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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/8/19

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Greg Bird on dealing with adversity; Historical context says the Yankees’ injuries may not be a problem; Gary Sanchez is on fire at the plate, not so much on the bases

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Dan Martin: Greg Bird is no stranger to adversity. His up-and-down Yankee tenure has been marked by struggles and he’s had to learn how to deal with the added pressure of playing under a microscope. His latest challenge is fending off his starting spot from the fan favorite Luke Voit. Bird offered some insight into how he tries to approach the situation:

You learn how to deal with adversity. There are a lot of things you can’t control. I’ve been through a lot of them, so I’ve had to figure it out. You either learn or go away. It’s kind of survival of the fittest, I guess. You make adjustments with experience.

[...]

I’ve gone through a lot of highs and lows and I’m just trying to keep the same approach I’ve always had, which has been preached to all of us here since we’ve been in the minors. I want to stay disciplined on pitches over the plate and own the middle. And if it’s a ball, let it go.

In other news, Greg Bird should cover “Let It Go” from Frozen.

New York Times | James Wagner: In a pretty exhaustive review of the Yankees’ injury woes out of the gate this season, this article pulls out some quotes and facts that offer context on the situation. While the team is understandably frustrated with the wave of injuries so far, there is still reason to hope. The last major league team to have as many injuries this early in the season was the 2016 Dodgers who went on to win their division and reach the NLCS. If the Yankees continue to hit dingers like they did against the Orioles this weekend, matching that success seems like a fairly attainable goal.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: It seems like an odd day to focus on any of Gary Sanchez’ negatives, given he smoked three homers yesterday, but here we are. Though he’s on fire at the plate, the Kraken has been criticized for a flurry of base running blunders. Aaron Boone was uncharacteristically annoyed when asked about Sanchez getting picked off several times throughout the series in Baltimore:

Gary was not going anywhere and ready for the throw—they had just talked about it—and I think just going back though you can’t allow yourself to slip off the bag. You’ve got to keep yourself in an athletic position even though you’re not being overly aggressive there. So that’s that.

[...]

We gave away too many outs … defensively, on the bases. But one thing our guys do really well is compete and I thought they did that really well in so many ways. But definitely little, small things that […] Especially when it’s a little bit hard right now (due to all the injuries), you’ve got to be on top of it.

Solid points. But, again, Gary Sanchez hit three home runs yesterday, so... call it even?