Start spreading the news: The savages are prepared for postseason


Courtesy of KA Sports Photos and Creative Commons

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the MLB Postseason this Friday evening.

Dante Gutierrez, Sports Writer

The 2019 season for the New York Yankees has been bittersweet. The Yankees have sent 30 different players to the injured list shattering a record held by the 2016 Dodgers who sent 28 players to the injured list. For most teams, this would have spelled immediate disaster and a lost season, but not for the Yankees. They have embraced adversity, forged well as a unit, and most importantly adopted the “Savages” mentality during their quest for their 28th World Series. 

On July 18, manager Aaron Boone was ejected from a game for arguing balls and strikes. A sound bite from his confrontation with the home plate umpire reveals Boone yelling, “My guys are savages in the [batter’s] box.”

The next day, Yankees position players were wearing t-shirts that read “Savages” on the front. Even pitchers, who by rule don’t hit in the American League, started wearing the t-shirt in support of their manager and the new unofficial mantra for the Yankees.

Fueled by their new identity, the Yankees have created a very explosive offense, which ranks first across the MLB with 943 runs scored, 306 home runs and 904 runs batted in. Thus, leading the Astros in runs scored [920], home runs [288] and runs batted in [891]. 

Not to mention, their pitching has also greatly improved. Left-handed pitcher James Paxon is 10-0 with a 2.25 ERA, averaging more than a strikeout per inning while limiting opponents to a .167 batting average since Aug. 2. 

Led by their offense, the Yankees are nearly unbeatable at home, tallying 57 wins to a meager 24 losses. Yes, the Yankees can also take their savagery on the road, racking up 46 wins; tied for the fourth best road record in the MLB.

Yet, for many Yankee players, it is the steady hand of manager Aaron Boone that has kept the team together through injuries.

“Very calm. Never panics. Always a calm demeanor. Stays positive,” Paxton said. “If we have a rough stretch here and there, he has encouraging words. He’s been fantastic.” 

The Bronx Bombers’ first playoff opponent is the Minnesota Twins, the team with the second best offense in the MLB. The Yankees took the regular season head-to-head matchup 4-2. Historically, the Twins have lost 13 straight playoff games overall, and 10 of those have come at the hands of the Yankees.

Starting catcher Gary Sanchez and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion are scheduled to return against the Twins. Sanchez, who was an All-Star this season, is nursing a groin injury. He has slugged 34 home runs this season and helps control potential base stealers with his strong arm behind home plate. 

Encarnacion, a mid-season acquisition from the Seattle Mariners, has added 13 home runs of his own. He is returning from a strained left oblique, which he suffered on Sept. 12.

If the Yankees defeat the Twins in the Divisional Series, it will more than likely set up a 2017 American League Championship Series rematch with the Astros. 

“The last two seasons, we got booted from the playoffs earlier than we expected,” outfielder Aaron Judge said. “We don’t forget. We’re just ready to continue this grind.”

With their new identity, the Yankees or “The Savages” are here to stay.