The New York Yankees: A season in review


Aaron Judge jogs onto the field.

Daniel Ottaviano and Lucas Gray

The roaring crowd and smell of fresh food signify the eccentric atmosphere of Yankee Stadium. As you settle down and put mustard on your hotdog, you witness the Yankees coming onto the field starting to practice for the game; the bleacher preachers cheer the names of each individual player’s name. Let the ball game begin!

Let’s turn back time to the spring. It’s always a great time of year because school is wrapping up, the weather is getting nicer and of course, and baseball season is in full swing.

In Tampa Bay, Florida, the New York Yankees prepare for what looks to be a rebuilding season. Last season, they traded away key players such as Carlos Beltran and Andrew Miller for prospects who could hopefully carry the team in the near future.

Coming into the season, the Yankees had mediocre expectations, and they totally broke the ceiling.

If you live in New York and have paid attention to any sports-news headlines over the past 6 months, you are aware that the Yankees had a phenomenal season.

No one predicted such a great season from the team, but they beat all the odds and had a great postseason run. They didn’t win it all, but it was one heck of a “rebuild season”.

In April, the regular season of Major League Baseball started off spectacularly for the Bronx Bombers. After starting with a unimpressive 0-4 record, they went on a huge tear of winning 10 games straight.

Aaron Judge  headlined by the greatest rookie season ever (statistically), and the whole team hit the most home runs in all of Major League Baseball, leading to the best home record in the American League.

Judge was always known as a top prospect for the organization, but no one predicted the great season he’d have.

When he started playing for the team, he only had a few home runs, and he struck out in half of his at-bats. With a player as tall as Aaron Judge (6’7), you’d expect him to strike out a lot since his strike zone is so large but not THIS much.

The expectations for Judge this year were not high at all.  According to Bleacher Report’s article on Judge, “If Judge doesn’t for an extended period, more seasoning in the minors might ultimately be the cure.”

People thought he would be sent to the minor leagues, but Judge silenced all of his doubters and hit 52 home runs and 114 runs batted in.

Freshman Thomas Walsh has nothing but great things to say about The Judge, “Aaron is my favorite player, he put up stellar numbers, 52 home runs i believe, I can’t wait to see what he will do in the future.”

He might very well win Most Valuable Player this year along with many other accolades. He also won the Home Run Derby this year and was a starting All Star.  

Don’t worry, Judge wasn’t the only one that beat the odds. Starting pitcher Luis Severino was absolutely horrible last year, winning only 3 matches.

This year, he turned into the team’s ace. He ended the year with a record of a whopping 14-6. This labeled him as one of the best pitchers in the league.

He may have won the American League Cy Young award (Most Valuable Pitcher) if Chris Sale of the Red Sox and Corey Kluber of the Indians weren’t having the best seasons of their careers.

The flamethrowing righty from the Dominican Republic put up stellar numbers this season, he was rewarded an All-Star position as a result.

Including Judge and Severino, there were a total of 5 all stars on the team:Starlin Castro, Dellin Betances, & Gary Sanchez. A young shortstop named Didi Gregorius almost made the cut; he was a candidate for the last spot which is decided from a fan vote, but he lost that race.

The Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius in hopes to replace the legendary Derek Jeter. He was given the hardest challenge for any young shortstop.

Jeter, over his 20 year career was the Yankees captain, had well over 3,000 hits. He is ranked as one of the greatest modern players of all time.

However, Didi is a young kid from the Netherlands who had only hit 2 home runs in his whole career, which started in Arizona. When he started out, it was very rough. He was barely hitting and making an abundance of defensive errors.

Last year he was making great progress, but it wasn’t until this year that he improved. He debuted a month late due to getting a minor injury in the World Baseball Classic over the winter. Overall, he had the best season of his young career and one of the best by a Yankees shortstop all time.

Derek Jeter’s highest amount of home runs in one season was 24. Didi hit 25; “Sir Didi” had a legendary season.

Spanish teacher Ms. Charter is notorious for her love of Jeter, which is primarily displayed with the enormous cutout of his face that is showcased in her room.

She believes in Gregorius and thinks that he will replace the captain just right: “Oh yeah, definitely, he fits right in that young Yankees team filled with raw talent  that soon becomes stars that shine in the league as they get older”

But along with being one of the best overall players on the team, he is one of the emotional leaders. After every win, he tweets about the great performance of the team, highlighting one or more players and their performances. He is so humble that he never mentions his achievements.

Although the Yankees had an amazing start to the season, they started to lose midway through it, leaving every fan scared about the rest of the year.

Luckily, the midpoint of the season is most famous for the “trade deadline,” which is the last chance of the year that teams have to make necessary changes. It is the time when most top tier players are ready to be traded.

The Yanks made huge moves this trade deadline, acquiring Sonny Gray, a perennial Cy Young candidate from Oakland. They also got Todd Frazier, a former Home run derby champion, and lifelong Yankee fan, a young reliever named Tommy Kahnle, and a veteran starter named Jaime Garcia. They also reunited with a relief pitcher named David Robertson, who was a key piece to the 2009 championship and made a legendary duo with the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera, who retired in 2012.

All 5 of these players helped the Yankees in tremendous ways. Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia provided a well needed depth to the starting rotation. Todd Frazier played a pretty neat third base, and lead in team spirit, the Toddfather was so grateful to play for the team he grew up adoring. David Robertson added to an already stacked bullpen, and Kahnle was an amazing middle reliever.

After having a really nice second half, the Yankees ended the season with a record of 91-71. They made the postseason with a Wild Card spot.

They had to face the Twins in a do or die game. That game had a horrible start; Luis Severino gave up 3 runs in one inning, but the Yankees did not give up. Didi Gregorius tied the game with a 3 run home run, followed by home runs from veteran Brett Gardner, and Aaron Judge. They crushed the Minnesota Twins 7-4.

They then advanced to the American League Division Series (ALDS). This was against the Cleveland Indians, who had the best record in the American League and were notorious for dominating against the Yankees. The Indians had a great start to the series, winning two games in a row, This series is a best of 5, so all they needed was one more win to advance. The Yankees came all the way back, winning 3 games in a row, silencing all doubters.

They then advanced to the American League Championship Series (ALCS) against the Houston Astros. Although they eliminated the best of the best, the Astros are more of a challenge. They always demolish the Yankees, more than the Indians ever did.

The Bronx Bombers put up a great fight by winning 3 games in a series that is the best of 7. They actually were one win away from the World Series and led Houston 3-2, but the Astros were too much to handle. They came back to beat the New York Yankees, and the season unfortunately ended.

Sure, players were bummed, but they know that next season is going to result in even more success. It was really heartbreaking, manager Joe Girardi was holding back tears in his press conference, partly because his contract was up and it might have been his last time coaching this team.

Also, we might have seen the last of one of our best starting pitchers of 8 years, CC Sabathia, as his contract was also up. Luckily, CC and the Yankees are both hoping to renew his contract, as he still has some productive years left in him.

Just a week later, we found out that Girardi wouldn’t be re-signed, and that broke the hearts of many fans, especially English teacher Ms. Mangano: “It was sad to see that Girardi left yesterday. He was the coach for 10 years and it makes the next few seasons without him become very interesting.” Girardi had won coach of the year in 2006 when he coached the Marlins, so it is likely that teams are interested in him, but sadly not the Yankees.

Although the Yankees didn’t win it all, they have a much better chance of doing so next year. The key trades from last year during the trade deadline brought over some of the prospects with the brightest futures in all of baseball.

General Manager Brian Cashman told The New York Times, “There’s a lot of pieces that are here that have a chance to have exciting times ahead.”

Gleyber Torres was acquired from the Cubs’ farm system who many see as the best overall prospect in all of baseball.

We also got Clint Frazier from the Indians. He had made his Major League debut and shows a very promising future.

These two guys, plus rumored free agent signings of Shohei Ohtani, the best player in all of Japan, and Bryce Harper, a perennial MVP from the Nationals, are very possible.

These guys are expecting huge paychecks, and the Yankees are really the only team who has the funds for them. There are already young stars on the team, known as the Baby Bombers, who consist of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Greg Bird.

So when all of this special talent is combined, it creates an unstoppable force. It’s what many see as the next Yankee’s dynasty. The previous dynasty was known as the Core Four, it consisted of Andy Pettite, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, they dominated during the 90s and early 2000s as they brought 5 championships to our city.

These players have all retired now and even though they are gone, Yankee fans still have a group of players to cheer for. Freshman Yasna Muratovic was a huge fan of the Core Four, but is looking forward to the next few years. “Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were my favorite players, it was hard to see them go, but this new dynasty is going to be even better, I believe”

After a highly promising season that was supposed to be dedicated to rebuilding, and with more talent to come up rapidly, even more success is coming up sooner than we can imagine, and the 28th World Series title is coming up sooner than later.