MLB Rob Parker – Yankees' Aaron Judge Could be Key to Reviving National MLB Appeal
You know Chris when he burst onto the scene. He has all the elements that you’re looking for he’s big he’s, strong he’s got some swag he’s black look up, he’s got no I’m insane he’s got all these things going for him and he hits the long ball and he’s playing on the biggest stage right. So yeah, so you could either you can either like him, Chris, even with the Yankees you could like them or hate them and it’s good. So it’s not like. Oh you got to be on board with the Yankees. No, you could actually hate the Yankees and hate Aaron judge and that’s good it’s, a good thing that you even care to hate Aaron judge and I think what’s derailed him. The last couple of years. We saw him Chris at the all star game in Miami. I was down there, I covered even won the home run derby, he put on a unbelievable show and he was, and people were buzzing even after that performance when he won the home run derby his rookie year, the first rookie to ever win it outright. Even the Commissioner Rob Branford said after that he’s the guy, who could be the face of baseball right and and that’s no disrespect to Mike Trout, who’s a great player.
There are other guys Chris, who are better all around players than Aaron Judge. No doubt mookie betts master out there’s other guys, Cody Bellinger, yes, that but the problem is you got to have everything wrapped up to make people want to care about you and, I think, that’s.
What he has to me Mike Trout, is like Tim Duncan. All Tim Duncan did was win champion out now, obviously tried as a warning championship. Chris Brander, while Tim Duncan, was a great player. Nobody could say anything about him, but if you could have you put together, three is four soundbites people, wouldn’t even know what Tim Duncan sounds like right: I’m. Alright, now you’re right, that’s, like that’s, a very good comparison. So here but that’s, not the guy. You want to lead your league, and Tim Duncan won five out of six championships. He did everything right. Everything you wanted. Wasn’T in trouble was a model citizen, good guy. Nobody had anything bad to say about Tim Duncan yeah, but he didn’t move the needle Erin judge. Can do that Chris and I think this year with the 60 games in 67 days if he can finally stay healthy that’s, what the ramp the Yankees have been to the playoffs they’ve been to the ALCS. They haven’t gotten to the World Series, but he’s been hurt. He’S missed a hundred and ten games the last two years they need air is George at least 52 last two years, Brian fifty or more fifty fifty one year and 60.
So to me, if Erin judge could have like an MVP type season bash those big home runs help the Yankees get to the World Series and win a World Series. I think he would have a chance to grab the attention of the nation because he has all those things working yeah.
I think you make some really good points I don’t it would be better. Certainly if he won, the World Series led the Yankees to the World Series, but I don’t even think he has to do that. Obviously number one. He has to stay healthy and he has to have a tremendous year. If he could have. You know 25 homers. 2016 games and 60 games, then that would be huge even if they didn’t win the World Series. That would go a long way in capturing fans imaginations. I think it’s. I agree with you. I think he is the one guy I mean he was doing it before it right, but that’s what I’m saying years ago, there’s no doubt about it. You were starting to see more commercials. He was a guy that we know could have played football, but he chose baseball, he’s, six foot, eight he’s, a big guy. He had it all and he was a part of when baseball players did the black lives matter. Chris. He was one of the first phases. You saw on the commercial right right right. I do think, though, it’s deeper than that and – and you know, I think, baseball and and a riot talked about this III didn’t like his ultimate answer, which was you know, we’re losing out to some of these other things.
Because of the salary cap, which I thought were the lack of a salary cap, he’s ridiculous – that just didn’t work yeah, but he is right in fact nowadays versus the sixties, seventies eighties, when baseball was really in its heyday during our lifetime.
You didn’t have as much competition for the eyeballs. Obviously, you’ve got the other sports which have gotten both football and basketball have become more popular than they used to be. You’Ve got the internet. You got the social media, you got Netflix, you got show to all the things, a Rob mention and so people’s attention spans are smaller people. You know people used to sit around and listen to baseball games on the transistor radios or you’d, sit there and watch a game for three how many nights as a kid growing up in New York. We would be out sitting on the porch Chris of somebody’s house with the ball game in the background cuz every game wasn’t on TV. It wouldn’t grow up like that right and you would have the ball game on, but you would be hanging out with your friends and talk about the bread game would be on. No, no doubt no doubt, and so I think, Rob what now draws a lot of people to sports. I mean, obviously they like the actual sports themselves, but our personalities that was one of the geniuses of David Stern is that he marketed individuals and obviously players with more.
You know, swag as you called it players with more Flair, more style. Their games were fun to watch. They became as superstars that drove the popularity of the league or there’s some type of storyline Larry Bird, being a white superstar. Who was arguably the best player in the world magic being flashy out in there late like story lines, and so what I think I think baseball judge certainly would be one, but I think, baseball Shohei itani if he can play the whole season and pitch and hit That’S a story line right, that’s, something interesting and I think baseball needs to market these individuals.
Bryce Harper’s talked about it. If he can have a great year, he can be a guy that he’s already popular but he’s. Somebody people are tuned in to watch just because of his personality right and we saw Bryce Harper when he went to the Phillies hey, remember Chris. They sold a hundred thousand kits in 24 hours, which is incredible, and his jersey, outsold LeBron James’s Laker Jersey, which was amazing as well like for a guy to go to Philadelphia and sell that many jerseys, so Bryce Harper has that he has the hair. He has the homerun power, he says: hey do well, but he’s got to play well right exactly so there were guys and here’s the other part we saw after 94 when baseball was down after the strike. What happened Chris? What captured America’s attempts at home run the whole ones between Sammy Sosa Mark, McGwire, yeah and all of a sudden, if you remember no matter where the game was on I’m talking about the Cardinal game or the club game, yeah ESPN used to break in.
Do you remember I wasn’t read so they had bats yeah? I was traveling for about a week with both of those guys or you know, one or the other right for the New York Times during the I was doing. I believed I was doing the lockout for the NBA or made us yeah, but it might have been out yeah a 98 or, but I was covering for the New York Times.
I was writing stories on those guys, but that captured America’s attention yeah now that was 22 years ago, but I’m just saying, but it can’t happen that’s. What I’m saying this too and look we’ve talked about this before black players in baseball. Look if black players, these aren’t black American players, either aren’t good enough or just aren’t playing as much whatever that’s fine, I mean it’s, not like I’m. Not for you know we got ta. Have you know 15 of the league has to be black? Look you you. I just think everybody should have the opportunity, and so I do think, though a mayor or baseball would been fit if there were more african american players, because obviously they’ve been some of the best players. We’Ve ever seen, they’ve brought some style some flesh, not all of them everybody’s different personality right, but obviously some, you know, stolen bases, I’d, love to see some of that brought back and obviously some white guys steal bases, but not like Lou Brock and really hinder it.
So it’s different what they even do that today, but I think things like that would be great for the game and Rob the demographics we have to remember. While the country is 70 white 72, the younger people then now 15 years and under it’s less than 50 white, so the Millennials are like 55 Wai ghin Z, which is 21, and over is 51 white. There are more people and more Asians, more african americans who are about 13 of the population and Hispanics their population about 35 yeah, oh yeah, so huge the game, the more diversity you have in.
Obviously you got tons of Hispanics in the league and a lot of them brings. I think baseball’s got to let these dudes, as they are now bat flip. Let them let them show their personal style, see the Suellen stuff happening. This is where I think baseball as time goes on Chris, because of the booming Hispanic population and soccer and baseball will have a resurgence as that Hispanic population continues to grow because of how entrenched they are in those sports, not in the NFL and not in the Nba but baseball has a chance, but I think Aaron judge. This is your year, yes soccer, because that’s what I’m talking about with a resurgence telling about a surge in America? No I’m talking about well there’s, more leagues on and stuff now in the MLS is a viable league. It’S been around for a while, I mean have their leagues, but I mean it doesn’t.
He hadn’t it’s never captured to know what I’m talking about which combination in the American nation when the Hispanics take over as a number one group it’ll be interesting to see what their boy Grob in baseball. In particular, you know a lot of Hispanics speak Spanish mainly. May not be as comfortable yet with you with the English language over here, so that can stifle your personality and you know your ability to maybe be as colorful as funny as you. You normally would be, and I think it’s more. You know the Hispanics are here more than speaking, because you know when they’re able to show their true personality because they may be more comfortable with the language or they grew up here.