Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Launch of the Cuban Missile is Delayed...

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Chapman becomes latest to test positive for COVID-19…

We thought last year was the Year of Last Man Standing, but now, the Yankees have lost their third player, Aroldis Chapman, to the coronavirus. With D.J. LeMahieu and Luis Cessa both already sidelined and now the team’s closer, it becomes a question of who’s next. Chapman, perhaps one of the most if not THE most physically gifted athlete on the team, proved he is not invincible against the resurgent virus. It’s been reported that his symptoms are mild but the strength of the virus should never be underestimated. Here’s hoping for a full and speedy recovery for Chapman, as well as Le Machine and Cessa. The sooner they are back (most importantly the first two), the better, assuming they’re fully healthy. If the Yankees win the 2020 World Series, it will be because of their championship-level contributions. In other words, they are desperately needed aside from just being great guys to have on the team. 

As much as I want baseball back, there is a part of me that feels cancelling the season before it starts makes some sense. That’s difficult to say, or in this case…write, but I feel the safety and health of the players and their families are the most important factors. 

For now, the Show goes on. I hope, and I pray, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases starts to subside soon. Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Michael Kopech of the Chicago White Sox are the latest significant players to opt out, with more expected. As with David Price, I do not fault any player who decides the risk is too great for whatever reason(s). It’s their right and I’ll respect them for it. It would be unfair for us to criticize them for making a decision to protect their own best interests.  

With Tyler Wade the most likely fill-in second baseman for LeMahieu, Zack Britton becomes the interim closer. It’s fortunate the Yankees have a strong bullpen to cover for Chappy’s absence but it probably would have been nicer to have Dellin Betances on the roster. Oh well. It’s an opportunity for other deserving guys to step up.  

Photo Credit: Brendan Kuty, NJ Advance Media for

Aaron Hicks had a good comment after Saturday’s game when asked if there will be a season. He said the team is prepared and motivated to play and no Yankees have opted out. The Yankees want to play and are ready. He didn’t know about other teams and if there are teams that don’t want to play, it could end the season but he didn’t see any reason why the game should halt. Fair enough. I know guys like Mookie Betts have expressed concerns. Sure, Betts is not a Yankee, but there are other big name guys like him who have expressed concerns and no doubt there are players on the Yankees with the same concerns they’ve kept to themselves.  

It’s been tough to watch the intra-squad games for the lack of energy normally generated by the missing fans in attendance. It fills a little like a golf match, with less than a golf clap to celebrate home runs. A home run, followed by dead silence in Yankee Stadium. It’s not the same. Maybe facing opposing teams rather than teammates will heighten the interest in games but so far there has been no joy in the summer training games.  

I am excited about the future for Clarke Schmidt. With the Yankees potentially losing several starters in the off-season, Schmidt can solidify his role as a 2021 starter with a solid performance in the upcoming 60 games. Both James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka can be free agents after the season. I hope the Yankees bring both back, but at the very least, Masa. J.A. Happ can also leave since he will be unable to reach the milestones that would have triggered an additional year as a result of the shortened season. I am okay with Happ leaving as I see his spot in the rotation as the one I have marked for Schmidt next season. Nothing against Happ but age happens. I’ll gladly go with younger, talented arms like Schmidt and Deivi Garcia.

Photo Credit: New York Yankees, via Pinstriped Prospects

I know the stiff neck Aaron Judge woke up with yesterday is no big deal (using Aaron Boone’s words), and missing an intra-squad game is negligible, but it always seems like “what’s next?” for the big guy. I am really hopeful for a healthy season for Judge as the Yankees really need him. Judge is expected back today. I continue to hold my breath for his good health.

I am excited for the Yankees’ one-two starting punch with Gerrit Cole and James Paxton. I’d prefer to have Masahiro Tanaka as part of the equation but I know he’ll be a little behind with his current concussion protocol. It’s scary to think what the rotation could have been with a healthy Luis Severino this year. Sevy will be back next year but I always think pitchers need a season to ‘right the ship’ so we might not see the best of Sevy until 2022 at the earliest. It’s best to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst…as the saying goes. Sevy would not be the first pitcher to struggle post-Tommy John surgery and he wouldn’t be the last. As we know, there are no sure things in Major League Baseball…except for maybe Mike Trout.

We had COVID-19 testing at my work early last week when one of my co-workers tested positive but we’re still waiting for the results. With the increased testing, there’s clearly a backlog. With as many days that have passed since the test, receiving a negative result is no strong assurance to be in the clear since the coronavirus can be caught easily and at any time. The virus is certainly not waiting to see if we get our test results back before continuing its assault on our bodies. I did not work near the sick co-worker, but the members of her team were all sent home to work for the foreseeable future (anybody who came in close contact with her on a day-to-day basis).

As they say, WEAR YOUR MASK! I wear a mask when I am out and I recognize that I am not wearing my mask for me, I am wearing it for you.  

As always, Go Yankees!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)