Joe Torre pulling Carlos Rodón, lefty's hilarious take adds to positive Yankees energy

That'll get your feelings spinning for sure.

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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Carlos Rodón might've found himself on the mound on Monday afternoon. In the process, he might've also found himself in a Yankees time warp.

The left-hander entered a make-or-break 2024 season seeking more consistent velocity and improved location after a first year in the Bronx pockmarked by hittability and frustration. At first, his dominant heater seemed confined to secret bullpen sessions; Yankee fans heard tell of a 97 MPH peak, but witnessed more of the same in Rodón's early spring outings.

Slowly but surely, though, the lefty got his legs out from under him, progressing in each spring appearance that followed a dud against the Rays (which featured home runs on both the first and last pitches he threw). On Monday, he officially turned back the clock -- not just to his Cy Young-contending campaigns in 2021 and 2022, but to 2007, the most recent time that New York Yankees Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre strode to the mound to give a hurler a hook.

Torre's been lingering around camp the past few days, which has imbued this Yankees team with even more of a "dynastic" vibe than Aaron Judge's 1998-Jeter-esque abdominal pain. On Monday afternoon, he surprised everyone -- including Rodón -- by emerging from the dugout, arms by his side, barely changing one iota in his 16 years away from the diamond.

Yankees starter Carlos Rodón dominates Phillies, pulled by Joe Torre

Looks like somebody's gunning for Aaron Boone's job, is something an absolutely wrong-headed (but hopeful) Yankee fan might say.

Rodón, who was three pitches away from meeting his assigned count (with a lefty at the dish), initially reacted with a burst of annoyance at his early removal -- before he realized exactly what was happening.

Swiftly, he resisted putting up a fight, and instead embraced being a part of history.

Bernie Williams in the dugout, Andy Pettitte counseling Brock Selvidge ... truly, you never know what you're going to see to knife through the spring drudgery, three weeks deep into meaningless games.

The more the Yankees can honor their heritage in both 2024 and beyond, the better, and embracing Torre's stoicism while they still can is an excellent route to take, as the franchise looks to return to not just their winning ways, but outright dominance.

Much like Rodón's no-hit start, Torre's time in the Bronx might've ended too soon when George Steinbrenner surprisingly pivoted after the 2007 season, paving the Hall of Famer's way to Los Angeles. But nothing ever really ends as long as Yankee Stadium is still standing. The ghosts are eternal, and the Yankees are a loop to the past. Rodón signed on last winter partially because of how much he planned to embrace that, rather than let it haunt him. This season's a great opportunity for him to prove just that, with Monday's outing -- and exit -- serving as a symbolc breaking point from his burdensome troubles.

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