By Lenn Robbins
The troubling part of great expectations is the slow dissent into the possibility of greater disappointment.
Friday was another day of disappointment for the Yankees with news that Aaron Judge has a stress fracture of the first right rib. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters in Tampa that surgery is not off the table.
Let’s consider where the Yankees were in mid-December and where they are now:
They had just signed Gerrit Cole away from the Houston Astros, giving them an ace of aces, a Game 1 starter, a losing skid ender, a pitcher who possesses a $324 million arm and a master brain. The one glaring hole in their championship plan had been filled in extraordinary fashion.
Meanwhile, their top contender in the AL, those same Astros, were exposed as low life cheaters. Although no players were penalized, the pressure Houston will face every day of the season could break them by the All-Star break.
The Boston Red Sox came to the realization that any franchise that tries to go dollar for dollar with the Yankees does so at its own financial peril. They traded Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers.
It was as if the highway to the World Series contained one Heavyweight Occupation Lane for the Yankees and the rest of the AL can get jammed up on the rest of the road. (The Dodgers their owns lane in the National League).
Now suddenly the Yankee’s express lane is starting to look like the Cross Bronx Expressway with a pothole here a stalled car there and an 18-wheeler belching more smoke than a coal plant.
James Paxton needed back surgery. Luis Severino underwent Tommy John surgery. Giancarlo Stanton got injured – again. This time a calf muscle.
Now Judge might have to have surgery and lose that rib. He’s on the brink of going from Aaron to Adam in what could turn out to be a disappointing season of biblical proportions for Judge and the Yankees.
Opening Day is three weeks away. Is Disappointment Day that far behind?