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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/3/21

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John Sterling survives hurricane scare; Double-A ballpark partially submerged; Yankees impacting Hall of Fame odds; Derek Jeter’s teammates salute upcoming induction

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays

New York Daily News | Sarah Valenzuela: Hurricane Ida threatened the life of legendary Yankees announcer John Sterling on Wednesday night. While trying to beat the storm home and return from Yankee Stadium, he got stuck on a flooded road in Edgewater, NJ, where at least 25 other cars were stranded. With a phone-a-friend assist from WFAN broadcast partner Suzyn Waldman, Spanish-language announcer Rickie Ricardo came to his rescue, wading through the water to his flooded car and helping him reach safety at home. Many kudos go out to Ricardo for helping avert what very well could have ended in tragedy, or at least serious harm to the 83-year-old icon. (Read here for Sterling’s own account of the scary event.)

MLB.com | Benjamin Hill & Josh Jackson: By now, the odds are good that if you’re a baseball fan, you’ve seen footage of the flooded TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ, home of the Somerset Patriots (the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate). The damage is not exactly subtle. Senior vice president Marc Russinoff spoke to MLB.com about it, noting that they have been able to pull off quick, similar cleanups in the past with Hurricanes Floyd and Irene. That being said, he couldn’t guarantee a return to baseball just yet; the Patriots are next scheduled to play at home on Tuesday, September 7th. For now, the team is focused on helping their close-knit community recover as well.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: The Hall of Fame expert chimed in on which active veteran players have done the most to increase their Cooperstown chances in 2021. One of the hitters mentioned was Giancarlo Stanton, who has thrived in his first fully healthy season in three years. Simply staying on the field is key, and he now sits at 41.8 fWAR with 337 long balls through his age-31 season. With six years left on his contract, a run at 500 homers would go a long way toward boosting his odds of enshrinement. Aroldis Chapman is also mentioned in Jaffe’s edition on pitchers, though more regarding the fact that he’ll need a Craig Kimbrel-esque career rebound after a so-so 2021 to get back on track.

The Players’ Tribune: This is a cool project by the Players’ Tribune, which Derek Jeter founded as his playing career came to a close. Friends, family, and several Yankees teammates — like Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, CC Sabathia, Hideki Matsui, and more — sent in audio clips congratulating the Hall of Famer on his enshrinement to Cooperstown. His induction will take place on September 8th.