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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/22/23

Donaldson cleans up swing; Trevino back in lineup; Gleyber on WBC experience; Yanks previewed on Effectively Wild; Farewell, Willis Reed

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

NY Daily News | Gary Phillips: Guess who’s not looking like complete crap at the moment? Josh Donaldson! The embattled third baseman hit a pair of homers yesterday, thanks in part to a small recent change in swing mechanics that has him looking a lot cleaner at the plate. This isn’t just boasting either, as our own Esteban Rivera also noticed the tweak. My expectations for Donaldson’s offense this year are only barely higher than Aaron Hicks’ level, so if he can contribute with any kind of consistency, I’ll take it.

Also of note in Phillips’ article is that there was some brief confusion surrounding Jose Trevino yesterday, who was supposed to make his first start since March 9th (following a wrist injury) before getting scratched from the lineup. Then at first pitch, he was catching Luis Severino anyway. Weird! Whatever. The Yankees just need this guy to be the one behind the dish on Opening Day. | Randy Miller: Gleyber Torres is back with the Yankees after his World Baseball Classic sojourn with Team Venezuela, who had a remarkable undefeated run in pool play before falling to Trea Turner and Team USA in the quarterfinals. The experience has him amped to hopefully soon play World Series games in the Bronx because even the postseason couldn’t quite compare to the WBC energy. Torres might have picked up a tip or two from a rival too, as he alluded to Venezuelan teammate Jose Altuve offering pointers here and there to anyone and everyone.

FanGraphs | Ben Lindbergh & Meg Rowley: This is technically a podcast episode recommendation, but look. When one of my go-to baseball pods covers the Yankees and I’m on news duty, then I’m going to mention it. “Effectively Wild” interviewed longtime Yanks beat writer Brendan Kuty about the upcoming season at the 28:17 mark. If you have about 40 minutes to spare, it’s worth it! (Also, there’s Washington Nationals preview chatter if you decide that you’re a real baseball sicko like myself.)

Lastly, our thoughts go out to our crosstown neighbors. Posting and Toasting and the Knicks’ vast fanbase as a whole lost a true legend yesterday in Willis Reed. I’ll let those better equipped than me attest to his remarkable feats on the court, but I’ll always remember this 1970 photo of Reed and co. en route to their NBA Finals win. Those Yankees logo-inspired fits are incredible. He was an icon.