become Mary Poppins - now THATS a laugher!

And I think the eye-popping phrase is Boone’s statement was “minor multiple things.” What the fuck does that mean? Multiple? As in more than one. Judge is turning into (if he’s not already) a life-sized action figure with multiple missing parts.

Good grief.

I can’t even enjoy beating the Spaghetti-Os anymore. Where is the joy in life?

JM said...

The Porcelain Giant strikes again.

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