clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/17/23

Rob Manfred speaks about Oakland Athletics, Pride Month; Yankees minor league contracts are the reason they’re afloat; Oswaldo Cabrera, Uber Eats driver; Aaron Judge receives second shot

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

San Francisco Giants v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Michael Baumann: You know, after the lockout, I was hoping that we were going to have a moratorium on Rob Manfred taking up headlines, but well, here we are again. While speaking to the media at the owners’ meetings this week, the head lackey of MLB’s money hoarders put his foot in his mouth on a number of issues. This time around, he mostly word vomited over the Oakland Athletics stadium/relocation issue, insulting the fanbase’s reverse-boycott, gaslighting the fans and the city of Oakland and blaming them for ownership’s decision to move the franchise to Las Vegas, and criticized the legitimacy of academics who have shown conclusively in studies that span decades that public funding of sports stadiums do not generate economic growth, saying that “academics can say whatever they want. I think the reality tells you something else.”

The fact that the last line about Oakland echoes a broader talking point attempting to delegitimize education in this country brings us to the other major topic that Manfred spoke about, Pride Month. Asked whether the league has considered standardized Pride Month celebrations akin to the Jackie Robinson Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and other special occasions throughout the year — days which often come with special uniforms that, coincidentally, are available for sale in the team store and on! — Manfred said that “We have told teams...that we don’t think putting logos on them is a good idea just because of the desire to protect players.” Protect them from what, exactly? Showing their true colors?

Between the pandemic-shortened season, the lockout, the minor league reorganization, and now this, the league has been the one showing its true colors. | Randy Miller: Aaron Judge received a second shot in his foot yesterday, this time to address a second ligament that’s been bothering him. Aaron Boone expressed some optimisms, stating that he thinks it’s possible that Judge could be back before the All-Star Break, though there’s still not timetable for his return.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: The big ticket, nine-figure free agent deals are the ones that draw everybody’s attention, but oftentimes, it’s the small contracts and the minor league deals that keep a team going through the long grind of the 162 game season. So far this year, the Yankees have gotten significant contributions from players who were originally acquired on minor league deals. Pitchers Jimmy Cordero, Ryan Weber, Nick Martinez, and Ian Hamilton have helped keep the Yankees’ bullpen among the game’s elite, while Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun, and Billy McKinney have reinforced an outfield that has seen Aaron Judge and Harrison Bader miss significant time. Because of their contributions, the Yankees have remained in playoff contention.

Sports Illustrated | Tom Brew: One of the big topics of discussion heading into the season was the new balanced schedule, in which — for the first time ever — everybody will play everybody at least once. In order to make that happen, intra-division games were dropped from 19 to 13, meaning that division rivals now only play four series against each other over the course of the season. While, on the whole, this is good, the league is still dealing with some growing pains with the schedule that should be ironed out in future seasons: for example, why do the Yankees and Red Sox, The Rivalry with a capital R, not play each other for two months, then play in back-to-see back weekends, and then not again until August. Shouldn’t these divisional matchups be spread out just a bit better?

The Athletic | Brendan Kuty: (subscription required) We end today’s news with an article that is equal parts uplifting and depressing. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the minor league season canceled, Yankees prospect Oswaldo Cabrera needed money, not only to continue training, but also simply to live. Because of that, he took a number of jobs in Miami, working as a painter, moving furniture, and working as a DoorDash/Uber Eats driver. Even with his struggles at the plate this year, Cabrera has come a long, long way.