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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/13/18

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Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps baseball card chosen as coolest ever; Miguel Andujar takes lead in ROY race; Aaron Boone on sitting Greg Bird after he finally looks hot; Didi has stellar day, invites Derek Jeter comparison from CC Sabathia.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Cut 4 | Michael Clair: In celebration of National Baseball Card Day, the Cut 4 team with MLB and a panel of experts chose the coolest Topps baseball card from each year. A number of cards featuring Yankees legends were selected, including Thurman Munson (1971), Reggie Jackson (‘80), Don Mattingly (‘84), and Derek Jeter (‘92, 2007, ‘15). Mickey Mantle had cards featuring his likeness selected as the ‘56, ‘58, and ‘62 winners, while his 1952 rookie card was voted the coolest Topps baseball card ever made.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Ackert argues that Miguel Andujar took the lead in the Rookie of the Year race with his go-ahead home run to beat the Rangers on Saturday. His 50 extra-base hits and 56 RBIs are the most among rookies this year, while his 17 home runs rank third. Andujar also boasts the highest batting average (.293), slugging average (.506), and OPS (.832) among rookie qualifiers in either league. Ackert doesn’t mention his continued problematic defense, but other writers did, including George A. King III of the New York Post and Steven Marcus of Newsday. | Brendan Kuty: Kuty reports on Aaron Boone being pressed on sitting Greg Bird after he finally looks hot. Bird had been struggling, but then he clubbed a pair of doubles in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. The next morning, he was out of the lineup, without a chance to build on his success.

Dan Martin of the New York Post also chimes in about how the Yankees are now handling Greg Bird curiously, while Mandy Bell of asserts that Bird is likely to keep sitting against southpaws.

“I think I handle lefties well,” Bird said. “I was ready to play. I didn’t play. An off day can be good, too.” | Mandy Bell: Bell talks about the highlight-reel play Didi Gregorius made during Sunday’s win versus the Rangers, as well as his two-run blast that gave the Yankees a commanding 6-0 lead. Kuty writes that Didi’s leadership acumen invited a Derek Jeter comparison from CC Sabathia, as does Ackert.

“I think it’s been since he got here, and taking over for who he took over,” Sabathia said, referring to Didi and Jeter. “What he’s done to turn around this team and the rebuilding, he’s been the No. 1 key. Because if he wouldn’t have come in and did what he did the last three or four years, we’d still be talking about Jete and how we need leadership and all that stuff. But he’s erased that.”

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