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Yankees mailbag: Domingo German and the end of year awards

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Get your answers to this week’s mailbag here.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Good morning everyone, get your answers to this week’s mailbag here. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Christopher Wenk asks: Isn’t the suspension for Domingo German too long now in light of the shortened season this year? The 81-game punishment was clearly intended to be a half-season suspension. But now, with the short season this year, he’s going to miss the entire 2020 season. Shouldn’t MLB revise the punishment in light of the circumstances this year?

So MLB addressed suspensions like German’s and any other standing suspensions early in the process when they suspended spring training. Under the agreement, German would have to serve the remaining 63 games of his suspension (the 81 games retroactively began when the Yankees placed him on administrative leave last year) no matter what the outcome of the 2020 season became. If there were games remaining when the season ended due to it being too short — which in this case would happen, as German would have three games left to serve — they would not carry over into 2021, and the suspension would be considered finished.

That means that German cannot play at all in the regular season. He was eligible for postseason play this year, as he sat out the entirety of the 2019 postseason already, but the odds of the Yankees activating him after not pitching all year are practically nonexistent. Not only would it be a headache to reintroduce a player coming off of a morally repugnant offense right before the postseason, but it would be unlikely that German would be effective at all with no way to get in game-shape.

That may not be “fair” per the intent of the suspension number, which as mentioned is half of a normal season, but to be honest I don’t really care if it’s fair to him. German more than deserved his suspension, and he’ll have to live with the consequences.

psualum9931 asks: Will there be an end-of-year All Star team? Will there also be the annual awards voting?

Around this time in a normal year we’d be gearing up for All-Star Game coverage, with hopefully a handful of Yankees involved to root for. Sadly, there won’t be one this year according to Jeff Passan (at the end of a great anecdotal thread of his on Twitter). Perhaps there will be some ceremonial voting at the end of the year for an All-Star ballot, as those distinctions do hold some weight in contract negotiations and the sample size should be large enough for them to matter.

End of year awards are still going to be a thing at least, so we’ll have some very interesting races for a short-season MVP and Cy Young. There will probably be a lot of candidates riding a hot streak that may or may not have carried throughout the grind of a 162-game season, so expect some varied ballots and a potentially nail-biting finish.