The big guy, Aaron Judge, made his Yankees debut with a bang over the weekend. Two bangs. The day after A-Rod’s farewell on Friday night against the Rays, which I’ll get back to in a minute, rookie outfielder Judge hit a homer, right after his rookie teammate Tyler Austin hit his, and history was made. Judge’s homer in today’s losing finale only cemented his reputation as The One to Watch. Throw in Gary Sanchez, and the Baby Bombers are an exciting crew. Didi and Starlin are dynamic players too. If only Severino knew how to pitch the way he did in his rookie season last year.
Celebrating Mo’s installation in Monument Park with all the greats in attendance was sweet, the way dipping into the Yankees’ glory days of the past is always sweet, but my eyes are looking toward the future now and I like what I see.
That future was made possible in large part because of A-Rod’s release. After all the drama of the past week during which Girardi was castigated for not playing him in Boston in every game, Friday night’s goodbye at the Stadium went smoothly, not counting Mother Nature raining down on the pre-game ceremony. Say what you will about A-Rod, but he looked genuinely thrilled to have his daughters etc. there to honor the occasion. And when he not only hit an RBI double and played third base before being lifted, he was over the moon. I was moved when he tipped his cap to the crowd. I really was. The guy seems to have made peace with his past and it’ll be interesting to see if he lands somewhere else or sticks around to mentor the young players next season. I do expect to find him in the broadcast booth during FOX’s coverage of the playoffs.