LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Clinch Playoff Berth During Politically-Charged Weekend

Monday, September 25, 2017

Yankees Clinch Playoff Berth During Politically-Charged Weekend

It was a pretty eventful weekend, huh? So much to unpack!

First thing out of the bag: The Yankees are back in the postseason for the first time since 2015, the 53rd time in franchise history. Now, if you've been reading this blog long enough, you know how I feel about the Wild Card Game. I still feel that way. You are not actually in the playoffs until you win that game. However, MLB does consider it a playoff game; there are playoff shares for it.

That leads me to an inside pocket of the bag, the clinching celebration. The only thing they clinched was a spot in the playoffs. They don't even know if they'll be the first or the second Wild Card (though it does appear that they'll be the first and will play the Twins). A celebration like this would not have happened on those teams of the late '90s and early '00s. Good argument. But, news flash: these are no longer Derek Jeter's Yankees. Jeter can't even be linked to the team anymore. We are heading into a new era in the history of this franchise. There are a lot of new faces, both on the roster and connected in other ways to the team, who have never even sniffed a championship. Let them have their fun.

Next: Aaron Judge. The September he is having has brought him back into the conversation about AL MVP.  He has left his awful performance in July and in August behind him. Here are his numbers since the All Star Break: First 46 games, .176 BA, 7 HR. Last 19 games, .317 BA, 11 HR.

Let's look more closely at one of Judge's overall numbers this season: his 48 home runs. A whopping 20 of them are against Toronto and Baltimore. Goes to show what happens when a team has no pitching to speak of. Judge's next goal should be to hit more home runs against better pitching. Yeah, easier said than done.

At The Knees
Now for the biggest thing in our weekend bag. Reaction to Donald Trump's divisive comments in Alabama on Friday night was so strong that even an MLB player took a knee during the National Anthem. A's rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell, from a military family, should be commended as far as I'm concerned. Here's why:
Don't expect the African American players on the Yankees, all three of them, to do anything like that. Though CC Sabathia vowed not to ago to the White House if the Yankees won the World Series, he shutdown any further discussion of the issue yesterday, according to an article on NJ.com. In the same article, Aaron Judge was quoted as saying, "You know, I'm a baseball player. My job is to focus on playing baseball right now." Aaron Hicks is rehabbing in Tampa, so I guess he was able to avoid the topic entirely.

I'm disappointed in CC and Judge's responses, but not surprised. I can almost understand it. Almost. It's a complicated issue. Although, I can't see things getting out of hand the way Craig Calcaterra seemed to imply yesterday.  A player could get thrown at for taking an knee????? That would be awful. Trump would call that pitcher a patriot, or something. I would like to think that MLB would impose a very harsh penalty for such a horrible act. But, who knows? I do know that I was disappointed to not see anything on MLB.com's home page about what Maxwell did. You had to go to Oakland's website to read about it. What a shame.

Makeup game against the Royals today. Go Yankees.

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