From the consistently inconsistent play throughout the year, to the unusual position of being a seller at the trade deadline, and then the bizarre conclusion of the Alex Rodriguez soap opera, it seems it’s been a wild year with very little payoff.
That lack of payoff all changed starting Saturday.
After Alex Rodriguez played his final game on Friday, I woke up to the news on Saturday that the Yankees had decided to call up Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge, who was highly regarded as one of the premiere prospects in all of baseball.
I have to admit, after hearing the news surrounding the Judge call up, I was ready to run the New York City Marathon.
The timing was perfect. As one era of Yankee baseball came to a close, the other was about to begin.
I was beyond excited to see what both of these young players were going to provide the big club over the final two months of the season.
Both players made their big league debut on Saturday, the same day the Yankees honored the 20th anniversary of the 1996 World Championship team.
With legends like Jeter, Rivera and Boggs in attendance, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge made some history of their own.
Austin and Judge both homered in their first at-bat and became the first pair of teammates to go back-to-back in their big league debut in the history of the sport.
Judge’s fast Yankee start has been historic. He is the first player in the history of the organization to have three extra-base hits in his first games as a rookie.
For the first time all season, the electricity and juice was felt throughout Yankee Stadium. The fans have already fallen in love with Aaron Judge and the rest of young talent that is finally finding their way to the Bronx.
Yankee fans have grown tired of watching has-been, over-priced mercenaries underachieve, and the way of doing business needed to change within the organization.
Looking at the 1996 World Championship team, you realize four of their most important players in that season were Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
All four were developed through the farm system and were given the opportunity to grow within the organization.
I hope that some day those same parallels will be made to Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird, all working their way to becoming prominent members of the next championship Yankee core.
It’s very early to be judging both Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge as big leaguers. They’ve had a cup of coffee in the big leagues, but it seems obvious that both players absolutely look the part.
Their swings, their mentality and their winning attitude is a breath of fresh air to a stale Yankee organization.
I’m much more willing to deal with the growing pains of the younger players over the product that was on the field throughout most of 2016.
In fact, the Yankees have played their best baseball of the year since they decided to sell off their best players and commit to getting younger.
I’m not naïve to think that all of a sudden this group of Baby Bombers will find their way to the postseason in 2016, but I’ll enjoy the experience of watching many of them grow as ballplayers with the hope for tomorrow finally being a part of the Yankee fabric.
Only time will tell in regards to what these youngsters will turn into as big league players, but the hope is there for the New York Yankees.
A mindset that is long overdue.
You can listen to me Wednesday through Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM/1019 FM.