Yankees News/Rumors: Yankee players react to Bryant tragedy, Giancarlo Stanton to lead MLB in home runs, and A-Rod a beer owner!

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez
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The death of former Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant sent shockwaves throughout the world of sports and beyond. Bryant was one of nine killed in a crash of his helicopter yesterday morning in the Calabasas area just northwest of Los Angeles. The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B built-in 1991, departed John Wayne Airport at 9:06 a.m. Sunday, according to publicly available flight records. They were en route to a basketball tournament in which he was coaching, and his daughter was playing at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks.  It was foggy at the time of the crash. The 41-year-old sports legend died in the crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and Head Baseball Coach John Altobelli at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California. Everyone on board was killed, including Altobelli’s wife and daughter, other teammates of Gianna’s, and the pilot.  The shocking death has brought tributes from international sports figures such as Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter to Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

New York Yankee players react: Aaron Judge upon learning of the tragedy said on Twitter: “This isn’t real…” Judge knew both Byrant and Coach Altobelli. Altobelli was Aaron’s coach when he played for the 2012 Brewster team of the Cape Cod Summer League. Former Yankee Alex Rodriguez said: “We met as teenagers. We followed similar paths. We went from high school to the pros, and our baby girls grew up together, people don’t know this, but he was my secret coach. He pushed me and motivated me, especially toward the end of my career when I needed him most.” A-Rod said in part on Instagram: “My heart hurts so much right now. I still can’t wrap my head around this. How can this be?”

Derek Jeter took to his website to pay tribute to his friend Kobe Byrant. In part, he stated: “I want to give my deepest condolences to Vanessa and the rest of the Bryant family, and to the families of the other passengers. Tragedies like this have a cruel way of reminding us of what’s important in life: spending time with our loved ones, and being there for them no matter what. Which makes today’s events feel especially cruel — because no one needed less reminding than Kobe.”

Personally, I am not a big basketball fan, but over the years, I have followed Kobe’s incredible career. Everyone at EmpireSportsMedia is heartbroken over this tragedy and send their condolences to the Bryant family and all involved in this horrible event.

Giancarlo Stanton to hit 50 HRs: MLB.com’s Andrew Simon has issued some fantastic 2020 projections. In his article on Yankees.com, he pointed out that Giancarlo Stanton played only 18 games while battling biceps and knee injuries last year. Regardless he is projecting the Yankees slugger for 143 games, a .268/.355/.590 line, a 143 wRC+ (sixth in MLB), and a whopping 50 home runs. He projects that Stanton will lead the MLB in home runs, and will top California Angel Mike Trout and New York Met Pete Alonso by six runs. Trout hit 45, and Alonso 53 home runs last year. Stanton hit 59 home runs on his way to his 2017 MVP season. Since then and while with the Yankees, the most he has hit is 38. Last year Stanton slugged three home runs in his 18 games. Imagine adding 47 long balls to the 306 the Yankees hit last year while coming in second in the AL in home runs by only one run.

A-Rod and Anheuser-Busch: The beer company announced a partnership with A-Rod that makes him a co-owner and Chairman of the brand Presidente. The company states that he will be the chief promoter to increase the U.S. sales of the brand. Alex said: “Growing up as a Dominican-American in the U.S., Presidente was not only a beer, it was part of our community. It connected my parents to their home and was a part of every major community event, big or small.” Retail expert Tom Maoli in a statement said: “The former New York Yankees slugger is no stranger to hitting home runs and having A-Rod as the chairman is a Grand Slam, by the way, let’s not forget he is engaged to Jennifer Lopez, so you get two influencers for the price of one.”