The New York Yankees underwent a power outage in home runs. Will they ever return to the status of “Bronx Bombers” again?
One of the greatest perks of watching the New York Yankees is being able to witness monster home runs… a lot of them.
As many know, the long ball has always been a common theme for the Yankees, which has earned them the nickname of the “Bronx Bombers.”
However, the Yankees have recently failed to live up to that name. Last season, the team’s home run leader had only 22 jacks. That Yankee, Carlos Beltran, was only with the team for half the season. It’s becoming an alarming trend.
In 2014, the home run leader was Brian McCann with 23 home runs. In 2013, Robinson Cano led the Yankees with 27 long balls. The common theme with each of these seasons? The Yankees didn’t make the playoffs.
In the past 17 seasons, the Yankees have hit over 200 total home runs in 13 seasons. In all 13 of these seasons, the Yankees made their way to the playoffs. In the four sub-200 home run seasons, they did not.
Interesting how three out of the last four seasons have shown a decline in Bombers’ home runs. So where have the Bronx Bombers gone?
Home runs are not necessarily what wins games — especially in the new age of young, fast and athletic talent. But in the case of the New York Yankees, the home runs certainly do something to motivate them towards the playoffs.
It’s simple, the more home runs they hit, the more likely they are to extend their season to the postseason.
Of course, lack of production from power hitters like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez were a major cause for the low home run totals. But in the past, the Yankees have had several long ball threats in their line-up. Recently, they just haven’t.
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Beltran served as the major source of power for the Yankees last season, but slumps from Brian McCann, Rodriguez and Teix caused a decline in overall numbers. With so much power potential in the line-up, the fact that the Yankees only slugged 183 home runs is shocking.
Ranked 19th in home runs in the MLB in the MLB, the Yankees didn’t rely on the home run to win games and they were ultimately left out of the postseason for the third time in four years.
Hopefully, with the call-ups of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, along with the return of Greg Bird, the Yankees will be able to reclaim their nickname. The lack of power in recent years has made the game more difficult to watch. Since the youth have taken over, the hope for more home runs seems to be entirely possible.
These young stars have the ability to officially make them the Bronx Bombers once again. They need that spark and that excitement that comes from crushing home runs. It makes the fans happy, it makes the Yankees dominant and it makes baseball fun again.
Holliday’s acquisition is a good choice for the rebuilding Yankees, but his signing will not automatically guarantee a boost back to the good old days of home runs galore.
But what it will do, is take the pressure off the young players, like Sanchez, who tend to provide the majority of the team’s moonshots.
The 13-year will make a difference in that there is now an experienced power bat to the lineup, but the Yankees won’t end this power outage unless the home runs come from a variety of players. They can’t rely on one veteran to support them all; these young Yankees must each provide in their own way.
Then, and only then, will they become the Bronx Bombers once again.
It’s no wonder the Yankees are seeking, and got, a big bat this off-season. They need more big hits and home runs to get the job done and chase down title No. 28. It’s about time the Yankees started, once again, seeking out those who have both power and consistency for their roster.
There might be some players coming up that have some potential to fill that void. But for now, the Bronx Bombers have been missing and it’s about time that we get them back.