If these Baby Bombers are going to succeed, then it’s not going to be the new names on the club, like the Aaron Judges, and Greg Birds of the world.
Nor the established veterans, so guys like Jacoby Elsberry, CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner are off the hook.
No, if this Yankee team is going to succeed, then the club will need contributions for all 25 guys on the roster. And only when the rookies, veterans, starters and bench players are in unison, then the Baby Bombers have a chance to do something remarkable in 2017.
And tonight, after winning the first two games against the Tampa Bay Rays, these Yankees were holding out for a hero and who popped his head up? None other than Aaron Hicks.
His two homers and three RBI was all the Yankees needed in the 3-2 win behind the right arm of Luis Severino.
You might remember Hicks, the reserve outfielder who lost the right fielders job to Judge. It wasn’t easy for the 27 year-old who thought he had the position in the bag, however baseball is a game of opportunity and all Hicks needed was a chance.
“I told him your opportunities will come,” said manager Joe Girardi. “You have to give a lot of credit because I thought he turned the page really quickly.”
Hicks can teach these Baby Bombers the right way to play the game. Hicks didn’t sulk or get down on himself and the chances came early on for him. Because of injuries, rest or whatnot, Hicks started about half the Yankee games and is one of their hottest hitters. After tonight he is hitting .313 with two homers and five RBI.
Why the difference? Well Hicks says he changed his approach at the plate this season, shortening his swing and just trying to hit the ball hard.
“I was looking for pitches to hit,” Hicks said when asked about the homers. “Both up in the zone and I can handle. I got pretty good swings on both of them.”
It sounds simple enough, but we all know there’s more to it than that. But Hicks is taking it simple and slow and, just being prepared for every at bat that comes his way if he’s in the starting lineup or not.
When Brett Gardner had his collision at first base yesterday, it was Hicks gain, but since Gardner will be back tomorrow, Hicks will probably be on the bench.
“We are a team,” Hicks said. “That’s why it’s so easy for me to turn my head because we are a team. I got to do what I got to help this team win and sulking around won’t help anybody.”
More than anything else Hicks can do for this club, he can be an example for these younger Yankees. In the first 10 days of the season, he’s showing everyone how to play the game right.
A good night and a good start for No. 31.