Though the vibes from the Yankees‘ weekend at Fenway Park vacillated between immaculate and depressing beyond reason, the team was dealt a hefty dose of good news on Sunday evening before game time when both left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. and catcher Jose Trevino were officially named to the American League All-Star Team.
Both selections were surprising, but not shocking. Though Cortes has slipped of late and his numbers are slightly less impressive than, say, snub Dylan Cease, he’s still one of the best stories in the game with the arm talent to back it up. Trevino has skidded, too, but remains one of the two or three best catchers in the AL this season, and only had to edge out the anonymous Jonah Heim of the Texas Rangers to make the roster (done and done).
Now, entering the 2022 season, though? These decisions would’ve been an entirely different level of stunning. Cortes was a starter-turned-reliever-turned-DFA-candidate-turned-starter coming off an unexpectedly hot 2021, and Trevino was prepping to split reps behind the plate with Heim in Texas before he was dealt to the Yankees — the dream team of he and his father’s childhood — just before Opening Day.
Telling a Yankee fan on April 1 that Cortes would be an All-Star would’ve sent them into a fit of joy. Telling them Trevino would make the team, too? Well, now you’re just lying. What’s next, Clay Holmes stealing the closer role for Aroldis Chapman? Sure. When pigs fly into right at Fenway Park, over Christian Arroyo’s head.
And yet, Cortes went from shocking shoo-in to question mark after a June swoon, leaving Yankee fans hanging on for dear life approaching the announcement. Trevino went from secret weapon to starter to “Who ELSE?!” to snub alert.
So, when both men got the news, their reactions hit especially hard. Cortes was seated in front of the camera while Aaron Boone rambled at him, eventually bringing up a reported conversation from spring training where he assured a nervous Nestor he wouldn’t only be “making the team,” but would be headed to Los Angeles for the Midsummer Classic. And … here we are. Prophetic.
Yankees’ Nestor Cortes, Jose Trevino making All-Star Game is heartwarming
And if you thought Cortes handled his emotions spectacularly, please sit down and soak in Trevino’s reaction.
Remember, this man has been the most heartwarming story on a 61-25 Yankees team, the son of a diehard fan who always envisioned his kid starring in the Bronx. The man who was able to memorialize his father with a walk-off single on his birthday, then greeted his son’s birthday with a second walk-off. The man for whom family, both departed and still here, means everything.
If you told him in 2021 where his life would soon take him, he’d have no ability to believe it, either.
Cortes — along with Gerrit Cole and Clay Holmes, who was stonefaced when informed (LOL) — might not get to pitch, considering the Yankees have a doubleheader in Houston the day after the break. Trevino, on the other hand, will catch four or five innings.
It’s about the honor more than it’s about the on-field contest, though, and nobody in the entire league deserves that week in the sun more than this pair of inspiring oddballs. Hyperbole? Sounds like it, but it isn’t.