Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s dad fights back against Yankees fans in Twitter rant
As the New York Yankees have skidded into the curve, the fan base’s vitriol has become particularly heated. A 1-7 slide will do that to even the most composed people. Add in the obsessive elements of Yankees fandom, and you’ve got yourself a Twitter powder keg.
Now that Joey Gallo’s gone to Los Angeles, most of the fire has been directed towards shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who’s done essentially exactly what he was imported to do. Brian Cashman targeted a contact-first shortstop on an inexpensive contract who could excel defensively and bring an element of speed and chaos to the game.
Would IKF be a more effective third baseman than shortstop? Quite possibly, but he’s been solid where he’s been placed (though … maybe a bit less solid than advertised). Has he hit for power? That’d be a resounding no. He’s still searching for his first dinger of the campaign.
But the career .265 hitter is hitting … .265 on the year. He’s been worth 1.4 WAR. He hasn’t quite matched up to the modest power output of his final season in Texas, but he’s mostly delivered on Cashman’s promise. Hate the player? No, no. Hate the game. Kiner-Falefa is doing Kiner-Falefa things for his childhood favorite team.
Recently, the criticism has gone too far. Frustration? Sure. Scream into the void about another chopper to short that could’ve been a liner from Carlos Correa instead. But things have gotten personal during the losing streak, and it’s gotten so bad that Kiner-Falefa’s own father Fili had to step up and fight back on Twitter Thursday.
Yankees SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s father fought back on Twitter
The tweets and DMs have been unnecessarily brutal lately. For a lifelong Yankee fan, and a lifelong Yankee family, it must be exceedingly painful to be having the inverse experience of ex-Rangers teammate Jose Trevino, who’s basked in the cosmic familial connection to his father and son all year long.
The elder Kiner-Falefa specifically singled out podcast host Jomboy and his associates, though, which feels a bit bizarre. Jomboy is no doubt a Yankee fan, but much of his displeasure with Kiner-Falefa’s play has been rooted in statistics. There isn’t really a direct connection between his podcast community and the Yankee Yahoos who have taken things far too far in the anonymous social media era.
One thing’s for certain, though. Following the Gallo discourse and Michael Kay monologue after his departure, it’s another not-so-great look for the Yankees extremists to once again be dominating the public narrative.
Add in the Jordan Montgomery trade saga that proves the lack of human touch is coming from inside the house, too, and you have a whole lot of unpleasant bubbling surrounding a team that’s supposed to be competing with MLB’s top squads.
The time is now, though, for Kiner-Falefa to pick up some more of his patented RISP hits (.325 average in 80 at-bats, which should be lauded more often) as the suddenly-undermanned Yankees try to make a pennant chase. All he can do.