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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: The Yankees Keep Marching

by Paul Semendinger

April 13, 2023

***

I'm not sold on the 2023 Yankees, but I don't have to be. The Yankees don't care what I think. They don't even know what I think, or write. The Yankees don't care what I celebrate, or complain about. The Yankees will do things their way regardless if I applaud them or critique them... or anything in between.


The Yankees are off to a great start, but, I'm not buying in yet.


I'm not sold on Giancarlo Stanton having a bounce back season. I do not believe Harrison Bader will be back in a few weeks and I believe even less that he'll remain healthy once he does come back. I have believed the Yankees are a starting pitcher or two short for years now which is why the Jordan Montgomery trade will never make sense to me. D.J. LeMahieu (as I predicted well before the Yankees gave him a new contract) is a nice player, but not the player he was in 2019 and 2020 and now he seems quite injury prone. I am thrilled that Anthony Volpe made the team, but I am not one who believes his path to success will come easily. Many great players struggle early. I see that happening with him. The Yankees need to be patient with him. Batting him leadoff the other day was absurd. I am very fearful that the Yankees will get in the way of his success. The bullpen, to me, seems like it's made up of broken parts who have been patched together. I can see it all exploding in an instant. I wonder if Luis Severino will ever have a healthy season. I doubt he'll remain injury free when he comes back. It seems clear that Aaron Hicks isn't half the player he used to be. I fear that he'll play in another 130 games. Josh Donaldson too. I see many many many concerns...


But, all that being said, the Yankees seem, right now, at least, to be greater than the sum total of the parts. They're playing well together. They're winning in different ways. Except for the Domingo German start, the games have been enjoyable to watch. Franchy Cordero seems to be the latest genius find for Brian Cashman. Oswaldo Cabrera can seemingly do anything and play anywhere. Jhony Brito is a bright new arm. Nestor Cortes seems to be healthy and fine. Gerrit Cole is pitching great. Aaron Judge is... AARON JUDGE! Gleyber Torres is swinging the bat well. Anthony Rizzo is an all-around professional - with the bat, the glove, and in the clubhouse.

Yes, in spite of my concerns, there is a lot to like about this team.


As long as the Yankees keep winning series, it matters little what I say or predict or write about. I will always give my opinions. That's what a site like this is all about - the free (and respectable) exchange of ideas and thoughts... and worries.


I am going to be slow to jump on the 2023 Yankees bandwagon. I believe that once fans get burned a few times, they put up their defenses. The second half of last year was awful. It was horrible. The Yankees made believers of us and then slowly ripped out our hearts. But it wasn't just last year. It's been a long time since the Yankees were in the World Series. Too long. Far too long. I'm not ready or willing to say, "THIS TEAM IS GREAT!" until they show me a bit more. A lot more. They're off to a very good start, great, in fact. But it's only April 13.


I'll remain skeptical, because there is a lot to be skeptical about, but as I refuse to jump on the bandwagon, I'll still be hoping they win every game, and will be loving the fact that they are winning every series.


I hope the Yankees prove me wrong.


I don't believe in Giancarlo Stanton any longer. I think he's a shell of his former self. I can see him hitting fewer than 30 homers and batting less than .230 (while still having 12 of the 15 hardest hit balls this year). But that doesn't mean I want him to hit fewer than 30 homers and hit less than .230. I actually hope he hits 55 homers and bats .320. I never want my bad predictions about the Yankees to come true. I want the Yankees to prove me wrong.


I have been very critical of Aaron Boone as a manager. That doesn't mean I want him to fail. No way. I hope Boone wins the next 15 World Series and is considered the greatest manager ever. I'd rather be wrong about him, ten fold, that be correct and have the Yankees fall short of a championship again and again and again.


I might not be the most optimistic writer here. The Yankees have broken my heart too many times for me to not wonder when they'll do it again, but I'll enjoy every win. And hope that it continues all year long.


***

I took part in a great book signing in Ridgewood, New Jersey yesterday with Roy White. It was awesome. It was great to be part of something special. The people seemed happy enough to get my signature ("nice to meet you"), but they were overjoyed to meet Roy White and share their memories of him with him. Roy White was gracious and accommodating with all. It was fantastic.


I am very fortunate to have had the chance to write Roy White's autobiography with him.


I have always believed that anything is possible, that we need to reach for the stars, and that good things happen to people who work for them. This was an example of those philosophies all playing out. I'm living a dream right now.


***

When we give kindness, and goodness, and love, it comes back to us in greatest amounts than we ever gave.


***

The Tampa Bay Rays are now 12-0. Holy Cow. Does it mean anything yet? No, not yet. We saw how the Yankees were on pace for a million victories last year only to have a poor second half that sabotaged our hopes and dreams for a World Series.


BUT... if the Rays go just .500 the rest of the way, they'll end with 87 victories for the season. That's amazing. It's still not yet the middle of April. Of note, the Rays made the playoffs last year with 86 wins.


***

Let's Go Yankees!

25 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Apr 14, 2023

Let's enjoy the bright spots, though, like Jhony Brito's inevitable march to RoY honors!

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Apr 14, 2023
Replying to

I know. I know. Uggg.


Everyone throws a bad game every now and then.

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sbarbeau
Apr 13, 2023

Any chance you and Roy Whie make a trek to western NYS!?!

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Apr 13, 2023
Replying to

I doubt it. That's a far trek. What area are you talking about? I might be making a trip to Rochester and could see if a library or book store on the way would welcome me to talk.

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yankeesblog
Apr 13, 2023

I'm also skeptical about the team but not as down on Stanton as you are. The major factor in his bad second half was that he never really recovered from that injury. Of course, the same thing could happen this year but I think when healthy Stanton is still very productive. I have major concerns about the weak bottom of the lineup, too much playing time devoted to guys like Donaldson, Hicks and IKF and the bullpen. Clay Holmes is nor exactly Mariano Rivera out there and King has not looked as good as was before the injury. If Rodon and Sevy take longer than expected to come back then the Yankees would need to find a replacement for Schmidt…

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Apr 14, 2023
Replying to

Thank you.


So many people think that trade was so brilliant.


A lefty starter traded for an injured guy - a guy not just injured, but always injured.

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fuster
Apr 13, 2023

I do not believe Harrison Bader will be back in a few weeks and I believe even less that he'll remain healthy once he does come back.


if you play I Am the Walrus backwards


it says that Harrison and Bader are dead!!

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Apr 13, 2023
Replying to

Were you in a band?

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yankeerudy
Apr 13, 2023

FWIW The Yanks and Jays are tied for the first wildcard slot so far.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Apr 13, 2023
Replying to

It's way early. For the Ray, the Jays, and the Yankees.

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