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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/27/18

Yankees have a chance to erase second half malaise; Boone hasn’t named Wild Card starter yet; Gregorius and Hicks get good news on injury front; Bird still optimistic in spite of lost season

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

New York Post | Mike Vaccaro - The Yankees have played poorly for the better part of the second half, but that doesn’t matter come Wednesday. The Bombers get a clean slate in the Wild Card Game, a chance to rewrite the season’s narrative. Vaccaro remembers another Yankees team that went sluggishly down the stretch, and they ended up winning the World Series. The past is prologue, and nowhere is that more true than the MLB playoffs.

New York Post | George King - Speaking of the Wild Card Game, the Yankees still haven’t named a starter. The team is still said to be weighing their options, so it’s anyone’s guess. It is clear, however, that the club will not employ an opener. “I see one of our three starters starting that game,” Aaron Boone told King. So there goes David Cone’s idea of using Chad Green in the first inning. | Bryan Hoch - The Yankees suffered a series of injury scares over the last week, but thankfully they all look harmless. Yesterday the team received good news on Didi Gregorius (wrist), as the shortstop is cleared for baseball activities. Aaron Hicks (hamstring) checked out with a clean MRI as well. Both expect to see some action this weekend in Boston. | Randy Miller - This has been another nightmare season for Greg Bird. The 25-year-old has battled injury and ineffectiveness, hitting just .195/.285/.383 with 11 home runs on the year. He has essentially been replaced by Luke Voit, who has shown no signs of letting go of the starting job. Still, Bird remains undeterred. “I’m just going to keep working and keep my head up,” he told Miller. “This season is still going. It’s far from over and I’m still here.” The whole interview is an interest read, as Bird opens up about what it’s like to struggle at the big league level.