Remember the good old days -- oh, two whole weeks ago -- when the New York Yankees were in Seattle and we could fantasize about the damage Aaron Judge might do in the All-Star Game at his favorite ballpark?
Since that date, the Yankees have treaded water while losing their captain to a nebulous toe injury, suffered during the very next series in Los Angeles when he rammed into a concrete log.
Judge and the Yankees refuse to put a timeline on his injury, so as not to disappoint anyone with his recovery, but it's safe to say a return in ~one month's time for the All-Star Game is not assured.
That hasn't stopped the voting public from strongly endorsing his candidacy, though. Unfortunately, MLB's fans nationwide seem to have echoed the three-word Yankees sentiments of the scout Jon Heyman recently spoke to: "Bad without Judge."
After one round of All-Star voting, Judge is the runaway leader in the outfield group, notching 844,965 votes. That edges the second-place outfielder, some guy named Mike Trout, by 246,047 ballots.
Unfortunately, fans haven't been nearly as impressed by the rest of the Yankees' overpaid, underperforming crew. Anthony Rizzo's recent mega-slump has taken his average into the .260s and likely off a good deal of All-Star ballots, despite ESPN's roster projections from a week ago. He's currently a distant third in the balloting at first base. Gleyber Torres is a forgettable fourth at second base. Giancarlo Stanton is receiving a few vanity votes at the DH position.
Bottom line? If the Yankees are going to collect some more All-Stars, they'll probably be coming via player vote and MLB proclamations.
Yankees All-Star Balloting Update: Vote for Anthony Rizzo? I guess?
Jose Trevino is running basically neck-and-neck at catcher with Mariners spark plug second baseman José Caballero. Is that good?
Rizzo has a chance to make the roster as the team's third first baseman, but it appears as if Vlad Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays is likely to start over the more deserving Yandy Diaz of the Rays. Vlad's 1.2 WAR, 9 home runs and 125 OPS+ are ... fine, but he's acting like a March Madness bid-stealer here, knocking a bubble team in Rizzo out of the field by passing the Rays' emergent star.
The will of the people has been heard, and those people have resoundingly responded to the Yankees with a hard, "Meh." Maybe Gerrit Cole makes it? Maybe opposing players start taking note of Clay Holmes' resurgence? It seems quite likely, though, that most Yankees will get to pull an Astros and skip the All-Star Game/avoid the boos.
Now, the next difficult question to answer: Will Judge even be able to participate?