When people think of Southern California they imagine sunshine that never stops with just enough of a breeze to cool the sunbathers and gently lift the blond hair of the smiling women you pass on the street.
Honestly, it’s like that a lot of the time, but not in June. Now is the time when various atmospheric conditions combine to create a marine layer that creeps in overnight like a blanket, tucking in the coastal cities and hiding the sun until mid-morning or even early afternoon. June Gloom. It’s dismal and depressing. The perfect analogy for what’s been going on with the New York Yankees.
Everything was wonderful before the calendar turned to June. They boasted one of the top offenses in baseball in May, leading everyone in home runs and perched near the top in many offensive categories, and Aaron Judge was the runaway winner of the American League Player of the Month. He slashed .342/.474/.882 while hitting 12 home runs with 25 RBIs in just 21 games. The common line of thinking was that he was even better than he was in 2022.
But on June 3rd he crashed into the fence at Dodger Stadium and the Yankee offense crashed along with him. Twenty days into this gloomiest of months, the Yankees currently rank dead last in batting average, on base percentage, and OPS. Dead. Last. Looking at the June numbers for the players expected to take up the slack in Judge’s absence, things look even gloomier…
|Stanton||.122/.234/.293 2 HRs, 2 RBIs|
|Rizzo||.083/.185/.104 0 HRs, 4 RBIs|
|Donaldson*||.162/.256/.568 5 HRs, 7 RBIs|
|Torres||.204/.278/.429 3 HRs, 5 RBIs|
|Volpe||.167/.222/.310 3 RBIs, 2 SBs|
|Bader||Zero games played.|
* Josh Donaldson, inexplicably, has six home runs on the season and two singles. That’s it.
Ah, but there’s some good news. Harrison Bader returns from the injured list and will presumably start in center field against the Mariners tonight, and we’ll hear all about the added length he’ll bring the lineup. That’s obviously a good thing, but nothing will get better until the other guys listed above begin to do something. Anything.
Maybe tonight’s the night. We can hope, right?