Saturday, October 15, 2022

All writhe! What manner of idiot Yankee fans would boo Aaron Judge? And he must NOT end his Yankee career in Cleveland.

Everybody knows the Aaron Judge origin story: 

Far off in the galaxy, his scientist dad, Marlon Brando, straps him into a space ship and fires him off, moments before their home planet explodes due to bombs rigged for an episode of NBC Nightline. The babe crash-lands on Earth and is raised by Connecticut socialites Hal and Binky Steinbrenner, who teach him the secrets of eating foie gras and how to swing a bat. 

Often overlooked is his Jekyll-Hyde rookie season, when he hits 52 homers and bats .284, numbers that paper over a troubled second half.

 That year, 2017, Judge finished mid-July with 30 HRs and a .329 average: MVP numbers, Triple Crown numbers, Ruthian numbers. Chasing Roger Maris, he became a blast furnace focus of attention in the All-Star break's Home Run Derby, which he won. 

Then came the aftermath. Judge strained his shoulder in that ridiculous contest, which he has avoided ever since. That August, he hit just 3 HRs and batted a meager .185. It took him two months to recover from that one night of drunkenly swinging for the fences, at the wild, reckless urging of MLB's marketing minions.   

Sound familiar?

So, here we are: For reasons I cannot fathom, some Yank fans booed Judge yesterday, after he fanned four times against Cleveland. 


Look, I get it that they were disappointed. But it's quite possible that the next time Judge sets foot in Yankee Stadium, he'll be wearing another uniform. The notion that he was booed at the end of his Yankee tenure should embarrass every New York fan in captivity. 


This is the part of the movie where Spiderman is in deep shit: Doctor Octopus is striking, Kursten Dunst is dangling by the thread, and the subway car is about to go off the tracks. This is when the everyday people of New York lift him onto their shoulders and pass him like Taylor Swift to safety. And a guy says, "He's just a kid."

People... that's what must happen here. 

Tonight, tomorrow, Monday - this is when his mortal Yankee teammates must rise up and lift Aaron Judge, the hero who carried them all year, to safety. They must hold him until he rights his swing and goes on a tear. 

It must not end this way.

If his teammates fail, our last memories of Judge in pinstripes might be of this sad incarnation, another Yankee disappointment - in this case, a great player destroyed by Gotham's relentless attention, spawned by his own success. 

Judge fanned four times yesterday. He wasn't alone. Oswaldo Cabrera added three (Did Cleveland crack his code?) Stanton and Bader did it twice, and a bunch joined in. It's quite possible that Judge won't find his stroke in Cleveland - that he has for a second time succumbed to his kryptonite - another ginned-up, in-the-end meaningless HR derby, marketed by carnival barkers to increase MLB's profits in a year following a lockout. 

If he slumps for two more games, these might be our last great memories of Judge as a Yankee. 

No free agent can replace him. And no amount of money paid to him will ever cause Hal and Binky to sell the farm, or their 12th boat, or their 14th vacation home. They have more money than time to spend it, and they - along with the Yankees - must now step up. 

And in the future, Judge needs to avoid all comparisons to Roger Maris.

One other thought...

Watching Jameson Tailion stumble out the bullpen - (three hits, though two were bloopers) - I immediately thought of Luis Severino, today's starter. Last month, when Sevy was recovering from his latest setback, I wondered if he might be the answer to our bullpen woes.

Remember: His early career included a stint as an eighth-inning bullpen spark. Unlike Tailion, he had experience in that role. He might even be the closer, considering Clay Holmes's struggles (which continue, sorta: he pitched to three batters, walked one.) 

Well, today it's all about Sevy. If he wins, Judge will play another game in Yankee Stadium with the crowd on its feet. And if Sevy loses, well, we go back to hoping for Gerrit Cole, though the Yankee Doomsday Clock inches closer to midnight. 

And you might remember that, in the end of the movie, Superman loses to Doomsday. 


ranger_lp said...

It's over. I don't see the Yanks winning another game. Hope I'm wrong...

DickAllen said...

In consulting my 3DBV (also known as, I learned that Roger Maris, in 1961, followed up his Ruthian season by batting .105 in the World Series that year (a 4-1 win over the mighty Cincinnati Reds).

The real hitting heroes of that memorable championship were Hector Lopez and Moose Skowron.

It should also be noted that a fellow named Ford, in two starts, gave up a measly two hits over 14 innings.

Where will the 2022 Yankees find such heroics?

borntorun999 said...

What really kills us, as I believe HC66 pointed out in a previous post, is the overall lack of depth on this team. I love Cabera’s defense, energy, and flexibility, but he is completely overmatched at the plate. The only reason he’s out there is that the next man up (Hicks) is one of the worst players in the game. Stanton cannot play the outfield. Carpenter was a nice story, but it seems the story has ended. Gonzalez? Don’t make me laugh. I have no fucking clue why he’s here. Trevino is a good defensive C who can’t hit, the first part of his season a small sample mirage. Hard to believe this, but Higashioka was the next better hitter after Judge in the second half. He needs to start over Trevino. The bullpen is a sack of broken parts. Our depth of young pitching was traded away by Cashman with nothing to show for it but a defensive CF who can’t hit. Now with Judge clearly lost at the plate (Steinscummer, chortling, is reducing his bid for Judge by 1M for each successive strikeout.) the lineup is a succession of strikeout machines who seem to be swinging as hard as they can in every situation. I must except IKF From this. He hasn’t any pop, but he does tailor his swing and puts the bat on the ball. We will lose to Cleveland because they are overall a better team, and that is always more pronounced in the postseason. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I’m with Ranger. It’s tough to see the Yanks winning another game. Winning the series? They have about as much chance of that as Hicks winning the Triple Crown next year.