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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/24/19

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Sonny Gray has no explanation for his struggles in New York; Mariano discusses the communication barrier from his early years; Baseball is better off now that a candidate has been voted in unanimously; A-Rod needs Bonds and Clemens to succeed for him to get in.

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: It’s no secret that it didn’t work out for Sonny Gray in New York. When asked about his struggles, the ex-Yankee was unable to come up with any explanations. He felt fine on the mound, and said that he learned a lot. For their part, the Reds don’t think there is anything physically wrong with him, and are happy with what they’ve seen of his velocity and spin rates. Here’s hoping for better luck in Cincinnati.

NY Daily News | Kristie Ackert: In the whirlwind of stories going around after being voted into the Hall of Fame, Mariano Rivera touched on one of the lesser known details of his early career. As he went through the minor leagues, some nights he broke down crying as he struggled with the language barrier that existed between himself and his coaches. The game has improved in a lot of ways in this regard, funding translators for all teams and growing heavily in its Latin American presence, but at the time it was one more hurdle for the greatest reliever of all time to overcome on his own.

ESPN | Sam Miller: There has also been plenty of discussion about the significance of Mo getting voted in unanimously. Some may have their gripes about how and who it was that got the fabled 100% of the ballots, but Miller talks about why we’re better off for just having crossed that threshold finally, and how the game can benefit from that going forward. He also links to an excellent in-depth piece at the end that chronicles how close we came to someone being voted in unanimously in the past, and why that never happened.

NJ.com | Mike Rosenstein: Looking ahead from this year’s inductees, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still have not gathered enough of the vote to get in. In fact, they only went up marginally from the amount of ballots they received last year. This is particularly bad news for former Yankee Alex Rodriguez, whose Hall of Fame case will largely be impacted by the outcome of Bonds and Clemens. Rodriguez will need the cases of suspected PED users to gain traction in the next couple of years before his case gets heard for the first time in 2022, and the voters remain divided on the issue.