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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/19/21

Yankees honor Stonewall Scholarship recipients; Judge rules out Home Run Derby; Yanks’ broadcasting teams await approval to travel; Torres OK after injury scare; A unique triple play

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images | Bryan Hoch: Before opening up their series with the Athletics, the Yankees took some time to highlight the 2021 recipients of their Stonewall Scholarship Initiative, a fund the team started in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the raids on Stonewall Inn and subsequent riots, with the goal of assisting queer high school seniors from NYC boroughs. The celebration was a part of the team’s Legacy of Pride event, as the organization attempts to be more inclusive during this year’s Pride month.

Also in Hoch’s notes are Aaron Judge’s latest stance on the Home Run Derby. Judge has said that he plans not to attend the Derby anymore, with one caveat — he might do it if the All-Star Game was hosted in Yankee Stadium. It’s a shame not seeing Judge headlining an event custom made for his skill set, but it’s understandable considering Judge credits his inclusion on the 2017 Derby as a major reason for his shoulder problems later that year.

NY Post | Andrew Marchand: Calling a game where you can’t see the action beyond the regular broadcast is a difficult task, and it can have its downfalls — like what happened on Wednesday to Suzyn Waldman. Waldman looked down for a second, and ended up missing a controversial play where the Yankees got a foul tip that the Blue Jays argued was a dropped third strike — which would’ve allowed a run to score.

Waldman, alongside her broadcast partner John Sterling and the announcers for the YES Network, have been sidelined whenever the Yankees go on a road trip, and it’s uncertain when they’ll be allowed to travel with the team. MLB has a rule for broadcasters travelling being tied to the team’s vaccination rate, which the Yankees have complied with already, as well as said broadcasters being vaccinated, so at this point, its on WFAN and whether they want to pay for their employees’ travel accommodations again. | Brendan Kuty: Gleyber Torres had a bit of a scare in the series finale against the Blue Jays, getting pulled in the fourth inning for Rougned Odor. Aaron Boone later said that Torres was experiencing tightness in his lower back, but was feeling fine right after the game. Things wound up OK for now, as Torres played in the next game against the Athletics on Friday, but it’s something to monitor for a bit.

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: In case you missed it, the Yankees turned a triple play for the second time this season, and it was one that had never been done before. What started as a normal ground out to the pitcher turned into a blunder of a play for the Blue Jays, who wasted a situation where they had men on second and third with no outs, thanks to a deer-in-headlights moment from Marcus Semien. Semien froze partway to third, while Bo Bichette dashed hard to third, held up when he saw Semien stay, and the Yankees wound up getting both of them between the basepaths.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: In minor league news, the Yankees released Kyle Barraclough from his contract. Barraclough had been a depth option for the bullpen down in Scranton, getting decent results but struggling wildly with his control, making him a redundant piece for a ‘pen that has been very solid so far this season.