The free falling 2022 Yankees experienced a brief moment of joy Monday night when Anthony Rizzo homered off a left-hander, delivering a 2-1 lead midway through the team’s opening contest against the Angels.
That moment evaporated seconds later when Angels first baseman (and familiar face) Mike Ford, the Princeton, NJ native who starred for the 2019 Yankees, went deep into right field off Frankie Montas to tie the game right back up. It was poetic, if the kind of poetry you like comes printed on a popsicle stick.
Sadly, for the Yankees, Monday night’s bomb was (gulp) the first non-Yankees home run of Ford’s entire career, an insane-sounding fact that’s actually true. Ford was swiped from the Yanks once upon a time by the Mariners in the Rule 5 Draft, but returned without debuting. He then drilled 12 bombs in a breakout 2019 season with the Yanks, followed by two and three in 2020-2021, seasons in which he hit .135 and .133 in extended looks.
In ’22, he’s spent time with the Giants, Mariners, Braves and Angels, hitting .316 in his five-game Angels stretch in large part because of the damage he inflicted on the Yankees Monday. Again, poetic, if your idea of good poetry is whatever an eighth-grade English class wrote about Harry Styles this week.
Not only did Ford go yard, but he also appeared to direct a shush gesture at the Yankees dugout as he approached first base. With all due respect … what was that about?
Mike Ford shushing Yankees after slamming home run off Frankie Montas?
Was Ford feeling focused? Or ready for a fiesta?
According to the man himself, this was a whole lot of nothing. He was actually taking aim at some fans behind the dugout who, we can safely assume after watching the game and scanning the crowd, were Yankee fans.
Ford’s departure from the Bronx wasn’t all roses. The slugger’s personal hitting coach ripped the Bombers on the way out, claiming the team cheated him by yanking him in and out of the lineup.
"“You can’t send a guy out there a couple times, play him, sit him, play him like he’s in a video game,” Sutlovich said. “There have been other guys who were 0-for-17 and playing, so it’s not just Mike that was struggling. But it always seems that they had him on a short leash. He hits a 450-foot home run one night, then is benched the next two games. How can you do that?”"
According to said hitting coach, Ford could have been “another Luke Voit” if the Yankees had let him. Meanwhile, these days, even the real Luke Voit isn’t really Luke Voit. This initial article dropped in 2021, but if you’d told us it was 2002, we’d also believe you. Lot’s changed in Yankee Land since then, most of it very bad.
Count us out on being excited for Mike Ford’s revenge, though who knows if the fans in the stands really deserved a talking to.