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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/27/22

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Yankees’ hitting coach talks about philosophy and forecasts an exciting season for the offense; Roger Clemens’ impressions after latest Hall snub; How will voters evaluate Carlos Beltran’s case for Cooperstown?

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson is known for his “hit strikes hard” philosophy, but he took some time to fully explain what he means with the phrase.

“When we swing at strikes, we’re likely to make more contact. When we make more contact, we’re likely to hit the ball harder. When we make hard contact, we would like to hit it over the infield. Sometimes we would like to hit it over the outfield fence. All of that works.”

It’s pretty simple: Lawson preaches plate discipline and hard contact. He will be tasked with improving a Yankees’ offense that finished in the middle of the pack in several totals and categories last season.

New York Post | Ryan Glasspiegel Roger Clemens leads all pitchers in MLB history in fWAR with 133.7, is third in strikeouts with 4,671, won 354 games and finished with a 3.12 ERA and a 3.09 FIP. Yet 34.8 percent of voters decided he wasn’t going to the Hall of Fame in his last year of eligibility through the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

Clemens, who pitched with the Yankees between 1999 and 2003 (and again in 2007) and won two World Series rings in the process, went to Twitter to talk about the subject. His message:

“I figured I’d give y’all a statement since it’s that time of the year again. My family and I put the HOF in the rear view mirror ten years ago. I didn’t play baseball to get into the HOF. I played to make a generational difference in the lives of my family, then focus on winning championships while giving back to my community and the fans as well. It was my passion. I gave it all I had, the right way, for my family and for the fans who supported me. I am grateful for that support. I would like to thank those who took the time to look at the facts and vote for me. Hopefully everyone can now close this book and keep their eyes forward focusing on what is really important in life. All love!”

Clemens could still get into Cooperstown via the Veteran’s Committee.

Newsday | Noah Trister: Retired outfielder Carlos Beltrán, who played for the Yankees from 2014-16, will be eligible for next year’s Hall of Fame voting process. He hasn’t been linked to steroids, but he carries his own baggage: the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, the one that put him in an ongoing baseball exile and cost him the Mets’ managerial job two years ago.

Beltrán hit 435 home runs, stole 312 bases, and finished with a 118 wRC+ and 67.9 fWAR over a 20-year career. He has a serious shot. How will voters respond to his particular case, though?