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Tag: Gleyber Torres

The home Run Ball And Back At Short For Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres hit his first home run of the spring Saturday afternoon. The Yankees expect a lot of those long balls to be hit as Opening Day awaits in three weeks.  

#25 Gleyber Torres hits a 3 run homer on Feb 29,2020/Neil Miller/The New York Extra /copyright 2020

The home run went to the opposite field in right for three runs. Yes, a spring game and the pitchers at this juncture are still ahead of the hitters but this one was impressive.

And with the Yankees, expected to hit their share of home runs, perhaps without Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the Opening Day lineup, the bat of Gleyber Torres will be significant. 

“I don’t think about hits or home runs just winning the World Series,” said the 23-year old shortstop before heading to Tampa last month.

Though entering his third season, Torres has shown the home run ball has become a part of his routine. a natural swing, and it has quickly gained the attention of opposing managers and pitchers.

Simple, when Gleyber Torres comes to the plate the home run ball or hit is expected. He does admit, and says numerous times, “I am still learning and trying to get better.”

And it seems that getting better has come easy. Torres, already a two-time American League All-Star, is one of those Yankees’ “Baby Bombers’ ‘ that grew up fast. Basically, he is expected to produce at the plate and has become a difficult out.

“I want to be better every year,” he said. “Stay healthy is my first thing. Just be focused for the season and do my job to help.”

Last year: 38 home runs, 90 RBI, .871 OPS.  It’s simple, Gleyber Torres is not an easy out. The Yankees are in good hands from the right hand side in a lineup that has few left hand bats.

There has never been any doubts about Torres. He was acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs along with right-handed pitcher Adam Warren, outfielder Billy McKinney, and outfielder Rashad Crawford in exchange for Aroldis Chapman on July 25, 2016.

The trade, of course, all to the advantage of the Yankees. Chapman, re-acquired, is their outstanding closer. Torres, their future star up the middle in the infield.

And this upcoming season, Torres, goes back to his natural position at shortstop with the departure of Didi Gregorius to the Phillies. Second base, he handled, and for the most part there was that adjustment.

But being back at short in the Bronx, put it this way, that is a homecoming. 

He said, “I’m excited. I’m really comfortable at second base. I learned a lot about that position but I’m back at my position. I feel more comfortable. I don’t feel pressure in anything. I just want to play my game and try to win games.”

His presence in the Yankees clubhouse has grown. Torres, sits by himself, and it has been that way from the beginning. And, he  is not one to shy away from asking questions to some of the veterans that include longtime Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner.

Last season, the two could be seen chatting on the field. In the home clubhouse in the Bronx, Torres, a native of Caracas Venezuela, will chat with Gary Sanchez, and with the many Latino talent that comprise the Yankees roster.

And now in his third year, he is no longer known as a “Baby Bomber.” It’s the long home run balls he has hit out of the yard that have made him a promising part of this Yankees future.

That first spring home run is expected to be one of many more in 2020. His debut in 2018, and Torres became the second player in Yankees history to record at least two multi-home run games before turning 22 years old, joining Joe DiMaggio who had three in 1936.

Then he said, with his ability to speak English well, “ I just go with the pitch. I am never thinking home run ball.”

Last year, there were five multi -home run games, seventh of his young career.  He does have power, also, to all fields.

“ Definitely a big part of our going forward this year,” said manager Aaron Boone who has never had doubts. So Opening Day. at shortstop, Gleyber Torres will be slotted in the lineup.

Multi-home run games in Baltimore? That has become his favorite ballpark, 19 dingers out of Camden Yards last season. And a home run hitting ballpark in the Bronx can also add to his numbers this season.

But it’s not about the numbers. For Gleyber Torres, and the Yankees, It’s all about that one goal and winning the World Series.

Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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J.D. Davis Reflects On Thurman Munson Award

Thurman Munson was a leader on and off the field and 40 years after his untimely death his legacy is constantly remembered.  Tuesday night at Chelsea Piers, the annual Thurman Munson Awards dinner continued to live that legacy.

The 40th Thurman munson Awards Dinner press conference From Left to Right Lou Piniella,Gleyber Torres ,Diana Munson,John franco ,J.D Davis, and Nancy Lieberman /Photo by Neil Miller /The New York Extra

This annual event raises money to support the AHRC New York City Foundation. The organization assists children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Diana Munson /Neil Miller/The New York Extra

“I am most proud of the money we raised ,” said Diana Munson . “To be a part of it has meant a lot to my family.”

Widow of Thurman Munson, the  Yankees Captain and catcher, has also kept that legacy going with the Thurman Munson Award. Professional and Olympic athletes are recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the community.

“It’s truly a tremendous honor,” J.D. Davis said.

J.D.Davis /neil Miller/The New York Extra

 The Mets outfielder and third baseman was honored along with Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres, former Yankees outfielder and manager Lou Piniella, former Mets captain John Franco ,and Nancy Lieberman of basketball fame.

They all spoke about Munson. A week or so after the untimely death of Kobe Bryant, they also did not forget his legacy.  

So this was not only about baseball and basketball.  Over the years, those who have been honored at this event have been role models. They have exemplified the good character and dedication of Thurman Munson.

“I was a 90’s baby, unfortunately, I never saw him play,” Davis said. “But when I got the call that I was being honored, I knew who he was. How big of an icon he was in New York. I was pretty humbled by it.”

Davis, may not become that icon, but has those qualities to exemplify all the Thurman Munson attributes do fit his character.  

Last season, he had that breakout year with the Mets  and has adopted New York City as that second home. Davis, this off-season, made several trips to New York from his home in California for charitable events.

Quickly, Davis, has adapted to playing ball in this town.

There is the  understanding of  that significance of being in the spotlight and playing baseball in New York. Thurman Munson, when he donned the Yankees pinstripes also knew that giving back to the community was important. 

So, J.D. Davis, along with the others are not recipients of this award because of their name. They are special and are doing something significant as athletes here.

More than baseball or other sports they play for a living, It’s being role models off the field.

Of course, baseball was the talk and prior to the speeches and recipients getting the Munson honor. There was no talk about the recent baseball scandal, no discussion about the Mets ownership change that is in jeopardy.

Though, Piniella, always a good piece for conversation, did say that technology was good for baseball.

And for J.D. Davis, this could be the first of many more awards to come. Assume the Mets provide that opportunity for Davis, to be a vital cog in their plans going forward, helping the community will also be in his plan.  

And there is every intention of Davis being in that lineup often, in the outfield or at third base.

He is excited about the upcoming season, and prepared this off-season to get better by watching film. He dropped seven pounds and worked on various ways to get better in the outfield.

“ Reconnected with Luis Rojas,” he said about his new manager, the former quality control coach who  was by his side in the dugout last year.

J.D.Davi /Neil Miler/The New York Extra

There are those Thurman Munson qualities on the field for J.D. Davis. He has adapted after coming from Houston as the unknown player last season, possibly the best acquisition for Mets  GM Brodie Van Wegenen.

“Coming here to New York with these guys, with these teammates and coaches, showing your personality  showing you a little bit of flair, playing the game right,” he said. 

He got that right. Because, in New York, playing here is about doing the right thing and also being a part of the community. We always saw that in Thurman Munson.

And the best way to have fun, as Munson always said, was win ball games. The Mets won 86 games last year and made a postseason push in the second half. 

 Davis, and the Mets  are anticipated to win ball games this coming season.  They also don’t know what to expect from Yeonis Cespedes with a contract that was restructured and coming off surgery.

And then there is this part about J.D. Davis, that talk of getting better.  He reminds you so much about the qualities of Thurman Munson.

“Little ways, better at bats,” he said.  “Taking notes about failures and what I’ve learned.”

Sounds a lot like Thurman Munson.

Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso