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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/19/23

The Yanks just can’t get out of their own way; Gerrit Cole has lived up to his seemingly impossible to live-up-to contract; Judge officially a member of the Jordan Brand.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

ESPN | David Schoenfield: The 2023 Yankees are as good as toast. Their playoff odds took another big hit as they got blown out by the Red Sox to open this weekend’s series, putting them further behind a team that is merely between them and a Wild Card spot, let alone the teams that are actually in control of their playoff destinies at the moment. Unlike the past few years there’s simply no surprise player emerging to deliver a massive performance in a needed role to save the team, and even if there was they’d need multiple of them considering how many positions have seen major declines. All bets are off on what the consequences are going to be for likely being the first team in 31 years to lose more than they win in the Bronx. | Mike Lupica: One of the few people that’s been exempt from all this failure has been Gerrit Cole, who has managed to do the seemingly impossible — live up to the largest contract ever given out to a free agent pitcher. There hasn’t been any postseason accolades to come from adding the ace to this iteration of the Yankees unlike when the team last got the biggest pitcher in the market with CC Sabathia, but that’s not on Cole — outside of the one unfortunate blowup he had in the 2021 Wild Card Game, he’s been lights out ever since donning the pinstripes. Hopefully he’s rewarded with the award that has eluded him throughout his career, and would make him the first Yankee to win a Cy Young since Roger Clemens in 2001.

Bleacher Report | Joseph Zucker: Aaron Judge added a major endorsement to his resume this year, officially announcing a partnership with the Jordan Brand. It was previously reported in March that Judge had signed with Jordan, and the Yankee captain was his usual quiet self on the matter but was spotted wearing Jordan gear throughout the year, and now he’s joining a group of stars including Mookie Betts, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Manny Machado that are under the Jordan label in baseball.