Reason Number Five: Aaron Hicks has embarrassing photos of Yankees Hal Steinbrenner
This one at least makes more sense than comparing numbers and potential. Hicks must be in possession of pictures so damning they could bring down the Yankees organization. Therefore, Hal must keep Aaron on the Yankees or risk exposure.
But then why would he come out and insist he wants Judge to win the position? Because, by publicly coming out for Aaron Judge, he throws suspicion off of himself. In this incredibly likely scenario, Hal’s story in the off-season works as cover.
Once Hicks is named the starter, we get the ineffectual Yankees owner overruled by Joe Girardi again. Secrets and secret dealings once again shape the Yankees; the Evil Empire at its best.
The part I struggle with is exactly what pictures Hicks could have. What does Hal do that can be construed as embarrassing? Did he show up for a business meeting without a tie on? Wear mismatched socks on a Polo Divot Stomp? Express a human emotion?
I can see that any of those would shatter his persona and freak out Yankees fans everywhere. Actually, if this is the reason—and remember that I have no reason to think it is and no evidence to support it—I think letting Hicks play is worth it. My god, can you imagine Hal Steinbrenner giggling? I’m not ready for that.