Aaron Judge is a gift and a curse for the Yankees. He’s a gift because rarely do we see Paul Bunyan wielding a Lousiville Slugger. He’s a curse in some ways because we’ve only seen him at his best for one season. . Judge’s injury history is well noted and every time he steps on the field Yankees fans hope and pray that he doesn’t return to the IL.
A brittle body doesn’t change the fact that he’s a five-tool beast when that 6-foot-8 frame is functioning on all cylinders
With his free agency pending, some have questioned whether or not the Yankee should invest the $275M or so it will take to keep Judge in Pinstripes. On the other hand, days like Wednesday — when he bashes two mammoth shots in his first two at-bats against the team that feels it can hang with the Bronx Bombers in the AL East — make the decision pretty simple.
The second homer had an exit velocity of 111.9 MPH, way above the league average of 103.6
Even with Judge’s heroics, the Yankees lost the game 5-4. They won’t win it all without him, so they have to manage him delicately.
“I know in Aaron’s case, and pretty much all of our guys, they want to go out there all the time and they want to be there for their teammates,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said in a SI article. “So anytime I’m holding a guy out of the lineup, or they’re not able to go out there, I think that’s probably a little frustrating for everybody. But that’s also part of sport and part of what we have to manage on a daily basis.”
Since Judge smashed a rookie record of 52 homers in 2017, he hasn’t played more than 112 games in a season. The big knock on Judge entering 2021 was the fact that since the beginning of 2018, the lethal slugger had appeared in only 242 of a possible 384 games (63 percent)
He’s already missed time this season with soreness. Honestly, though, that’s the risk you take with a player of Judge’s game-changing potential. In that limited time, he’s also produced 11 multi-homer games.
He’s set to become a free agent following the 2022 season. That means Judge will be entering his age-31 season after that winter. He’s no Spring chicken, but at the same time, the Yankees certainly don’t want to be facing a healthy Judge playing for the competition in a playoff situation.
There will be a line of suitors around the corner if this guy hits the free agent market. He might not command the money that younger superstar like Tatis is getting, but when Judge is healthy, he’s every bit as good. You have to believe that he’s going to catch a hot streak of three or four years where everything just falls into place again. The Yankees don’t want to bail out too early.
Wednesday’s performance was another example of why you don’t relinquish talent like that. Even if you’re only going to have it for 100 games a season.
MLbbro.com told you early in the season to keep an eye on the New York Mets rotation and the squad’s melanated mound marauders; Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman. The team from Queens is one of just two MLB rotations with two Black starting pitchers.
(Seattle Mariners pitchers Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn comprise the other Black starter tandem)
On Tuesday, both pitchers carried their whole weight in leading the Mets to a sweep of NL East rival Philadelphia.
It was exactly the kind of performance that Mets brass hoped for when they decided to bring these two potential Black aces into the fold to round out what could eventually be the best pitching staff in baseball.
Both pitchers have basically been lights out. Stroman has a 0.37 ERA and in 12.1 innings pitched he’s given up just 1 run on a homer and eight hits.
He wants all the smoke. At 5-foot-7 he’s a walking billboard for his branded HDMH slogan: “Heart Don’t Measure Height.” Let’s not forget he’s doing all this while fighting social justice causes and responding to idiots all day long on Twitter,
That heart was on full display. After getting his start cut short during a nine-pitch rainout on Sunday, instead of waiting his normal five days to start again, Stroman went Rough Ryder DMX on em’ and came back on one day’s rest to hurl 6 innings of no-run, four-hit ball, in a performance fit for framing.
He was efficient, throwing 86 pitches to lead the Mets to a 4-0 shutout win over the Phillies.
Stroman’s outing followed a spicy effort by Walker, who set the day off like Queen Latifah with the semi-auto, hurling 4.1 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball with a whopping 8 strikeout. Yeah, he was throwing ched,
This short, but masterful outing follows Walker’s first Citifield start in which he surrendered just two runs in 6 innings. Both of Walker’s efforts ended in a no-decision, but he pitched more than well enough to win.
Walker’s a live arm that the Mets signed to shore up the rotation. At just 28 years of age and having pitched for some pretty average to bad teams in his career, there was much optimism that Walker could really turn up this season on a Mets team that has the pieces to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.
These Black Knights are what we would call X-factors for the Mets this season. How far the Mets advance will strongly depend on the performance of their bros in arms. Both are playing on the best team of their career and if they pitched to their abilities, both could easily have career campaigns. It really comes down to staying healthy.
Walker’s durability is always in question. Entering the season the 6-foot-4 heat hurler had started just 15 MLB games since 2018.
There were skeptics who suggested that Stroman was more bark than bite based on the fact that he hasn’t had a winning record since 2017 and his ERA has fluctuated dramatically. Stroman knew better and entered the season healthy, confident and anxiously waiting for a team to explode on.
The Mets already have a formidable staff with the best pitcher in the game (Jacob DeGrom) leading the way, To have two other pitchers capable of dominating at times comes in handy for the Mets, who currently have two key starters missing. Noah Syndergaard is on the shelf and No. 2 starter Carlos Carrasco is on the IL with a bad hammy.
Give it up for these brothers who continue to dismiss the myth that Black men don’t pitch…anymore.
Daunte Wright was stopped by Minnesota Police for having air fresheners in his window after his mother gave him $50 to get a carwash on Sunday. That simple stop resulted in Wright’s death. In the wake of another egregious shooting of an unarmed Black man, the Minnesota Twins organization has postponed today’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
The decision was made by the Twins after meeting with MLB hierarchy and local and state officials who reportedly were concerned about riots that were brewing and the complications of functioning while a state-mandated curfew was in effect.
On top of that, I’m sure that Black players such as Twins star Byron Buxton would not be up to the task of playing under such circumstances.
Minnesota Twins officials Rocco Baldelli and Derek Falvey said in a press conference on Monday that, “the decision was made with respect for the Wright family but also rooted in safety.”
“We came to the ballpark anticipating that we would play,” said Falvey, Twins President of Baseball Operations. “Over the course of the morning into the early afternoon, we received additional information about what happened at Brooklyn Center…We were able to come together as an organization to make the decision we made… We’re rooted in trying to do the right things by the Twins and also our community in our the city.”
Wright, a 20-tear-old father, was blasted by Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran who now claims it was an “accidental discharge” from her gun. According to Police Chief Tim Gannon, the female officer apparently meant to fire a taser but couldn’t tell the difference between the two weapons.
“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” The officer is heard shouting on her bodycam footage released at a news conference. She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.
After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”
Seems far-fetched, but that is the information MPD is putting out to the public.
The reaction to the killing by the Black community has been understandably angry, as the incident occurs in the middle of the Derek Chauvin Trial, one of the most high-profile police killings of a Black man in American history.
LIVE: Riot cops are confronting a grieving community after police just shot and killed 20-year-old Duante Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota – close to Minneapolis https://t.co/0UbBbTOfP6
Chauvin is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd, whose neck Chauvin remorselessly kept his knee on for more than 8 minutes as the life left Floyd’s body. During the torturous ordeal, Floyd called for his mother and screamed those infamous and bone-chilling words, “I Can’t Breathe.” Horrified bystanders pleaded for the cops to let Floyd live, but to no avail.
The trauma experienced by the residents of that state is at an all-time high, as they haven’t had any time to heal from the George Floyd tragedy.
“Nothing has fundamentally changed since the killing of George Floyd. Nothing,” Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told The Washington Post Monday. “Police officers can still do whatever they’ve been doing without any measure of accountability.”
Daunte Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told the Star-Tribune that her son had called her after being pulled over and that she heard a commotion and then someone yelling “Daunte, don’t run” before the line disconnected. Moments later, she said, her son’s girlfriend, who was in the car, called back and said he’d been shot.
Aubrey Wright, who was at a grocery store, said his wife called him around 2 p.m. with the news. “She was screaming over the phone. She was saying, ‘Daunte was shot!’” he said.
When Aubrey Wright arrived at the scene less than 10 minutes later, he said, he saw his son’s 2011 Buick LaCrosse partially destroyed and his son’s body covered with a white sheet on the sidewalk, where it remained for 8 hours, according to Duante’s distraught mother.
Protesters stormed the city last night as angry people took to the streets, clashed with law enforcement, began jumping on police cars and ascending on the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where rocks and other objects were thrown at officers, authorities said. The National Guard was called in to “keep the peace.”
Crowd is growing. A man with a bull horn just showed up and is calling the cops cowards for killing a “kid” and others are asking why they didn’t use a taser. “Take them badges off,” he said. pic.twitter.com/npcexzjRoY
Stay tuned for more updates on how MLB and other sports leagues respond to this latest unfathomable police shooting of a young, unarmed Black man. Another young child who lost a parent for absolutely no reason.
Chris Archer’s first start in Tampa Bay since the Rays traded him to Pittsburgh in July 2018, was highly anticipated. Could he regain the form that made him one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball a half-decade ago?
Gone are the black and blonde dreads that flew wildly in the air as Archer delivered pitches from his extensive repertoire. He’s simplified his arsenal as well as his haircut which is now short and sweet.
After a rough outing in relief during the season’s first week, Archer, who signed with Tampa as a free agent in the offseason —returning to the place where he blossomed into a two-time All-Star — only lasted 2 1/3 innings before departing with a 3-0 lead and right lateral forearm stiffness (tendinitis) in his arm.
After further evaluation, Archer isn’t expected to miss more than one start but was placed on the 10-day IL.
“I thought it was just something that kind of comes and goes because things come and go as you start,” Archer said. “But it lingered, and I found myself altering how I was throwing a little and it just wasn’t worth it.”
Archer was actually looking very 2015-ish before he felt something fishy going on with his arm. He had four K’s, potent stuff and a 3-0 lead against a formidable Yankees lineup.
Archer says he tried to shake it off at first, but eventually did the safe thing and summoned catcher Francisco Mejia, with manager Kevin Cash and head athletic trainer Joe Benge to the mound.
“Fortunately, it’s nothing serious. But there’s definitely some tightness in there that I need to get out. So I’m glad that we took the precautions that we did. And I’m really glad the bullpen stepped up.”
The damage was minima, but this setback had got to be a bummer Archer missed all of last season following surgery to address neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome.
According to reports, this issue was on the outside of the elbow, away from the ligaments that tear and lead to serious problems like Tommy John surgery, so major concerns quickly turned into more anticipation of his next start.
The Rays aren’t expecting Archer to miss more than one start which is great news for a contending team that already has a decimated bullpen with four key relievers injured.
After the @RaysBaseball shutout the Yankees 4-0, Kevin Cash talks about Chris Archer's prognosis, the bullpen's performance and more!
The MLBbro.com family is wishing Archer a speedy recovery. Despite some recent injuries, he’s been a durable pitcher throughout most of his career and if he picks up where he left off on Saturday, then by midseason we could start calling this the “Chris Archer Comeback Tour”.
While the Nationals try to weather this COVID storm, veteran pitcher Joe Ross came through in the clutch and definitely made a strong case for a permanent spot in the rotation.
To everyone’s disappointment, Josh Bell and Josh Harrison are in COVID protocols and are yet to take the field this season. Price didn’t pitch and Mookie is day-to-day with back stiffness, so the soul of Friday’s game would have been nonexistent if not for Ross, who hasn’t pitched since losing Game 5 of the 2019 World Series.
The layoff served him well as the 27-year-old righty baffled Dodgers hitters for five innings allowing no runs, two hits and striking out four batters in a 1-0 Nats loss against the offensive juggernaut from the West Coast. Ross had a “shut yo mouth and pass the collard greens” performance, proving that he was the man for the mound.
Joe Ross through 5 innings against the 2020 World Series Champs LA Dodgers
In fact, as soon as Ross exited the game, Justin Turner smashed a homer to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with two outs in the sixth. That was all they would need. It wouldn’t be hyperbole, however, to suggest that Ross threw a kink in the best-laid plans of Dodgers fans, who surely anticipated an obliteration on such a momentous occasion.
It was World Series “Ring Day” at Dodger Stadium and the fans came back to watch live pro baseball in LA on Friday. It was 548 days since fans walked through the gates of the historic ballpark.
In many ways, Ring Day was more than 30 years in the making as a 60-game COVID season, a ton of uncertainty and the proper dose of competitive spirit helped Dave Roberts, Mookie Betts and Magic Johnson’s ownership group win the franchise’s first World Series since 1988.
It was a huge win for Black baseball. There was a collective sigh released by LA baseball fans, who had suffered through two World Series losses in the past three seasons.
The Dodgers’ 2021 home opener seemed to be the perfect storm. As the fans returned to the ballpark, they got to truly share in an accomplishment and celebration that they were only allowed to witness on TV in 2020. Ring Day was like their World Series. The first time they could reach out and touch the moment (with a distance of six feet of course).
Mookie got his ring and a resounding ovation.
Mookie Betts gets his first standing ovation at Dodger Stadium while getting his championship ring 👏
There was some uncertainty surrounding whether or not the Dodgers would award veteran Black Ace David Price a ring because he opted out of 2020, but his positive standing in the clubhouse and the championship leader he’s been since he arrived made it an easy decision for Dodgers brass.
Classy move by the Dodgers. In an even classier move, Price donated his ring to the Players Alliance.
Mookie Betts gets his first standing ovation at Dodger Stadium while getting his championship ring 👏
So with 2020 in the rearview and baseball, as we know it pretty much back to normal, it’s time to focus on the task at hand. The matchup between the Dodgers and Washington Nationals on Friday featured baseball’s last two World Series Champions in what could very well be a preview of the 2021 Autumn Classic.
Before the season started, fans of Black baseball definitely had this home opener marked on the calendar as both teams feature elite MLB Bros. The Nationals acquired power-hitting first baseman Josh Bell during the offseason and when he does take the field, to his right will be veteran second baseman Harrison. The Dodgers, of course, have Betts and Price.
On Friday, Ross made sure that nobody forgets that he’s also an MLB Bro capable of delivering All-Star performances.