Long the standard-bearer for all that is crass and big-business about baseball, the New York Yankees have had some down years. Now with man-child Aaron Judge and some older players turning back the clock, the Bronx Bombers look like contenders again. Their series against the KC Royals starts tonight.
Top Five Reasons to (Choose Your Own Adjective, it could be positive or negative, don’t let me influence you) New York and the Yankees
- The Pine Tar Game
- Jeter-Fest 2017
- George M. Steinbrenner, last of the old-time owners. I don’t say that to be glib either; I legitimately miss the old man. Baseball was more fun with Steinbrenner.
- Jeffrey Maier stealing a pennant from the Orioles
Opponent Most Likely to start a Brawl?
This is a pretty mild-mannered bunch, not many brawl headlines to parse. Frankly, I wouldn’t want any part of the Yankees as long as Judge is around.
History of Bad Blood with the KC Royals?
Any Bad People on the Roster?
You probably know about Aroldis Chapman’s past indiscretions, but if you needed a refresher, here you go. Unfortunately, Chapman is on the shelf so this can’t be used for heckling purposes. I mean it can, but poor Dellin Betances would probably wind up really confused.
New York Player of Whom Much Was Expected and Less Was Produced?
Dating back to the late-90s, the Yankees have a curious affinity for taking players off the scrap heap and turning them into something of use, with Luis Sojo being the prime example. More recently, Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorious went from afterthoughts in Chicago and Arizona to a pretty good up-the-middle combo in New York.
But if we had to pick somebody, it would be Michael Pineda, who went from All-Star and future front-line starter in Seattle to a man who simply can’t stay healthy and who hasn’t been too effective when is for New York. Having said that, he’s 3-2 with a 3.27 ERA this season and striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings right now. So he’s probably not a great example either.
Royal Most Likely to Light Up the Yankees?
Pickings were EXTREMELY slim on this front. I’ll give a tie to Brandon Moss (.317/.379/.617, five homers, eight RBI in 66 plate appearances) and Kelvin Herrera (1.86 ERA, 7/1 K/BB, one save in nine appearances) this week. If that’s what the KC Royals get from Herrera, no one will be surprised; if that’s what they get from Moss, he may get carried off the field.
Will This Series be Fun?
Yes. The KC Royals are streaking and much like the Orioles, the Yankees are, dare I say, fun? It seems Judge is good for one majestic tater per series, and he’ll have to face the Jason’s (Hammel and Vargas) and Danny Duffy to do it. The Young Yankees (Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Ronald Torreyes) remind me a lot of the Young Royals pre-World Series—when, not if, they become good, look out.