The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Can Yankees’ Aaron Judge, Matt Holliday ‘kick’ it? Yes, they can

TAMPA—A decade ago, Matt Holliday changed. Realizing he couldn’t catch up to the heat of some major league pitchers, he started kicking out his left foot and pushing off his right the way boxers unload haymakers.

Holliday was 25 years old. Aaron Judge, turning the same age in April, has made the same realization, the same change. And the Yankees have put them in the same corner of the George M. Steinbrenner Field clubhouse.

Plant, meet sunlight.

“I think he can help Aaron a lot,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Before the Yankees brought in Holliday, a seven-time All-Star, to be the designated hitter on a one-year, $13-million deal in December, they already had big immediate plans for Judge. They wanted him to win the starting right field spot over Aaron Hicks outright and cut down on his worrisome strikeout rate. In 94 plate appearances last season, Judge whiffed an incredible 42 times.

So, that ask hasn’t changed.

Here’s what has: Now, Judge, at 6-foot-7, has sitting next to him the 6-foot-4 man he used to study on YouTube in his off time. He studied him because he’s been one of the game’s best hitting outfielders for a long time, studied him because of his power.

It will be pretty difficult for Holliday to be worth $13M as a DH and part-time corner OF this season.  However, he may provide value as a mentor to Aaron Judge that could pay off for years and I wonder if that was part of the reason the Yankees signed him this offseason.

--Posted at 10:39 am by SG / 22 Comments | - (0)


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I ... I don’t understand. Is Q-Tip a roving instructor in camp?

Best ever rap moment is in “Scenario” when Busta says “Oh my gosh, oh my GOSH.”

Second best is all of “La Di Da Di” by Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh.

Actually that might be number one.

I thought the best rap moment was when Prime Minister Pete Nice of 3rd Bass gave MC Hammer the Gas Face.

Two HR for Greg Bird does not suck.

Pete Nice later became a sports memorabilia dealer and I think went to jail for fraud.  Feels like the kind of thing Cronin wrote about.

Just some garden variety tax fraud, per Wiki. Though he was selling fake memorabilia in Cooperstown. MC Serch must be so disappointed.

How are you seeing game results?  GD doesn’t work and there’s no radio or TV.

MLBtv has the audio for the Red Sox/Yanks split-squad. Been listening to that. Haven’t been following hte Detroit game at all.

Ah I see didn’t realize there were 2 today.  Thanks.

Higgy’s trying to make a case for himself.

Bird seems all right…

[11] It does seem that concerns over Bird being slow in returning to form may have been misplaced. A strong season from him is vital to the Yankees having any chance of competing this year.

Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird, the G&G Boys.

Bird’s last three homers were hit in November and February. Weird right? Seriously, concerns with his slow performance in Arizona can be laid to rest if he stays healthy and puts up good numbers in Spring Training. Sure would like to see him get 550 at bats in 17. Hope he’s working on picking bad throws as we will miss Tex for sure in that respect, but it is time for the youth to get their chance.

[13] Ick. Icky, pew.

Three stories we see every spring- (1) A is in the best shape of his life and (2) player B is mentoring player C who expects to learn and be better. (3) hitting coach D (usually Gary Long if the story is about a NY player) had been working with player E and has fixed the flaw.

Someone ought to rerun the stories in July and go to A, B/C, D/E and asked them what hapenned.

[3] Actually, the best rap moment of all time is the first time anyone hears that siren/horn loop in any of Public Enemy’s songs, and then Chuck D dives in sounding like a cross between MLK & Malcom X, and instead of bragging about his women and his shoes, he is saying things like “40 acres and a mule, Jack?” or “Elvis was a hero to most… motherfuck him and John Wayne”, and just when your brain can’t take anymore, Flava Flav jumps in with “your mama’s got gold nipples!”.

For serious though, Chuck D is at the top of the hill, IMHO.

[17] Devil’s advocate: Does that mean that (1) a player getting in shape is never results in better performance?, (2) a veteran player mentoring a younger player never results in the younger player learning and being better? and (3) hitting coach (Kevin Long?) working with a player never fixes a flaw?

[18] Chuck D admitted he was wrong about Elvis.

I once tried to put together an oral history piece on the making of It Takes a Nation of Millions for the album’s 25th anniversary. Chuck D was so bored with the idea he hung up on me, and Flav kept answering the phone, telling me we could do the interview the next week, and then eventually started ducking all my calls.

(20) yes Kevin. Who the heck is Gary?!
I assume some guys are helped…but my mathematical mind tells me the percentage of guys who are helped is dwarfed by the guys who aren’t. And also dwarfed by the guys who do better without any supposed mentors.
Also, I love dwarfs.

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