You know it’s a slow summer in Yankees Drama Land when New York’s sports radio tastemakers start getting disgusted by the minute details of yet another win, one that placed the Bombers 30 games over .500 in mid-June.
On Wednesday night in the second of six meetings with the Tampa Bay Rays this week, the Yankees and their rivals sat through a bizarre delay in the eighth inning while the umpires attempted to parse a pitching change. That allowed Nestor Cortes Jr. to let his hair (mustache) down and briefly chat with Randy Arozarena of the Rays by the dugout.
Cortes had just passed another “big test,” shutting down the Rays for the second time this season after posting a rare stinker against the Twins in his previous outing. His ERA remains below 2.00 and he can clearly handle top-level competition, leaving him feeling free and easy to chat with Arozarena, who escaped Cuba before defecting to MLB.
Cortes, too, has Cuban blood, and likely had plenty to catch up on with Arozarena, stranded on first during the interminable delay. Apparently, even a short chat session was too much for WFAN’s Brandon Tierney, who thought Aaron Judge should’ve intervened.
Watching Cortes talk to Arozarena “genuinely bothered” Tierney, and was a “terrible look,” in a baseball take straight out of a 1960s manual.
The Yankees, of course, won the game, which might not have happened if Judge had gotten a fire started in the Rays dugout by lifting Cortes Jr. up by his haunches and tossing him to the other side of the dugout, banning him from ever speaking to the opposition again.
Brandon Tierney of WFAN furious at Yankees’ Nestor Cortes Jr.
To feel a little awkward about the Rays and Yankees fraternizing, just as the tide’s finally starting to turn in New York’s direction in the heated rivalry, is one thing. To say Judge should’ve “intervened” is a maximally bizarre statement to make.
Really? You think this is a better situation if Judge runs in from center field and starts escorting his All-Star teammate outta there? You think it’s better if Judge and Cortes get in a screaming match mid-victory? Great. That’s what Captains are made of. Got it.
Lest we remind you, this is the innocent conversation that’s being referred to here:
Would be out of place in Baseball’s Golden Age for sure.
For now? The Yankees worked out of trouble and won again. The “Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo Must Go” storyline doesn’t play as well when the Bombers are rolling over the AL East, so apparently this is the next step in the discourse. Hey, whatever it takes!