« Song of the Day #1515 | Main | Michael Southern: Triumphs and Tragedy »

All Rise for The Judge

Since the 2017 season began, I have been watching the young Bronx Bombers (aka "the Baby Bombers") with great interest. In my playbook, with the era of the Core Four long gone, and a young group being nourished in the big leagues right before our eyes, I would have been satisfied with a season in which wins outweighed losses. But it now appears that the young Yanks are headed for at least a wild card playoff game, their first postseason appearance since 2015. That's more than any fan could have asked for.

I have taken special interest in Yankee outfielder Aaron Judge. The rookie had a great first half and then put on a majestic show for the All-Star Home Run Derby at Marlins Park, becoming the first rookie to win the competition outright (hitting a total of 47 HRs, including four that travelled over 500 feet, one of them measuring 513 feet). He cooled off a bit after the All-Star break, but showed great poise throughout that slump.

Slump no more. Whereas yesterday, many in the National Football League gave the President a knee to the groin, today, I rise for the Judge. Aaron hit two home runs against the Kansas City Royals in a Yankee 11-3 win. After hitting two home runs yesterday, Judge went deep for another two today, reaching a total, thus far, of 50 Home Runs for the season. His 50 home runs this season breaks the all-time Major League Baseball season record for a rookie, previously held by Mark McGwire (yes, he of the Steroid Era).

Whatever happens in the postseason, I think the Yankees have a lot of youthful potential for a wonderful future. Today, Judge joins an exclusive club of great Yankees who have had seasons of 50 or more home-runs. This list now includes only five Yankees, three of whom did it in the non-Steroid era: Babe Ruth (who did it four times); Mickey Mantle (who did it twice); and Roger Maris. (Alex Rodriguez hit 54 for the Bombers in 2007---but this was during the Steroid Era.)

I think Judge wins the American League Rookie of the Year hands-down. He has not only amassed 50 home runs, but is the first Yankee right-handed hitter to have at least 110 walks, 110 runs scored, and over 100 RBIs in a single season (Mantle held such records, but he was a miraculous switch-hitter). An argument can be made for Judge having Most Valuable Player credentials; but even if he does not get the American League MVP, he has certainly been this season's Yankee MVP.

Either way, congratulations to Aaron Judge. And... GO YANKEES!!!