The 2020 Season So Far… (Perspectives)
By Paul Semendinger July 26, 2020
The season is young, but I have some quick reflections:
Giancarlo Stanton seems locked in. LOCKED IN. One aspect of his game that has troubled me seeing him on a regular basis has been the little flinch he seems to do as some pitches come in – usually fastballs in and some curve balls as well. This has troubled me because it seems like he’s not getting a good read on the ball out of the pitcher’s hand. In the two games I have seen thus far, I haven’t seen that flinch. That’s a good sign. If Stanton is seeing the ball well, he will have a good year.
I’m not worried, at all, about James Paxton and his poor start. It was one game. He had nothing, but it was one game.
I was glad to see Brett Gardner batting ninth in Game Two. I think he could be a real force from the bottom of the order. Too often managers play a guy based on his previous years, not who the player is currently. I think Gardy can still play, but I also don’t think he’s a top of the order hitter any longer.
Of all the players on the team, the one who doesn’t look like himself is Luke Voit. He seems so slimmed down. He also has longer hair. He’s also wearing a different uniform number since Gerrit Cole got #45. It took me a moment to realize that Luke Voit was Luke Voit.
Gerrit Cole looked great. There is a chance that a starting pitcher, who will only get about twelve starts could go undefeated for the season. Imagine if Gerrit Cole went 10-0 in his first Yankees season? How awesome would that be?
I thought Michael King looked great in Game Two, at least at the start. He got the Yankees out of a bases loaded situation (in the second inning) with no outs allowing just a run on a double play. He then pitched a solid third inning allowing no runs. In the fourth, he gave up a homer. After he got out of the inning, his night should have been over. Aaron Boone left him in and he gave up two more hits, threw away a pick-off throw and the game got out of hand. That was a bad call by Boone.
I like the feature Fox played that showed how they are producing the games and the pre-game show from locations all across the country. The announcing has seemed to work seamlessly. I give them (and ESPN) high marks for the first two games.
Having no fans in the stands doesn’t bother me at all. The focus is on the game and I find that I care just as much as ever when the Yankees are playing. I can’t help it. Wanting the Yankees to win is embedded in my DNA. I can’t not care. If the Yankees a playing a regular season game that counts, I care about how they do. (That being said, I did not sit through the whole game on Saturday. It’s not fun to watch the Yankees getting crushed.)
I’m not sure what I’ll think about the cardboard cutout fans until I watch a game with them there. I like the idea. I think it’s a fun idea – especially when certain teams are going to send the foul balls that hit a cardboard fan to that fan. That’s tremendous PR. I love it.
The Red Sox are offering a package that allows fans to buy a cardboard cutout and as part of the package, they would receive all of the stadium giveaways from 2020. That sounds very cool. I hope the Yankees offer a reasonably priced package to get all the giveaways planned for the season. That would be fun to order and receive in the mail – a treasure trove of unique items.
We do have to admit that when it comes to fan relations, the Yankees are not always as creative, fun, or original as many other teams. Sometimes they rely too much on the fact that they’re the “Yankees” and they don’t do the little things that other teams do to connect with the fans. (And, because of their large fan base, it is a fact that the Yankees don’t have to do these things.) Still, I’m hoping they come up with some fun ways to engage us all by coming up with unique ideas and such. Here’s one idea – sell each seat for $2.00 a game. If a ball goes into the stands and hits the seat, the fan who purchased the seat gets the ball. As an added bonus, the player who hit or threw the ball there should also sign it. That’s an easy way for the Yankees to make a ton of revenue while also giving back to the fans in some way and making it fun to watch. The announcers could even announce the fan’s name during the broadcast – “Well, you know Susan, Billy Preston of Hackensack will be getting that foul ball off the bat of Mike Tauchman in the mail in a week or two…”
“That is good for Billy, John. I know he’s a big Yankees fan.”
It’s great that Yankees baseball is back.
Thank you for sticking with us through the longest off-season in history.
Let’s Go Yankees!