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  • Cory Claus

The Yankees Are as Snakebit as the Jets

The Yankees have had a season to forget. From injuries to underperformance, the season was derailed at every turn. But no blow was bigger than losing all-world player Aaron Judge. Now at the end of the year, they’ve lost Jasson Dominguez for the rest of this season and half of next. Not too many days later, the Jets lost their big free-agent and latest savior, Aaron Rodgers, a loss the Yankees can sympathize with.

Yankees baseball is deader than disco

It seems likely some of the Yankees were watching the Jets opener on Monday night. And it seems just as likely they could understand the frustration Gang Green must have felt when Aaron Rodgers went down.

The future Hall of Famer didn’t even last a series before he was lost for the season. Anybody who follows the Jets knows the team seems a bit snakebit when it comes to acquiring star quarterbacks.

Fifteen years ago, they got another aged Packers quarterback, Brett Favre. He came out of retirement as a potential savior, but eleven games in, he injured his biceps and was gone forever from Jets land. They tumbled from their 8-3 record to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs, but at least they got eleven games out of him.

Not so for Rodgers.

Shaken, Not Stirred

The injury shocked many, but my guess is the Yankees just nodded in recognition. And that’s not just because they, too, lost the biggest star in their team for too long. It’s for all the other injuries, as well.

The first big blow came on May 28th when Anthony Rizzo got a concussion that went undiagnosed until August. Up to that time, he was one of the few offensive stars on the team, which summed up so nicely:

In 53 games before the incident, Rizzo was hitting .304 with 11 home runs, 32 RBI and an .880 OPS. In the 46 games after the supposed injury, Rizzo hit .172 with one home run, nine RBI and a .496 OPS.

Okay, that was a bummer. But it got a lot worse just a few days later when the reigning MVP, Aaron Judge, burst through the bullpen wall in Dodger Stadium to make a phenomenal catch. The problem was the concrete railing at the bottom of the gate guarding the bullpen. Judge ran into it on that fateful day on June 3rd, tearing a ligament in one of his toes.

He didn’t play again until July 28th.

Now I’m not saying that if he played, the Yankees might have been able to capture a Wild Card spot. But they sure would have had a better chance.

Yankees Need to Be Both Lucky and Good

Now it’s happened again, this time to Jasson Dominguez. He’s the best offensive player the Yankees have developed since Judge and came into the league like a ball of fire. In his very limited time of just eight games, the 20-year-old hit .258/.303/.677 with four home runs. That all adds up to a .980 OPS; whoa.

The man was making history. He became the first player at 20 or younger since 1900 to hit a home run in two of his first three games. I’ll say it again: whoa!

So, of course, what happened to him in this season of pain? He got injured. And not just a little injury, but a torn UCL that will keep him out until the middle of next season. That’s the definition of a team being snakebit.

That happened just days before Rodgers went down with his own season-ending injury. My guess is the Yankees dusted off an old President Clinton phrase, whether they knew it or not: I feel your pain.

Here’s hoping the Jets can overcome it, and that next baseball season brings as much good luck to the Bombers as they’ve had bad this year. And then the rest of the baseball world will feel pain.


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