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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/22/23

Jeter unimpressed with Yanks’ approach to playoffs; Steinbrenner ‘confused’ by upset Yankee fans; Scouts unsure of Volpe’s swing changes; How Bader is addressing injury bug; Wemby hits the City; Judge up for ESPY

Aaron Judge Press Conference Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

FOX Sports | Deesha Thosar: Derek Jeter sat down for a Q&A in advance of his Fox broadcasting debut in the upcoming London Series between the Cubs and Cardinals. He answered a range of questions from his transition from the executive suite into the broadcast booth to his thoughts on Aaron Judge’s captaincy. The most eye-catching segment of the interview saw the five-time World Series winner reflect on the current state of the Yankees as well as criticize many teams’ approach to the playoffs:

I don’t think anyone in the Yankee organization is just gonna sit there and say, ‘Hey we just gotta get into the playoffs.’ I just think that’s the wrong mentality to have.”

Unfortunately, that’s precisely the postseason approach the Yankees have practiced over at least the last half-decade.

New York Post | Jon Heyman: Anthony Volpe has struggled mightily since the first week of May and several scouts are concerned over changed he’s made to his swing since graduating to the majors. They feel that he is swinging harder and more uphill, and that these changes represent a marked departure from the mechanics that brought him success in the minors. They also lament the disappearance of on-base threat from his game as the walks have dried up in exchange for elevated strikeouts over the last month-and-a-half. Despite this, the Yankees remain committed to Volpe continuing his development in the majors, a decision magnified by Oswald Peraza’s hot start at Triple-A.

Sports Illustrated | Karl Rasmussen: Earlier this week, Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke with the media for the second time this season to address the offense’s woes. This time, his boss took to the mic, with Hal Steinbrenner appearing on The Michael Kay Show to speak about the team’s struggles at the plate. The Yankees principal owner admitted he was “confused” that Yankees fans were upset as early as the third week of June. He urged for patience, citing the slew of injuries the Yankees have suffered for this sluggish stretch. Of course, those comments ring a bit more hollow considering it’s the same boilerplate fans have been fed for failure to reach the World Series over the last handful of seasons.

NJ Advance Media | Max Goodman: Harrison Bader’s talent and impact on the Yankees is undeniable, which makes it all the more imperative that he and the team find ways to keep him on the field. Since he arrived from the Cardinals, he has played in only 41 of a possible 130 games owing to plantar fasciitis, an oblique strain suffered in spring, and the latest hamstring injury. The Gold Glove center fielder has admitted that there are instances when he can scale back and be smart rather than push the limits of max effort on every play.

The New York Times | Tania Ganguli: Consensus first overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft Victor Wembanyama toured New York City on Tuesday, hitting a handful of the essentials. He rode the subway to Yankee Stadium, where he signed autographs, hung around during batting practice, and threw out a rather terrible ceremonial first pitch. He even spent some time chatting with Jose Trevino in the dugout, who made sure to get a signed Spurs jersey from the uber prospect.

New York Daily News | James O’Connell: Aaron Judge’s record-breaking MVP campaign of 2022 earned him a nomination for ESPN’s Best Male Athlete ESPY. He will face stern competition for the award on July 12th, with Nikola Jokic, Patrick Mahomes, and Lionel Messi making up the other nominees. Judge’s 62 home runs were not enough to earn him a nomination for Best Record-Breaking Performance — that will be contended by Novak Djokovic, LeBron James, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Max Verstappen — though he will contend against Shohei Ohtani, Justin Verlander, and Paul Goldschmidt for Best MLB Player.