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The Tuesday Discussion: One Thing

April 2, 2024

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This week we asked our writers to respond to the following:


What is the best indication that you have seen, so far, that makes you believe that this Yankees team is for real?  (You can only list one thing.)


Here are their responses:

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James Vlietstra - A repeating sound bite from the commentators, specifically Paul O’Neill, who was there, is that, similar to when Wade Boggs arrived in 1993, the other younger players, especially Latin players, are watching Juan Soto and his approach at the plate. He is very patient with an excellent eye. 


The mid 90s Yankees were known for taking pitches, drawing walks, and knocking the starter out of the game early and winning with their dominant bullpen. 


Perhaps they are finally getting back to what worked. If you continue to see them taking pitches and drawing walks, the runs are going to keep scoring. 

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Lincoln Mitchell - The thing that gave me the most confidence in the Yankees this weekend was that the lineup seems longer. I was concerned about this in the off-season, but Soto, Verdugo, Wells and a hot start from Cabrera and Volpe make a big difference. I don’t expect Cabrera and Soto to hit this way all season, but not having any easy outs in the lineup is very important.

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Derek McAdam - While we’re only a few games in, Juan Soto’s presence in the lineup is going to only continue to improve the rest of the team. Soto isn’t going to hit like he did in Houston for the rest of the season, but once players like Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge get going, they should be able to take some of that weight off Soto’s shoulders. 

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Mike Whiteman - The grit that the Yankees showed against Houston is something that looks and feels very different from 2023, and is something that I think we'll see throughout the season. 

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Tim Kabel - So far, the best indicator of this Yankees’ team is for real is the fact that, unlike in past years, they are in every game. They come back and they don’t give up. The competitive spirit of the team in the individual players is stronger than in the past. 

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Paul Semendinger - The Yankees are playing smart, heads-up, fundamental baseball. It has been so fun to see them taking pitches, hitting singles and doubles as their focus, playing solid defense, and running the bases well. This is fun!!!

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Ethan Semendinger - Working long counts. Last night was a supreme example of this, as they had the Diamondbacks starter throw 76 pitches in just 2 and 2/3rds innings. By battling with every single hitter, they were able to quickly get to the bullpen and have the D-Backs use 4 relievers. That carries over to more tired arms today and a greater need for their starter to be great. It adds stress. It makes things just a bit harder and a bit more to think about for the other team.

13 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Apr 02

What is the best indication that you have seen, so far, that makes you believe that this Yankees team is for real?  (You can only list one thing.)


That four of their very best hitters, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Verdugo, and Anthony Rizzo aren't hitting very well....yet......and they are without their best pitcher, Gerrit Cole.....but yet, they are still undefeated at 5-0 anyway!

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Apr 02

Overall, this team is very different from last year's. Volpe is in Year 2, Cabrera seems to be a lot more comfortable at the plate now that the noise has quieted in his ear. Allowing the players to try to copy Soto, each in their own way, is something that was not tolerated last year. This lineup no longer has way too many of the same type of batters. While we were told that both Wells & Soto were awful fielders, it's clearly neither are. Both are at least decent enough. Plus, so far, the Yankees are not beating themselves, whether it's the pitchers giving too many free passes or too many errors, giving the other team extra chances.


But…

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Melfman1
Melfman1
Apr 02
Replying to

Alan, you do realize this is the first week of the season, right? There have hardly been a dozen pitchers in all of baseball go 6 innings to this point. They are still building up arm strength and I have no doubt that they will stretch them out longer in their next couple of starts. Take a breath, it’ll be ok.

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Apr 02

We'll know if it's real on September 30. On the morning of June 30, 2022, they were 56-20, the same record after 76 games as the 1998 Yankees. The '98 team went 58-28 the rest of the way enroute to a World Series sweep. The '22 team went 43-43, plus 3-6 in the post-season, including an ALCS sweep by Houston. I'll believe it's real when the Yankees are the No. 1 AL seed in the post-season. Until then, it's entirely plausible that this 5-0 team goes the way of the '92, '88 and '33 5-0 teams. Don't get me wrong: I'd love a magical season in the Bronx. But after being burned in '22, I'm not going to…

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jeff
Apr 03
Replying to

This is the season in which he can prove those two things. I can tell you that he has already proved that he can pitch in New York, as an OPPONENT. He always pitched very well AGAINST the Yankees at Yankee Stadium when he was with the White Sox. So it's just a matter of whether or not he can do it in a Yankee uniform.

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fuster
Apr 02

it's yet far from real. I'm fully convinced that they're not going to end the season undefeated.


as a young lady used to tell me


"You're only as good as your next one".


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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Apr 02
Replying to

They won't finish the season undefeated, no question about that, but I would definitely settle for an identical record to the won/loss record of the 1998 Yankees.

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