Spring Training is officially (fully) here. A week after pitchers and catchers reported, position players are beginning to arrive, and the New York Yankees are gearing up for the 2021 campaign.
It’s another championship-or-bust feel (isn’t every year?) given all of the moves general manager Brian Cashman made this offseason to propel the roster and better prepare the team for October.
On an individual level, a number of guys have a lot to prove, too. Star slugger Aaron Judge is one of them, but it’s not necessarily from a performance standpoint. He just needs to stay healthy, which he’s been unable to do for the past three years.
With one more year of club control after 2021, contract extension talks are bound to grow even louder, and another injury-shortened campaign isn’t going to help his cause.
And the fact that he’s already locked in the day he touched down in Tampa says a lot about his outlook for himself and the team. Judge took to Instagram on Monday and posted a picture of himself walking into the Yankees’ facility.
However, the caption is the newsworthy aspect here.
That magic number 28 represents New York’s next World Series title, which is long overdue for an organization of Yankees’ caliber. Judge knows the stakes and he’s not afraid to let the world know. The confidence is right there for the opposition to try and take away. He dares you.
This will be Year 3 in which fans are waiting to see a full season (or at least most of the season? a half of a season?) of Judge and fellow bash brother Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup together and wreaking havoc on the rest of the league. It’s truly crazy to think we haven’t witnessed anywhere close to a full season from Judge since 2017. That’s four years ago!
But this year feels different. There’s a renewed energy. Some sweeping changes were made. The American League feels like it’s the Yankees’ to lose.
And Judge has his good buddy Gardner back! What’s not to love?! The man who is typically soft-spoken or tactical with his responses to certain subjects just gave us two beautiful, motivational and confident reactions pertaining to the 2021 Yankees.
Give. Us. More!