Yankees' 'punt lineup' claps back at fans, pushes around Royals' likely All-Star

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

Memo to the New York Yankees fans in the Twitter replies between the hours of 6 PM and 8 PM on Monday night: the lineup was fine, actually. That was true whether it captured a victory or not.

Current Yankee fans are so scorned by previous seasons, where there was no lineup consistency day-to-day and the entire team struggled to find cohesion, that they've now pulled a 180, completely unable to accept even a single day's deviation from the norm.

On Monday night, the Yankees waited a few hours longer than usual to share their lineup, likely making absolutely certain that superstar Juan Soto could return and slot into it. Ultimately, the Yankees decided Soto was good to go, but opted to ease him back into action at the DH spot. That meant Giancarlo Stanton wouldn't play; there was no reason to shove him uncomfortably into right field, after all.

Aaron Judge, red hot and raking on Sunday Night Baseball, also got a day off. Typically, this wouldn't have been notable; Judge has always been given breathers, in addition to a few opportunities per month to get off his feet. Monday, however, was the hulking slugger's first full off day of the season, and it came, predictably, right after SNB in an all-new city. This was, apparently, completely unacceptable to fans of the 46-21 New York Yankees, who were so furious in the replies that they barely even acknowledged Soto's all-important return.

Also ... why on earth was everyone so upset about the benching of Anthony Rizzo, a player they were begging to disappear 48 hours prior?

Yankees Punt Lineup beats Kansas City Royals' All-Star Seth Lugo, fans can't believe it

Worse than 2023? We'd see about that.

At least this reply guy called it "fair," but the very idea of a "punt lineup" is almost as distasteful as a stadium-wide "We Want Soto!" chant during Trent Grisham's plate appearances.

In much the same way Grisham responded forcefully, so did the Yankees' bench on Monday night against Seth Lugo, neck and neck with Luis Gil to start the All-Star Game for the American League.

Lugo entered this particular contest with a 2.13 ERA, which surely was lower by the end of the game, given the fact that the Yankees chose to roll out the red carpet for him and facilitate an easy win?


Lugo held down the fort for innings five through seven, halting the Yankees' attempts to add insurance, but they still battered him around and knocked his ERA up to 2.36. Notably, the production came from everyone but Anthony Volpe, one of the presumed non-punters. Jose Trevino hit a two-run single. Jahmai Jones contributed and sparkled in the field. Your starters cannot play every single day.

In the ninth, the Yankees' punt closer, Michael Tonkin, finished off a two-run save, giving punt manager Aaron Boone the 565th win of his career, matching Billy Martin's total (aka The King of Punts).

Did the lineup look great at first blush? Of course not. But it embraced its "B Team" fervor with bunts, speed, and tight defense, and it came through on a night when fans, for whatever reason, cried for Judge to grind himself to paste and Rizzo to play (presumably just so they could boo him). Point, Yankees.