Triple header today; if you love sports, this is the best time of year!! Yankees, Jets & Bombers on the menu…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

aaron-judge-hits-50th-home-run#50…sets the record for Home Runs by a rookie.

Aaron Judge first rookie ever to be ranked as favourite MLB player in ESPN Sports Poll;

“It’s special,” Judge said. “They are the ones watching the games, watching you do your thing, so that is pretty cool.”

“I think it is an unbelievable accomplishment,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t think you have that fanfare unless you put up big, big numbers. He did it in a big market, No. 1, but he did it in a way people appreciate — your humility, the grace that you do it with, the way you play the game, how hard you play the game.

“There is no arrogance to Aaron Judge. I think that’s why people probably rallied around him.”

andrew-harris-2016-6

Bombers workhorse, leader and outstanding RB: Andrew Harris

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers go into Commonwealth Stadium tonight to take on the stumbling Edmonton Eskimos.  A win tonight would all but clinch second place and a home playoff game…Bombers have been playing sound football: offence clicking on all cylinders, special teams outstanding and defence making strides.  It’s that time of year when the weather cools off and the running game takes over.  Bombers have two stud running backs in Andrew Harris and Timothy Flanders.  When teams key on those two backs running or catching swing passes, that opens up the passing game for Matty Ice and his receivers.  My biggest concern tonight is Edmonton getting back their big receivers, like Adarius Bowman, who could do a big number on our shaky secondary…if our DB’s can pick up their coverage, Bombers have a great chance of winning.

 

copp

It’s crunch time for Jets players like Andrew Copp.

Winnipeg Jets play their final exhibition game tonight in Calgary.  This will be the final chance for the likes of Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nick Petan, JC Lipon, Brendan Lemieux, and Brendan Tanov to show the coaching staff that they deserve to stay with the big club.  Adam Lowrey has one spot on the bottom six and Joel Armia would seem to have the upper hand on another spot…leaving four spots open.  I’m not sure what the lineup will look like on Wednesday night when the Jets open against the Leafs, but its nice seeing the organization at a point where there is some significant depth…remember the days when Patrice Cormier seemed to be the only call up from the Moose?  On defence the certainty is that Trouba, Morrisey, Buff, Myers and Enstrom are locks; I haven’t been impressed Dimitri Kulakov…perhaps he just needs some time to adapt to his new team…but, so far, I would go with the rookie, Tucker Poolman as my sixth defence man, with Kulakov and Chairot in the press box.   Poolman, 24 years old, looks a ten year vet out there, composed and a good decision maker.  As for the goal tending, it’s Steve Mason and Conner Hellybucyk who need to give the Jets better goaltending than we’ve seen since the return of our team.  If the Jets are to aspire to the heights that everybody is forecasting…then our goalies need to play, at the very least, at a solid level.

girardi and sanchez.jpg

The skipper, Joe Girardi and his rookie catcher, Gary Sancez.

Having MLB TV has allowed me to watch I’d guess almost 90% of the Yankees games this season.  It’s been like having a season ticket and getting to watch Yankees rookies like: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Jordan Montgomery set the foundation for an exciting future.  With a lineup that also includes: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks, Chase Hedley, Todd Frasier and Matt Holiday, the Yankees should be able to make some noise in the playoffs.  Luis Sevarino has become the Yankees Ace and should pitch the Wild Card game against the Twins.  With Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Sonny Grey to follow, Yanks should be in every game.  The bullpen is outstanding and is anchored by Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Delon Betancis, Chad Green and Adam Warren.

Judge curtain call

His Yankees team mates had to encourage Aaron Judge to go out for a curtain call upon hitting #50.

My prediction is a Yankees win over the Twins on Tuesday…but, having to face the Cleveland Indians in the next round will be difficult; I expect the Indians to take that series in six.  But, not having expected too much from the Yankees this season, that will be a big step they’ve taken this season, and with a farm system overflowing with talent, the future looks exciting.

 

 

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