In case you’re wondering why it seems like the New York Yankees can never quite calibrate their performance to their fans’ expectations, you can partially blame columns like this one assessing Jasson Dominguez’s first-ever professional appearance at the lowest levels of the minors on Monday afternoon.
Dominguez has absolutely been imbued with the ethos of a “savior” through no fault of his own. That’s what the Yankees media cycle does. By publishing endless New York Post columns about how he has a “higher scouting grade” than Mike Trout and by parading around his batting practice moonshots, they’ve created the narrative that anything less than superstardom is unacceptable and embarrassing for this once-proud franchise.
Seems like something that’s not fun to read at the impressionable ages of 16 to 18.
I don’t know. I don’t remember my principal writing op-eds in the school paper about how I absolutely had to become a world-class chemist to impress my parents (and also 10,000,000 strangers).
In the most predictable of predictable outcomes, Dominguez debuted with much fanfare on Monday and … well, he went 0-2 with a walk. A .333 OBP. His first three plate appearances ever. Seems fine to me!
Seems not fine to Randy Miller, who’s supposedly a journalist who assesses the activity around him and decides how to judge it. Who observes the world so you don’t have to. According to Miller, Dominguez is off to a three-at-bat “slow start.” He then chose to dissect just how bad the pitchers he faced were for added effect. Because yes, columns like this really do affect perception.
Quoth the column, very respectfully:
"In Dominguez’s first two-bats, he was retired by Australian left-hander Jack O’Loughlin, a 21-year-old who is on a rehab assignment.His third time up, Dominguez worked a walk facing 20-year-old Dominican Wilmer Fenelon batting with a runner on second base and one down in the fifth inning. He exited his pro debut when he was pinch-hit for in the top of the seventh inning."
In other words, an 18-year-old reached base one of his three chances against a 21-year-old and a 20-year-old? Got it.
Also, you might be thinking, “Oh, well the headlines don’t come from the writer. The writer submits the copy, the editor crafts the headline.” Interesting! Except the third paragraph of the article opens with the phrase, “Dominguez got off to a slow start,” right after mocking the Mickey Mantle/Bo Jackson/Trout comparisons, the flames of which were fanned by the media.
How about we all enjoy a nice soda pop and watch Dominguez unleash a rocket in an extended spring game a few days back?
See? The talent is there. Sometimes talented people, with all the spotlights of muggy Florida upon them, go 0-2 with a walk in their first three at-bats. Walks score runs sometimes, you know.
Slow start in the column-crafting business.