Aaron Hicks' farewell IG post to Baltimore puts Yankees goodbye to shame

Boo! BOO!
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

The start of Aaron Hicks' Yankees career went swimmingly. Former first-round pick! Stolen from the Twins during a soft rebuild! Cannon for an arm! ALDS blast as a key member of the team's 2017 run! Standout 2018 season, homering through a torn UCL off Justin Verlander in the 2019 ALCS ... Hicks spent plenty of time both performing spectacularly and expressing himself after entrenching himself in the outfield.

Unfortunately, Brian Cashman made a mistake securing Hicks at the exact wrong time, leading directly to the Vitriol Hose turning on him

Hicks was signed to a seven-year extension prior to the 2019 season, which ended with him needing Tommy John surgery after suffering an injury in August. Cashman, at the time, cited the dearth of bonafide center fielders on the market in the years to come. Just one year later, he then pegged the Hicks deal as a reason the team could not spend on Bryce Harper. Off to a rousing start.

From the end of his TJ rehab on, Hicks performed admirably in the shortened 2020 season (.225 average with a .793 OPS/122 OPS+), but wasn't quite the same. He tore his wrist up to begin the 2021 campaign, then watched his abilities regress and swagger dissipate in the years to come. There were off-field concerns about golf trips. There was performance anxiety and lethargy. And, yes, there were boos. There were certainly boos.

Far be it from us to claim the fans' treatment of Hicks led directly to his steely departure after a somewhat surprising May 2023 DFA, but when the outfielder returned to the Bronx -- in an Orioles uniform -- he posted a blank-slate message to the fans, as well as a highlight video, on his Instagram story. Not the grid, not the grid ... the story. It would've disappeared forever if some of his frustrated former fans hadn't captured it.

Hicks recently left the O's, the team that helped bring him back to prominence, for a one-year deal in Anaheim, where his role (starter? fourth outfielder?) remains unclear. He posted a farewell message after playing four-plus months in Baltimore on Wednesday, and ... sigh ... needless to say, it puts the summary of his seven-and-a-half years with the Yankees to shame.

Former Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks seemingly preferred his time in Baltimore

Ugh. Guess the fans earned it, but you can't deny Hicks' hustle slowed down significantly in his final months in the Bronx while his brain farts increased. Wrist issues might've sapped his power, but they didn't have to sap his outfield defense, too. This bizarre chase around the outfield against the Rays in 2022 -- and Hicks' reaction -- represented the breaking point for anyone who hadn't been already broken.

Hopefully, Hicks' next chapter is a fulfilling one, but clearly, his few months in Baltimore meant more to him than 2016-19 in New York, before the pivot point.