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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/5/21

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This is why the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole; Dent fired up; two end-of-year recaps from FanGraphs

MLB: Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: There are a lot of advantages to being a $324 million starting pitcher, but one thing that comes along with the contract is being The Guy in The Big Game. Gerrit Cole is The Guy tonight, getting the ball in the Wild Card Game against the Red Sox. After a bad September — a 6.35 ERA while battling a balky hamstring and potentially fatigue — Cole can make all the doubts around his performance disappear with a dominant start tonight.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: We’re inundated with comparisons to the 1978 single-game playoff between the Yankees and Red Sox, but this time, we get a chance to hear it from the star of the show, Bucky Dent himself. Dent’s doing all he can to get himself to Fenway Park for the Wild Card Game, and at age-69 would still cast a large shadow over the game — one that hopefully ends with a similar outcome.

FanGraphs | Jake Mailhot: As we get set for our first taste of postseason baseball in 2021, it’s worth comparing the field of entrants and sussing out how well the Yankees stack up. FG has them as one of the stronger teams thanks to a shutdown bullpen, but the risk of a one-game playoff hurts their chances.

FanGraphs | Chet Gutwin: In non-playoff news, the aging curve is a constant source of analysis and research as teams and fans try to figure out just when players exit their productive years. With a team that’s on the older side, including one of baseball’s elder statesmen in Brett Gardner, it’s interesting to see that Gardy has fallen off more than some of his contemporaries, although his strong second half might indicate he still has something left in the tank.