All those who complained that the Yankees were too reliant on the home run during the 2012 season may get their wish for less dingers next season after the departure of Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, and Andruw Jones, in addition to Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery keeping him out of the first few months of the year. Replacing that production with the likes of Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, and Ichiro Suzuki isn't really conducive to impressive power displays, and I have to admit that makes me a little sad, because we chicks do dig the long ball. So, here's a look back at the ten longest bombs by Yankees in 2012, according to True Distance on Hit Tracker Online.
10. Alex Rodriguez vs. Steve Delabar - Safeco Field - 7/23/12 - True Distance: 437 feet - Out in 30 of 30 parks
With the Yankees up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the Centaur sent a 1-1 pitch deep to left center to put the team up 4-1. Hitting a home run off Steve Delabar is no great feat, but they are moving the fences in at Safeco for a reason. On this night, they could not hold down A-Rod, though. Unfortunately, his season would be altered dramatically two nights later after getting hit in the hand by a pitch from Felix Hernandez.
9. Russell Martin vs. Jose Mijares - Kauffman Stadium - 5/5/12 - True Distance: 438 feet - Out in 30 of 30 parks
The Royals were shutting out the Yankees 5-0 in the 7th inning in Kansas City when Russell Martin sent a solo shot deep to left to finally put the Yankees on the board for his third homer of the year. For a guy who was nearly nonexistent most of the season offensively, it was quite a shot. His creepy mustache will not be missed.
With the Yankees holding on to a narrow 1-0 lead in the 8th inning against the Reds, Cano's solo shot deep into the right field bleachers gave the team a little more breathing room late in the game. It was Arroyo's 94th pitch of the game, and Cano's fourth homer of the season. Dusty Baker's face at 0:19 of the video makes everything worth it.
7. Robinson Cano vs. Miguel Batista - Citi Field - 6/22/12 - True Distance: 440 feet - Out in 30 of 30 parks
The Yankees were trailing their cross-town rivals 6-2 in the 8th inning when Cano brought the Yankees a little closer with a two-run shot deep to right field. Cano had been hitless in the game to that point, but did not miss on Batista's slider. It wouldn't be the last time Cano came out on top in the battle with Batista.
6. Robinson Cano vs. Miguel Batista - Citi Field - 6/24/12 - True Distance: 440 feet - Out in 28 of 30 parks
Two days after the previous home run, Cano got the best of Batista again. This time, the stakes were higher. The Yankees and Mets were tied at five a piece when Cano sent the 13th pitch from Batista over the centerfield wall in Queens for his 16th dinger of the year. Mets fail is not quite my favorite fail, but it is up there.
Chavez's 13th homer of the season came on a 2-2 pitch from Dempster that cleared the bullpens and extended the Yankee lead to 6-2 over the Rangers. Though Chavez will now be taking his fragile talents to Arizona, his 2012 season was productive, thanks in large part to the fact that he was able to remain mostly healthy for it.
4. Robinson Cano vs. Clay Buchholz - Yankee Stadium - 10/1/12 - True Distance: 449 feet - Out in 29 of 30 parks
In the second inning with the game still scoreless, Cano tied Bobby Murcer at 175 on the Yankees' all-time homer list with his 31st dinger of the season, topping his previous career high. The solo shot went deep to centerfield, appearing to just glance off the Mohegan Sun Sports bar beyond Monument Park. By this point in the season, the Red Sox had truly quit on 2012, so the game and series may have had less importance than Yankees/Red Sox match ups of old, but sticking it to Bostonians and their baseball team will never get old. Ever.
It's not unusual to see Alex Rodriguez or Robinson Cano make the list of longest Yankee home runs, but Casey McGehee is a bit of a surprising one, if only for the fact that his Yankee tenure was pretty uninspiring. Against former Yankee Aaron Laffey north of the border, though, McGehee proved himself in all his country strong glory with a three-run homer to left-center that put the Yankees on top 4-0 in the 4th inning. The video contains some pretty hilarious Mark Teixeira doing his usual Mark Teixeira things in the dugout in celebration, in addition to the second deck shot.
2. Andruw Jones vs. Tommy Milone - O.co Coliseum - 5/27/12 - True Distance: 454 feet - Out in 30 of 30 parks
Going to be honest, I don't have a lot of good things to say about Andruw Jones right now. What he did is deplorable and I'm disappointed that that kind of person was very recently associated with my favorite team. That being said, his solo shot off Milone put the Yankees up 1-0 in the second inning in Oakland for his 5th homer of the season. Enjoy Japan.
1. Alex Rodriguez vs. Justin Verlander - Comerica Park - 6/3/12 - True Distance: 455 feet - Out in 30 of 30 parks
Everyone knows how great Justin Verlander is. If you don't, just listen to one game that he pitches in and you will get beaten over the head with it by whoever happens to be announcing. Anytime that the longest home run of the season comes off of a pitcher of that caliber, it's impressive, and this is no exception. A-Rod's solo shot to left field put the Yankees up 3-0 on the Great Verlander and his Tigers in the third inning for his ninth homer of the season.