4 former Yankees shining in spring training to the frustration of fans

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Yes, it's that time of the year again. Look around the league. Find former New York Yankees players who completely stunk up the joint in the Bronx. And watcht them succeeding elsewhere. A tale as old as ... the last two decades, it would seem.

It's always like this. Whether the players are outwardly critical of New York or not, it always kills fans to see the relationship not work out for (mostly) reasons unknown or just plain bad luck.

And if we're looking back on 2023, there were plenty of inexplicable occurrences and unfortunate events that contributed to the Yankees' dismal 82-80 season. The fact of the matter was that the roster wasn't that good, but when there's an avalanche of factors actively working against you, it feels like injustice.

Had a few bounces gone the Yankees' way -- especially with most of these players -- we're probably looking at a 90-win team in the postseason, and a scary one with Aaron Judge leading the charge.

Instead? A missed opportunity with the reigning AL MVP and eventual Cy Young winner. What a waste. So let's get ourselves all worked up about the performances of these ex-Yankees.

4 former Yankees inexplicably shining in spring training to the frustration of fans

Frankie Montas

Montas isn't exactly "shining," but he's done enough to -- wait for it -- earn the nod as the Cincinnati Reds' 2024 Opening Day starter. Frankie Montas. Starting for a potential NL contender. On Opening Day. In one of the most historic baseball cities. What is going on?

The Yankees acquired Montas during their promising 2022 season that eventually flamed out. New York knew the right-hander had been dealing with shoulder issues, but made the deal anyway. The result was Montas appearing in eight bad starts before his shoulder acted up again.

A lone postseason appearance didn't save him and, in fact, probably hurt him. Montas needed offseason shoulder surgery and missed all of 2024 (save for 1.1 innings of work, bringing his grand total to 41 in pinstripes). Now he's already impressed enough in Reds camp to earn manager David Bell's trust with the ball on Opening Day.

Give us a break.