Yankees fans love to correct national pundits who continually refer to their '90s dynastic leaders as the "Core Four". They claim that it was actually a Core Five -- Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Aaron Hicks.
Wait, sorry, got that last one wrong. Bernie Williams was the switch-hitting center fielder who belongs in that quintet. But why did Hicks, on Monday morning, post an Instagram story of himself walking by Pettitte, Jeter and Posada's retired numbers?
Did it have anything to do with reminding the fans who booed him during Opening Day's intros, as well as the Yankees braintrust that benched him for all three games of the season's first series, that he's still here?
Before Sunday's game, Hicks' comments to Brendan Kuty of The Athletic went viral. The piece was headlined, "I have no idea what my role is," and included this little nugget:
""I just want to play. I don’t want to come off the bench and face closers all day. I want to play the field, I want to play everyday, and it’s just what I want to do.""- Aaron Hicks
And, on Monday morning, there was Hicks, posting a posed photo with the Yankees' retired numbers to his Instagram story. Solid way to prove you're an essential Yankee among greats.
Yankees' Aaron Hicks doesn't know his role, but wants you to think of him with retired numbers I guess?
Hicks received one at-bat this weekend, striking out in a pinch-hitting appearance against Camilo Doval in the ninth inning of Saturday's game (and, yes, the umpire didn't do him any favors on the 3-1 pitch).
And we get it. That cannot be an enjoyable life. But, based on 2021, 2022 and 2023's spring, why would Hicks start over Oswaldo Cabrera regularly? Cabrera, a high-upside king of versatility who's been elite defensively wherever he's been positioned, started the season 3-for-12 over the weekend.
Hicks walked right to the edge of the right tone for 2023 with his comments insinuating he wanted to get back to the standards he'd previously set for himself. However, he nosedived at the finish line by shifting the blame back to the team for forcing him to "face closers all day," then lied about Joey Gallo's production with the Dodgers last summer.
And now, we've got Hicks posed with pinstripe legends.
It's all very puzzling. But, thanks to his contract, he's probably stuck here. Better to make the best of it and fade into the background than to sound off to the press two games in?