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"we Can't Replace Him" Attitude Proves Yanks Not Equipt Without Judge

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Aaron Judge will be out for “weeks”.  Because of that, the feeling around Yankeeland has suddenly become gloomy.  Bob Klapisch writes a great column about life without Judge today. In the headline, “It’s not pretty” should be enough to want you to dive in.  Bottom line, reading it, you feel like doubt has entered that clubhouse.  There’s a void, a dark cloud lingering.  As Bob says “It’s grim enough to make Aaron Boone wake up in a cold sweat.”  There’s some truth to that.  Boone doesn’t understand or navigate well when he’s challenged as a manager. It’s his biggest flaw. Not only will it be a test for the team, it will be a test for our manager, who is unqualified and unsure of himself.  Yelling at umpires does not make you a leader… it makes you a whiner and that’s where we’re at with this guy. So, in short, with Aaron Judge out, this will be a wacky ride.

With Judge out for what looks like weeks, the Yankees need to step it up, that’s the bottom line.  Getting a quote from Josh Donaldson say “we can’t replace him” worries me. Look, the Yankees just have to play hard. It wasn’t great last night losing to the White Sox 3-2, but maybe that was the “initial shock” of not having Judge there.  It’s one game, we need to improve on that.

But I guess the bigger question is these athletes and how they play the game. If I’m paying my hard earned money to see these athletes work their tails off, I really can’t blame Aaron Judge for making a fantastic catch and then slamming into a wall to do it. He’d tell you he’d do it again. It’s what athletes should do.  

Reminds me a lot of the Robinson Cano debate about longevity in baseball. Top athletes and playing hard, not jogging to first.  It was years ago now that that idiot Peter Keating of ESPN the magazine tried desparaging me writing that my opinion as a fan and journalist was twisted and wrong.  His solution was let them play 162 games at 50% so they can play for a long, long time.  

Everyone knew looking at Cano he was always looking for shortcuts except Keating. In the end, Keating was wrong. Cano banged around the league for a few more years and was even caught using PEDs. He was laughed out of baseball, and Keating was mocked on Bleeding Yankee Blue for years to follow and I will never stop. Dummy.  

But that “not playing hard” narrative continues on Pinstripe Alley, a site I admire, but the thinking is crazy to me:

“I’m not going to file this into the column of “Judge is injury prone,” but it is perhaps illustrative of why guys like Ronald Acuña Jr. and Bryce Harper have largely stopped trying in the outfield. These kinds of players are just so valuable at the plate that the runs they cede defensively are made up tenfold by the runs they produce by being healthy and at the plate. It’s impossible to tell a pro athlete not to try hard, but maybe Judge should have gone less than 100 mph trying to make that play.”

The last statement is odd to me. Every athlete knows you can’t stop momentum and going “100 mph trying to make a play” sometimes isn’t a choice but exactly what it is, momentum.  But more to that, athletes should never stop trying. Athletes need to continue to play hard and no doubt Judge will too. That’s what makes him great and the sport amazing. I actually think for the Yankees this is less about Judge’s injury and more about how the Yankees and Boone will react.  They NEED to step up. Boone NEEDS to make hard decisions and navigate smarter than the nit-wit he is.  Boone’s about automatic, and now he actually has to think.
Can the Yankees do it? Yes, but it won’t be easy.
Get well soon Aaron, you will be missed. No doubt Yankee fans will rally. But can your manager? Serious question. Sadly, I don’t know the answer.


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