The New York Yankees have always been compared to “The Empire” from the Star Wars series. The metaphor runs so deep that general manager Brian Cashman referred to the 2019 squad as a “fully operational Death Star.” With the offseason in full effect and Star Wars taking over popular culture again, I thought it appropriate to compare the Yankees to the characters of the movies.
Everything is quiet on the New York Yankees front currently. Fans are gearing up for an intense offseason with some impressive talent on the open market. With the league currently preoccupied with the massive sign-stealing investigation, it seems high time to get some wholesome, fun content out there.
CC Sabathia as Yoda
I guess technically speaking, CC Sabathia isn’t a Yankee anymore. After pitching until his arm literally couldn’t anymore, Sabathia is headed towards a well-earned retirement.
But given that his podcast with Ryan Ruocco, R2C2, is named after a Star Wars character, I cannot, in good faith, leave him off this list.
Obviously, Sabathia is Yoda. Only one as strong with the force as Yoda could command the backdoor slider Sabathia has rolled out at the end of his career.
Not only are his breaking balls the stuff of a mystical power, but Sabathia is also a wise leader. His strong presence in the clubhouse was key to keeping the 2019 Yankees on the right path. With the various injuries the team suffered this past season, new players were filtering in and out constantly. Having strong leadership in the clubhouse was cited constantly as a reason the “Next Man Up” players were able to thrive.
Brett Gardner – Obi-Wan Kenobi
Speaking of leadership, Brett Gardner was just as important as Sabathia. He earns the title of Obi-Wan Kenobi because he isn’t the chosen one. He is meant to train the chosen one. Gardner’s role on the team is primarily to show the younger guys in the clubhouse how to go about their business as a professional baseball player for the New York Yankees.
Aaron Judge – Luke Skywalker
Aaron Judge is truly the chosen one. He is the de facto leader and eventual captain of the Yankees. His tutelage under both Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia has given him the tools to be the perfect Yankee. He says the right things to the media, he acts the right way on the field, and he leads a team that wins ballgames.
Unfortunately, Judge still needs to lead the resistance to a much needed victory over the evil Houston Astros Empire. He may be the new chosen one of the Yankees, but he still has a long way to go. Luke Skywalker was 2-for-2 against the evil empire. So far Judge is 0-for-2. The Yankees fell to the Astros in both 2017 and 2019 cheating aside. It will take one strong in the force to finally carry the Yankees to the promised lane.
Tyler Wade – Han Solo
Tyler Wade may be an unconventional pick for this list, but when it comes to Han Solo, only two things matter. Speed and cool.
As every Yankees fan is well aware, Tyler Wade is the fastest man alive. Much like the Millennium Falcon, his blazing speed is his greatest asset. He can travel first to third on any single in the outfield or swipe any base in the blink of an eye. If anyone could compare to the fastest pilot in a distant galaxy, it’s Wade.
As far as the cool factor goes, Tyler Wade can’t be beaten. Widely considered the most handsome man in baseball (at least according to the Bleacher Creatures podcast), the California King has more swagger than anybody in the league. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this slide and tell me it’s not the smoothest thing of all time.
It truly is Wades world right now pic.twitter.com/pyhrQz83BS
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) September 21, 2019
Wade’s speed and swagger perfectly encapsulate the essence of Han Solo. Sure, he may not be the biggest star on the team, but hey, Han was just a smuggler who happened to be approached by Obi-Wan and Luke.
Gary Sanchez – Lando Calrissian
Gary Sanchez is a tough player to place. Some weeks, he’s the greatest hitter the earth has ever seen. Other weeks, he looks like he’s operating in slow motion at the plate.
Well, the only person in Star Wars as unreliably inconsistent as Sanchez is Lando Calrissian. In one movie, Lando is working with the empire and betraying his friend Han and the resistance. Then in the very next movie, he plays an integral part in rescuing Han from Jabba the Hutt.
If Sanchez could just be more consistent, he’d put any questions about his future with the Yankees to bed. Much like Lando Calrissian, Sanchez needs to establish who he truly is in the eyes of the fan (or viewer).
Giancarlo Stanton – Chewbacca
As much as I’d love to place the most loyal Yankee on the same level as Chewy, I can’t overlook the most obvious comparison. Giancarlo Stanton and Chewbacca are both unnaturally large and strong individuals.
Gleyber Torres – Baby Yoda
Baby Yoda isn’t part of the original trilogy at all so he really has no place in this article. However, Gleyber Torres is only 22 years old, so, in the eyes of Yankees fans, he’s literally baby Yoda. Extremely powerful and incredibly young. It seems worthy of an unconventional pick from the Star Wars universe.
Adorable the force is. pic.twitter.com/TRcGRXgMxa
— Baby Yoda (@BabyYodaBaby) November 29, 2019