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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/7/23

Aaron Judge scheduled to come off IL; Luis Severino to begin rehab assignment; 1998 team came within inches of terrifying bus crash; On Seinfeld, the Yankees and Mets.

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Simon Hampton: The Yankees offense is floundering with the team’s two biggest sluggers out of action, but one of those massive presences is on track to return soon. Aaron Judge, out since April 27th with a right hip strain, is expected to be activated off the IL on Tuesday (the earliest date possible) in time to face the A’s. He will provide a massive boost to an offense that is currently 27th in MLB in hits and 28th in on-base percentage.

New York Daily News | Jack Curry (excerpted from The 1998 Yankees: The Inside Story of the Greatest Baseball Team Ever): In his new book, Yankees insider Jack Curry chronicled the untold stories behind the legendary 1998 Yankees, and here he relates a terrifying account of a narrowly-avoided catastrophe that could’ve derailed the season before it even began. On a preseason bus ride from Tijuana to San Diego, an overzealous and distracted bus driver crossed the center median and almost flipped the vehicle carrying the entire team. He managed to get the transport back under control, but the players would not travel a further inch on the bus from hell and walked the rest of the way to the border.

Sports Illustrated | Pat Ragazzo: Judge’s recovery isn’t the only good news the Yankees have received on the injury front. Luis Severino has yet to pitch this season after starting the campaign on the IL with a lat strain, but he’s been making steady progress to get back on the field. He recently completed a three-inning, 40-pitch sim game and is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Wednesday. He will likely require a few starts with Scranton before he’s ready to join the Yankees, but his return is highly anticipated given the struggles of Clarke Schmidt and Jhony Brito deputizing in the rotation.

Defector | Noah Gittell: Seinfeld enjoyed an indelible link with New York baseball, but the identity of that association experienced a subtle shift as the show progressed. Originally a staunchly Mets sitcom, the loyalties of the show’s main characters gradually shifted over to the Yankees, the favorite team of the show’s creator Larry David. The sitcom crossed the Rubicon in the season 5 finale titled “The Opposite” when George accepts a job as an assistant to the Yankees’ traveling secretary. From there the franchise became a firmly Yankees show, with George Steinbrenner becoming a recurring character and Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Danny Tartabull, and Buck Showhalter all making cameos.