New York Giants Finally Get Permission To Open Facilities Again

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill

The pandemic related shutdowns in New York and New Jersey had previously thrown into question whether training camp would be able to happen in the usual location for the New York Giants, but not long after the decision for the state of New York to open up to training camps once again, New Jersey has followed suit.

This means the Jets and the Giants are able to open their facilities once again, though their actual return to the field will depend on the NFL’s regulations and how quickly they decide to allow offseason activities to resume.

Interestingly enough, professional sports competition is also allowed once again in New Jersey, though right now, it doesn’t look like there’s any teams that are in a position to make that return given the closed down status of the country’s professional sports leagues right now.

It remains to be seen when the NFL will make a decision on letting teams get to OTAs and training camp, but the league has allowed teams to open facilities again if their local legislature allows for it. The current extent of this opening up would allow some players to come to the facilities to start training, but is otherwise restrictive compared to a full reopening.

One can imagine that the league’s decision will be impacted by other locales, also. It would be unfair, after all, if some teams were able to hold training camp and continue their offseasons normally while other teams were forced to hold off on it because of not being able to open their facilities.

Still, even if the Giants can’t get back to normal right away, this current announcement from the governor is a step in the right direction and a sign that the offseason will likely pick up at some point.

MLB: Players Association “disappointed’ with economic proposal

On Tuesday, the MLB approached the Players Union with an economic proposal for the 2020 season. Needless to say, the players were less than thrilled with it. The reaction wasn’t totally unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless.

While the players wanted prorated salaries, the owners vied for a 50-50 revenue split. So, the MLB had to try and find a middle-ground. That middle-ground proposal would lead to enormous pay cuts for the best players and turning away interest.

According to Jon Heyman, the proposal would have someone usually earning $563,500 make $262,217. A player usually making $35 million would make just 7,843,363. While those numbers still sound high, just remember that the players already agreed to prorated salaries, but the owners just recently got cold feet about it.

The pay system is a good start, however. We see that exponential curve, making it so players on minimum contracts aren’t hurt nearly as much. Regardless, what they would make would still be livable.

The good news is that all sides are still wanting to get a deal in place and see baseball. The goal is to have an agreement in place by June 1st to start Spring Training on June 10th. It would be great to see some Major League action; however, it’s unlikely that the Minor League plays at all.

On Tuesday, the Oakland Athletics became the first team to announce that they will no longer pay their Minor Leaguers after May 31st. That leads us to think that teams may have inside knowledge of no Minor League season, and we could see more announcements in that front soon.

The MLB and Players Association will continue negotiations and counter-proposals throughout the week to attempt to make a season happen.

New York Mets: What if A-Rod signed with the New York Mets in 2000?

The New York Mets entertained the possibility of signing 25-year-old free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez back in the 2000 offseason, just weeks after they lost the Subway Series to the Yankees. General Manager Steve Phillips and his staff heavily considered making such a splash, but as they later explained, they were out before they even started talking about money.

A-Rod, per the New York Post’s Mike Puma, grew up as a Mets’ fan idolizing Keith Hernandez as a kid in Miami. There had to be some degree of interesting in A-Rod’s part on going to New York to play in Queens.

However, everybody knew Rodriguez was going to be extremely expensive, maybe the most expensive free agent signing in the history of the game. He was young, good and charismatic. And Phillips, who had brought Mike Piazza a couple of years earlier and had some aging stars in the roster, wasn’t going to have much budget at his disposal.

But Phillips said recently that the New York Mets were “out before the money conversation ever happened.”

Rodriguez had some lofty demands, such as office space at Shea Stadium and a tent at spring training to sell his own A-Rod line of merchandising. Phillips thought that would have resulted in a clubhouse of “24+1” players.

However, it’s easy to imagine: what if A-Rod landed on the Mets? Would the team have won the World Series in these last few years?

Well, they certainly would have prevented A-Rod from going to the Yankees, and the Mets, most likely, wouldn’t have had the money to bring Carlos Beltran in 2005.

Did the Mets really consider signing A-Rod?

A-Rod ended up signing a 10-year, $252 million pact with the Texas Rangers. The Mets, in turn, saw Mike Hampton go in free agency and entered a decline phase that lasted until 2006, the year in which they were eliminated in Game Seven of the Championship Series on a strikeout: Beltran let an Adam Wainwright’s curveball go by.

“At the time when we were pursuing [Rodriguez], you could kind of dream about that lineup, and the offensive lineup would have been incredible,” said Jim Duquette, then the Mets assistant general manager. “He fit perfectly at least for the few years as a shortstop, because at that time it was before [Jose] Reyes had come on the scene so we didn’t have a shortstop where we could say he’s going to be our shortstop for the next 10 years.

“[Rey] Ordonez was easily replaceable. We had lost [John] Olerud and had [Todd] Zeile at first base and [Robin] Ventura at third and Edgardo [Alfonzo] at second, so we would have had a very veteran, albeit starting to age, infield. That whole building around impactful players, obviously A-Rod and Piazza were going to be the stars and they were the most recognizable. You want to talk about star power, it would have lifted our organization to a level we haven’t seen.”

The Mets had to do some roster maneuvering, and even then, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to pry A-Rod.

“We might have had to trade some pitching away to make [Rodriguez] fit the budget,” Phillips said. “It wasn’t as simple as add 18 or 19 or 20 million [dollars] into the budget and keep the same players. It would have been some level of subtraction in order to add him, because we weren’t going to add $20 million to the payroll as a separate line item. It was going to have to be, if not all of it, there was going to have to be some offset of taking some money off the books to make it work.”

Puma said that “if the Mets signed Rodriguez, it’s possible Phillips would have avoided his largely disastrous roster overhaul following the 2001 season, in which he traded for aging stars Mo Vaughn and Roberto Alomar. The Mets also signed Jeromy Burnitz and Roger Cedeno, both of whom underperformed in their return to Queens.”

With A-Rod in the fold, the New York Mets’ infield would eventually have been formed by Rodriguez, Jose Reyes and David Wright.

New York Yankees: Remembering Chien-Ming Wang and what could have been

New York Yankees

After winning four championships between 1996 and 2000, the early 2000s New York Yankees managed to field some competitive teams that fell short of the ultimate goal until 2009, when the club lifter its 27th and last trophy to date.

During the second half of that decade, a young Yankees’ pitcher managed to make his way into the team’s plans until injury and performance forced him out of the picture, precisely, after the 2009 season: Chien-Ming Wang.

The sinkerballer from Taiwan, who threw the pitch almost exactly two thirds of the time during his career (66.1 percent), had nice debut with the Yankees in 2005, pitching in 18 games and starting 17 with a 4.02 ERA and a 4.20 FIP. During those days, pitching was more about getting outs any way rather than prioritizing strikeouts and K/9. Wang achieved his success, brief as it was, by inducing weak, ground ball-oriented contact.

His career K/9 was a paltry 4.19 in 845.2 frames, yet he managed a respectable 4.36 ERA even though his last few seasons were disastrous.

The peak of Wang with the New York Yankees came in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He accumulated 7.5 fWAR between the two years.

The Yankees’ respectable innings-eater

In 2006, he was 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA in 218 innings, with a 3.14 (!) K/9. He managed a 19-7 record in 199.1 frames a year later, with a 3.70 ERA and a 4.70 K/9. He was running groundball rates around 60 percent and HR/FB under 10 percent.

He was also effective in 2008, but that year, he started missing time with injury. He suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament of the right foot and a partial tear of the peroneus longus of the right foot while running the bases.

After his first 3 appearances in 2009, Wang was 0–3 with a ghastly 34.50 ERA. Amid speculation that he was altering his mechanics because of the foot injury, he was sent down to Tampa when the team discovered that his release point was off.

Then, he was diagnosed with weakness in the muscles of both hips and placed on the disabled list. Shoulder soreness made him land on the injured list once again in the summer, and he eventually had surgery. The Yankees opted to let him walk in free agency.

He missed the whole 2010 season and signed with the Washington Nationals in 2011. He pitched decently that year (4.04 ERA in 11 starts and 62.1 innings) but accrued negative WAR in his last three seasons: 2012, 2013 and a comeback attempt in 2016.

If injuries hadn’t gotten in the way, maybe Wang would have enjoyed a longer, more successful career. He was a good pitcher that was miscast as an ace in those years, but was a solid mid-to-backend starter who could eat innings and keep his team on the game.

Wang may have had no business in today’s strikeout-oriented league, or maybe he would have had to alter his pitching style. But the Yankees, at least, have the memory of those 2006 and 2007 seasons in which he was very good, if not stellar.

Will the New York Jets move on from Le’Veon Bell in 2021?

New York Jets, LeVeon Bell

The New York Jets signed Le’Veon Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million deal in 2019. Bell featured on the Jets’ offense, posting 789 rushing yards and three touchdowns over 15 games. Aside from the 2015 season, this was by far his worst campaign following a contract dispute that kept him out of the league until signing with Gang Green.

Ultimately, Bell needs two specific things to succeed and play at a high-level. The first thing is a quality quarterback that can make good pre-snap adjustments and activate the screen game appropriately. Secondly, a solid offensive line at the very least is required for Bell to have the patience and aggressiveness he utilizes typically in his game.
His 461 receiving yards in 2019 with the second-lowest in his career, but I expect he will see an uptick in efficiency next season due to an improved line and Darnold’s full health.

However, the Jets drafted La’Mical Perine out of Florida and signed Frank Gore to a one year deal. This could indicate that the Jets are preparing to cut Bell after the 2020 season, as Perine is about average in every category and could take a significant step forward after a year of development.

Le’Veon has a potential out in 2021, which he would count just $4 million in dead cap, allowing the Jets to spend on other positions and replace him with the cheaper option. Clearly, having a high priced running back in the NFL is not a necessity; looking at how the Kansas City Chiefs managed to succeed and win a Super Bowl last year.

Bell can be a dominant force on the Jets’ offense, but saving about $10 million could be extremely beneficial in adding a defensive playmaker pass-rush specialist.

If Bell does have an extremely successful year, I imagine the Jets will retain him at just 29 years old. While they would be saving a good chunk of salary cap, he is a difference-maker on offense and can be the difference between winning and losing. His 2020 production is the most significant factor in this future decision for general manager Joe Douglas.

New York Giants: Is Blake Martinez a big upgrade over Alec Ogletree at MLB?

New York Giants, Blake Martinez, McManus Designs

A look at New York Giants’ new signing Blake Martinez and what he offers the defense:

The New York Giants sign Blake Martinez to a three-year, $30 million deal this off-season to shore up their middle linebacker position. Martinez will immediately plug the void and act as their bonafide starter.

Martinez has four years of NFL experience with the Green Bay Packers, starting all 16 games in his last three campaigns. He will be 26 years old in 2020 with the Giants, and he’s coming off three consecutive seasons of leading the NFL in tackles.

What the Giants are getting in Martinez is essentially a fantastic cleanup linebacker who will limit big plays, but also an extremely intelligent player that can diagnose opposing offenses quickly. He made it apparent that the defense he is joining with the Giants is far more inclusive for the middle linebacker position. He stated that Green Bay’s defense did not value the position, and they asked him to be more of a cleanup type of player, which attests to his high tackle totals.

“I was taught and told to be the clean-up-crew guy,’’ he told the NY Post.

“I think the way [the Packers] value the inside linebacker position, especially in that defense, it wasn’t as valued as other places I guess, in my opinion,’’ Martinez said.

Comparing Martinez to Alec Ogletree, who previously played for the New York Giants the last two years — the difference is astronomical. Ogletree never recorded over 93 combined tackles with the Giants, and he posted a 15.8% missed tackle rate last season. Not to mention, he allowed an 83% completion rate and three touchdowns against.

Martinez, on the other hand, logged a 10.4% missed tackle rate but also allowed an 83.8% completion rate against and two touchdowns. However, he was often utilized in a mesh zone scheme, which didn’t allow him to play man coverage and follow opposing receivers. This hurt his coverage stats and was often knocked for being in the area but not on a receiver.

Martinez has 522 total tackles in his career, averaging about nine per game. He also has 10 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, and 17 passes offended. Overall, in a more middle linebacker happy defense, he should be able to maximize his talents and expand on his previous success. While nothing is guaranteed, Martinez is preparing to take a step forward and not a step back.

“Overall, there is going to be a lot of freedom for me to make checks, make calls and adjustments on a given play pre-snap to give guys chances to make plays,’’ Martinez said. “There is going to be a lot of communication across the board.’’

When asked about his transition over to New York and what made him choose the big apple, Martinez stated:

“Going through the process, I just thought about what kind of fit [would be best] for myself, individually, my play style and those types of things,” Martinez said during a Tuesday appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “Obviously, looking at the potential places I could go to, New York just jumped off the tape for me. Just seeing the guys that are on the team, the young talent across the board, obviously a new head coach [Joe Judge].

“Then my old inside linebacker coach [Patrick Graham] is now the defensive coordinator. Everything kind of just paired together easily. I was just super excited that I had the chance to go be a Giant.”

Reconnecting with Patrick Graham should also be beneficial for Martinez, who had some of his best seasons while he was Green Bay’s linebackers coach. Hopefully, he can adapt to a revised role that expects more of his position, because the Giants desperately need an upgrade over Ogletree, who missed tackles faster than Adam Sandler in the Waterboy.

Many Protocols Must Be in Place for the New York Rangers in Phase 2 of Return-to-Play

Brady Skjei, New York Rangers

The NHL’s return-to-sport protocol is a very detailed procedure that will be required of the New York Rangers just to get six players working out inside the rink together, never mind what’s still to come when the Blueshirts progress to training camps or actually start playing games again. The protocol distributed to the Rangers, other teams, and players early Monday leaves no detail uncovered and paints a scene unlike any that would typically play out in these facilities.

So let’s say you are Jericho NY native Adam Fox and you want to start training in the facility. The first thing that must happen before he even steps foot into the facility is to have a swab inserted roughly two inches into his nasal cavity. That test then is sent to a place that can do laboratory-based RT-PCR testing, which will be used to detect any active or recent infection with COVID-19 and will be administered 48 hours prior to even thinking about entering the facility.

That will get Fox into the door of the facility. So, Adam Fox would like to start skating. In order to do that, he must complete a pre-participation medical exam, which includes an EKG test and screening for pre-existing conditions.

Now, it’s time to hit the ice. At best, Fox may be able to skate with New Jersey native Tony DeAngelo, and their fellow defensemen as phase 2 only allow six players on the ice at a time. Without contact. That means that Brendan Lemieux will have to do some “practice fighting” somewhere else. Coaches, including those for skating and skills, will not be allowed.

What happens when they get hungry or thirsty? Players inside the facility can consume Single-use beverages or snacks such as power bars, but any meals prepared and packaged by the catering staff must be taken home before they are consumed.

Whatever group of Rangers practices together, the grouping must remain constant and essentially be assigned a rotating shift for when they are allowed in the facility. Where possible, the Rangers have been told to assign a different athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach and equipment manager to each group.

So after their practice, Fox, DeAngelo, and the rest of the Rangers would like some post-practice treatment. Not happening. In Phase 2, the players will not be granted access to saunas, hot tubs, or steam rooms and are encouraged to shower at home whenever possible.

So, after all of the players have gone through the facility, the Rangers cleaning staff must get to work. The facility must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each training session. That includes locker-room areas and circuit-based training equipment. Players are required to leave all workout gear inside the facility for cleaning. The cleaning staff could end up being the MVPs of the season.

While all of this is happening, head coach David Quinn will be getting texts that will read something like 98.6. 97.8, or 98.2. While it might be nice to say they are sending him slapshot speeds, they instead will be the recorded temperature checks. During this process, players will have to do at least two more tests each week, plus daily temperature and symptom checks, one done at home, and another from medical personnel upon arrival at the facility.

There could be serious consequences for the Rangers if they do not comply with the measures put in place by the league. The NHL has promised that there could be penalties that include fines, loss of draft choices, and ineligibility to participate in the resumption of play.

This certainly will be a different experience for the Rangers, who mostly haven’t been back inside team facilities since the season was paused on March 12.

How does Islanders’ Mathew Barzel match up with other team greats at 23 years old?

Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders

Today marked the 23rd birthday for New York Islanders’ center Mathew Barzal.

Barzal, who was drafted back in 2015 and made his NHL debut two years later, has had a good career thus far and seems like he’s on the cusp of becoming one of the best players in the game.

Through almost three seasons, Barzal has posted 207 points in 234 games played. He won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie at the end of the 2017-18 campaign and has two All-Star appearances to his ledger. Barzal is also the co-owner of a franchise record for assists by a rookie in a season (63) with Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier.

Barzal has had a solid run before turning 23, but where does his career rank among some of the other greats to have donned the Islander crest?

First up, Bryan Trottier.

Granted the game was totally different from today, but Trottier was already building his legendary resume when he reached that age in 1979. Try this one on for size: A Calder Trophy, two All-Star appearances, an Art Ross and Hart Trophy.

Having that much amount of hardware before winning the Stanley Cup a year later puts Trottier on a whole other level that Barzal doesn’t come close to.

How about Mike Bossy?

Bossy didn’t turn 23 until the 1979-80 campaign, and we all know what that year was remembered for (Hint, hint: the Isles winning their first of four straight Cups). Individually, his numbers and accolades up until that point were incredible.

Bossy goal totals by then were 53. 69, 51. His point totals: 91, 92, 126. He also had a Calder, two All-Star nods, and two Lady Byng top-five finishes.

Again, just like Trottier, Barzal’s production isn’t up to par with what Bossy was able to do.

Let’s try Denis Potvin.

1976-77 was the year Potvin was 23, and by that time, he had already established himself as one of the best defensemen in the NHL. Potvin, who became the first Islander to be awarded the Calder after the 1973-74 season, was being groomed as the next captain — he would receive that honor a few years later — and was a bonafide star. He was an All-Star in 1973-74, 1974-75 and 1975-76, finished second in the Norris Trophy voting in ’74-’75 before winning it the following year, and received Hart consideration two straight years.

Looking at all the hardware and accomplishments, this is probably the one where Barzal might not even be allowed in the conversation.

Maybe Barzal tops Clark Gillies and Bob Nystrom? There’s an argument to be made.

Neither Gillies or Nystrom were ever considered for the Calder, but their production is close to what Barzal has done himself. Gillies first three seasons 47, 61, and 55 points; Nystrom’s — 2, 41, 58. Barzal did only score 18 times last year which could in fact be the deciding factor. Nystrom and Gillies scored at least 20 or more in two of their first three seasons on Long Island.

Barzal will have his opportunity to move ahead of those two icons down the road, but he still sits behind them at this moment.

The last two players for Barzal to try and rank ahead of are Pat LaFontaine and Zigmund Palffy.

Barzal and LaFontaine might be on an even playing field. LaFontaine turned age 23 in February 1988 but didn’t have any hardware to show off yet. What he did have already was four seasons under his belt with two 30-plus goal campaigns, plus a 70-point campaign preceded by two straight years with 50 or more points.

As for Palffy, Barzal definitely has the edge.

Palffy didn’t really come into his own after his rookie season. That first season, 1994-95, Palffy only played in 33 games and recorded just 17 points. After he celebrated his 23rd birthday in May 1995, Palffy’s next three years were terrific — 87, 90, and 87 points once again.

So there you have it. Mathew Barzal has accomplished some great things leading up to turning 23 but ranks way behind some of the other franchise greats.

Hopefully there will be another conversation ten years from now and Barzal ranks as the top dog among all these players listed. One can dream right?

FULL LIST OF TOP ISLANDER PLAYERS BY THE TIME THEY TURNED 23:

  1. Denis Potvin
  2. Bryan Trottier
  3. Mike Bossy
  4. Clark Gillies
  5. Bob Nystrom
  6. Mathew Barzal
  7. Pat LaFontaine
  8. John Tonelli

 

New York Yankees Prospects: Isiah Gilliam

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

For our next prospect, we go to the New York Yankees 20th round pick from the 2015 draft. That prospect would be the powerful outfielder, Isiah Gilliam. Gilliam is the type of guy who is really going to make some noise in batting practice and the type of guy who is going to make loud contact during a game. Gilliam is a switch-hitting outfielder who possesses plus power at the plate. While Gilliam can smoke the ball from both sides of the plate, he seems to be more comfortable hitting from the right side. Gilliam has really good bat speed and a very level swing that generates a good amount of loft. Gilliam hits the ball to all fields, but sometimes his pop goes to his head and he gets a little swing happy at the plate. Gilliam spent time at Tampa and in Trenton during his 2019 season, and really impressed folks when it came to his power.

Powerful 2019

Last year Gilliam appeared in 117 games between Advanced-A Ball and AA. In those 117 games, Gilliam hit 17 home runs and drove in 51 runs. Gilliam held an average of .234 and an OBP of .312. Gilliam did strike out 154 times in 410 plate appearances which are not something you’d really like to see. Gilliam has incredible pop, but he’s still practicing his discipline when it comes to laying off bad pitches. Gilliam showed okay skills in the outfield last year, but I’m not sure the outfield is where he should live long term. Gilliam is a pretty good size ballplayer standing 6’3 and weighing 220 pounds. He doesn’t have great speed and doesn’t have an incredible feel for the outfield when watching him on tape. I think he could slide up to play first base which is probably more where he is suited given his skillset. I think the position change would give Gilliam a fresh look in the field and would limit his weaker areas.

Where to Improve

Isiah Gilliam can flat out swing the bat with some pop, but there are several areas of his game that need to be improved if he wants to make it to the big leagues. His power and bat speed are already at an MLB level, but his patience at the plate needs a ton of work. He needs to be better at pitch recognition and he needs to show more discipline with breaking balls. If he can cut down on the strikeouts and add more walks, he is going to get a healthier dose of pitches that he can smack over the fence. As I alluded to above, I don’t know if Gilliam is an outfielder long term. He just doesn’t have the speed or the feel for the outfield as of now. I think a change of scenery would reinvigorate his development. I think moving him up to first would allow him to focus more on the aspects of his game that could already impact the major leagues. Gilliam is a fun prospect to watch because of his bat, and he’s one that I believe can definitely crack the major leagues eventually. Some fine-tuning and polishing is needed, but he has raw tools that can play now and that is always a plus.

New York Yankees: Poll shows Yankee fans favorite players, see who’s now #1

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees have always been blessed with talented players, some very popular, and some less so.  Controversial players like Reggie Jackson and Gary Sanchez are seldom embraced fully by New York fans, some of the most demanding fans in all of baseball.

Not all players get the respect and love shown to Mickey Mantle, Thurmon Munson, Yogi Berra, and Derek Jeter.  Much of it has to do with the success they have, but how they conduct themselves both on the field and off also has a lot to do with it.

Yesterday on Facebook in four different New York Yankee fan groups, I conducted an informal non-scientific poll to determine how fans see the present Yankee group of players and who is there most favorite and why.  I asked the 50k fans to choose their favorite four players, and why one was their most favorite.  The results were exciting and, in some ways, unexpected.

When I say unexpected, it was not unexpected who were the four favorites, but how the placement changed. Last year when I conducted this same poll, Brett Gardner was the number one choice for most favorite.  This time he came in number four.  Here are the results of 1,371 votes cast. DJ LeMahieu 28%, Aaron Judge 26.4%, Gleyber Torres 21%, Brett Gardner 14.3%.  After Gardner, the percentages fell off sharply, accounting for only 10.3% of the total vote.  In order of votes were Cole, Tanaka, Paxton, Andujar, and Severino.  Aaron Hicks got only one vote, but as you can see, several players got no votes at all in this poll.  It shouldn’t be a surprise but DJ jumped from not being on the list to #1 after just one season.

It’s interesting to see the changes from last season.  LeMahieu jumped up from #4 to #1, of course, he was named the New York Yankee MVP since then.  Judge came in second again, and Torres jumped from #5 to #3 most likely due to his team-leading 38 home runs.  In the poll, the only result I don’t understand is how Gardner slipped so sharply after his break out season.

The poll also asked the voters to indicate their most favorite and why they choose that player.  Even though Gardner slipped in the poll since last year, he was the most commented on.  I picked the comment most representative of the rest of the comments for each of the top four.

Adele Starkle Knotts My #1 is Gardner. While not the MOST talented, he gives 100% all the time, in the field & at the plate & after more than a decade he’s hardly been out of the lineup because of injuries. Mentally & physically tough as nails, a real throwback. We won’t see the likes of him again!!
Don Paradis D J LeMahieu
Because he is a complete player offensively and defensively. Super clutch hitter.
Brian de Castro For my favorite player, I go back and forth between Torres and Sanchez, but I’m leaning more towards Torres. I like the way he carries himself and was impressed with his determination to do every interview in English despite it being his second language.
Steve Paciullo Judge, if he’s healthy he’s one of the best players in baseball
These polls are always interesting because often they produce results that are contrary to popular belief.  Aaron Judge is seen as the face of the Yankees, yet he has come in second in popularity two years in a row.  His ability to stay healthy is a major concern to both those that like him and those that don’t.  The general consensus now seems to suggest that he no longer represents the future of the Yankees.  Gleyber Torres is now seen as the next big Yankee star player. The probable next Captain and the most likely to receive a long-term Yankee contract.
I have to add to this report, as always, some misunderstand the poll.  In this case, players of the past received over 100 votes. Mickey Mantle, Thurmon Munson, Donny Baseball, Yogi, and Derek Jeter remain all-time fan favorites.
EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Join him on Twitter @parleewilliam and on Facebook at the best Yankee fan group Yankee Fans R US!!