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  • Paul Semendinger

Perspectives: As We Wait...

by Paul Semendinger

November

***

I wonder how much Aaron Judge likes all the focus around his free agency. I'm sure it's great...until it's not. I wonder how long it takes for the unknown to become somewhat upsetting and unsettling. I know that if it was me, I would want to know, sooner or later, what my future holds - where I'm playing, who my teammates are, where I'll live, on and on.


As I have said from the start, despite all the speculation, and that's all any of us can do is speculate, no one, not even Aaron Judge, knows how this will play out until it's over. I can also say, quite confidently, that wherever Aaron Judge chooses, he'll have some feelings of regret and second-guessing. Every single city and team he considers will have good points and bad points - reasons he would love to play there and reasons to not play there. Wherever he goes, he'll be giving up something good somewhere else. This isn't just about a Yankees legacy or dollars or years. There is a lot he is considering.


This is Aaron Judge's biggest career decision of his life. He will never make a decision this impactful ever again. Ever. There is a lot for him to consider and weigh. The idea of creating a legacy is not an easy thing. I'm sure it's not all glamor and wonder and greatness. I'm sure the whole thing can get old quickly. I speculate that there are nights when Aaron Judge sits all alone in his house pacing in the dark, wondering, rationalizing, determining, and second guessing over and over again. I'm sure he wonders, again and again, "What is the right decision?"


I'm sure he also knows that there is no one correct decision. There is no perfect place to play. There is no perfect situation. I am sure he also knows that no amount of money can but happiness or contentment. He also knows that once he signs a contract, a ton will be expected of him. The pressures and the demands will grow.


Again, if it were me, I'd want this thing settled so I can make peace with my decision and move on. "Yup, I'm a Yankee for life" or "Ok, it's on to San Francisco" or whatever.


I hope Aaron Judge decides soon. And If I'm ready to know, I am sure he is as well. I'll speculate (again) that this is all over within two weeks, that Judge makes his decision and signs his new contract.


I also think it's be for $333 million and he'll stay with the Yankees.


***

I saw that Bryce Harper will miss at least half of next season due to a recent Tommy John surgery.


I'll always feel frustrated that the Yankees didn't sign Bryce Harper. More, I'll always feel some great disappointment in the decision makers of the franchise that they didn't even make him an offer. Uggg.


I believe that if Harper were a Yankee, that he'd already have helped this team to at least one World Championship. Maybe more.


It will be interesting to see how well Harper comes back. I'm sure he'll be great. He missed a lot of time in 2022 and now he'll miss time in 2023. It's tough when the team's big star goes down.


I do worry that Aaron Judge will not stay healthy throughout his contract. I worry that he might be injured more than he's on the field in certain years. I hope I'm wrong about that.


***

This isn't my question. I saw it elsewhere, but...


If you were starting a team from scratch, who would you take as your first pick, Aaron Judge or Mookie Betts? (More on this in a moment...)


***

The book I wrote with Roy White, From Compton to the Bronx, is getting outstanding reviews from writers who have seen the manuscript. I am receiving a great deal of praise from other baseball authors for this book.


The book comes out in April. Watch for many more book events and such.


I am so glad people are loving the book already.


***

Next Sunday the Hall of Fame veterans committee will make their announcement about who will get in.


My big prediction... it'll be between Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, and Fred McGriff - the three "good citizen" candidates on the ballot.


I can easy see McGriff making it.


I can also see Hall of Fame honors coming to Don Mattingly.


***

I love Don Mattingly. He is one of my favorite Yankees of all-time. I think, honestly, his candidacy comes up a little short for Cooperstown, but I think he'll be among the chosen few in a little over a week.


***

After going from four articles a day to three here on SSTN (a good decision, I believe, since each article is now afforded more viewing time and many generate tons of comments), we've had a nice collection of articles that are timely (and terrific!).


Have no fear, some of the standard other articles are ready and waiting for publication. I still have to finish counting down the best Yankees at each uniform number, there are plenty more 1977 Topps biographies, and lots more to come.


One thing is certain, we have tons of material to share.


No site covers the Yankees as well as we do. I'm very proud of that.


I am also proud of the fact that we give this content for free. It is so difficult to find good baseball writing for free on the Internet. So many site have some or all of their articles behind paywalls.


We don't do this for the money. We do this because we have a passion for baseball and the Yankees.

***

I teased this above...


On Thanksgiving night, MLBTR ran a poll in a live chat regarding Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge.


Here's the results...

It's a landslide in favor of Betts. This surprises me greatly.


I'm wondering what your thoughts are... and I'm wondering how the SSTN writers think of this.


On its face, heading into 2022, before last season played out, I would have voted for Betts. I would have thought, though, that Judge's 2022 season would have made the results markedly go opposite of results above. Judge is, of course, the bigger name in the news.


I am going to dig into this more myself and unless there is big Yankees news that comes out, I'll ask our writers to consider this question for this week's Tuesday Discussion.


***

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday.


I am thankful for all of you!







7 comments
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