Can New Mantra Add Firepower To Bronx Bombers Line-up?
I was speaking with a sportswriter that covers Major League Baseball the other day. I asked him "what is up with the Yankees? You never hear about them." He laughed and commiserated. Sure enough, he was one of the dozens of Yankee beat reporters on the Zoom press conference for new hitting coach on Wednesday. Each looking for a unique nugget in a frozen tundra of baseball stories, especially from the Yankees this offseason.
No news is good news. Right? That's not the way the Pinstripes usually roll. The New York Yankees are used to dominating even the bleakest of sports-news days in past years. Until Wednesday, Brian Cashman seemed content to let his crosstown rival little brother bask in their new over-priced free agent toys and their flashy new manager, who he fired way back in 1995. However, on Wednesday, the Bombers GM may have fired a shot a cross the bow, letting everyone know that the Yankee line-up is loaded and we've made changes to optimize that fire power.
The big Yankees news was the introduction of hitting coach, Dillon Lawson. The new coach spoke to the media about his plans and the organizational philosophies when it comes to hitting. Lawson kept it pretty simple. The Yankees new mantra will be "hit strikes hard." It's simple but it's definitely a mindset. “That’s the mantra, that’s the motto we’ve kind of tried to build up through the minor league system over the last three years,’’ said Lawson, who previously served as the Yankees’ organizational hitting coordinator since 2019.
According to an article by The Drive with Charlie & Dan regular, Pete Caldera of northjersey.com, "Even with healthy and productive seasons by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees finished below league average in a variety of categories – including a .237 batting average (13th out of 15 AL teams), 711 runs scored (10th) and a .729 OPS (7th).Due to the MLB lockout, Lawson couldn’t speak specifically about players on the Yanks’ 40-man roster, but “we’ve got monsters all up and down the lineup,’’ Lawson said Wednesday.
I am not entirely sure a hitting coach changes things at the major league level. I do know that the good ones instill confidence in the abilities that got you to the big leagues and help you overcome your deficiencies that boot you out. We'll see but baseball stories about the Yankees are a good sign.