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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/24/22

DJ LeMahieu is not close to returning; the flack over Apple airing Friday’s game; Oswaldo Cabrera wants to play left in the playoffs; a history of one of the best Aaron Judge moments this year

MLB: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Yankees offense has looked better as of late, especially the crucial non-Aaron Judge players. Unfortunately, one of their key players in DJ LeMahieu is still not close to his return from the IL. The toe injury that threw his season off the rails is not gone — while he recently took batting practice on the field, he reported afterwards that he can’t play with how his foot felt during it. He’s simply still participating in baseball activities so that, if he can ramp back up, he isn’t starting from zero. With how he hit with the injury, rushing him back even for the playoffs doesn't seem like a viable option. | Bridget Hyland: The kerfuffle over Apple TV+ holding the exclusive rights to Friday’s night game while Judge chased history reached as high as the New York Attorney General’s office. Michael Kay was blessed by MLB and the YES Network to call the game, but he declined out of respect for the existing crew. Apple’s crews and broadcasts haven’t exactly gotten rave reviews, an aspect of their deal with MLB put deeper in the spotlight with their chance to air history. | Brendan Kuty: Oswaldo Cabrera has dipped his toes into the left field waters this season, after already showing some real skills in right. The injury to Andrew Benintendi and the struggles of Aaron Hicks means the spot is glaringly open to patrol the outfield alongside Harrison Bader and Judge. Cabrera, for his part, thinks he’ll be fine playing left in the playoffs. He admits it’s not an easy transition, but that he and the coaching staff have been working hard to get him used to it.

ESPN | Ryan Hockensmith: One amazing aspect of Judge’s amazing season that you may have forgotten during the home run record chase is his experience with young Yankee fan Derek Rodriguez. A Blue Jays fan caught a Judge home run during a game in Toronto and, seeing the young fan, gave him the ball, making the kid emotional in what turned into a viral moment. ESPN gets into the longer story of the people involved, and it might get you choked up all over again.