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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/1/2020

Judge hitting off a tee; Diversity worth examining on and off the field; Cole’s fastball the game’s best

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images | Randy Miller: The saga of Aaron Judge’s broken rib — and collapsed lung! — has been a long and winding one for Yankee fans in this extended offseason. Small “baby steps” appear to be made however, as the Yankees’ best player is hitting off a tee. With a restarted spring, er, summer training beginning today, the right fielder has three weeks to get back into game shape.

Joon Lee | ESPN: We’re grappling with a renewed racial reckoning and the end of Pride Month, focusing a hot lens on what diversity and inclusion actually means in all industries and sectors. While several MLB players have spoken out recently on what MLB can do to be more just and inclusive, Joon takes a hard look at the front office of the game, where the people in charge of the sport look more and more the same, undercutting MLB’s pursuit of representation and inclusivity. | David Adler: We’re used to seeing wild breaking pitches as Yankee fans — Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter and slider, Dellin Betances’ wild slurve — but Gerrit Cole is a #1 pitcher who relies on the #1 pitch. Cole’s fastball is arguably the best in all of baseball, and will be a very different viewing experience for fans who may have become accustomed to Yankee pitchers relying on offspeed and breaking balls over the last few seasons.

Happy Canada Day, PSAers from Canada.