By Kevin Kernan
December 10, 2017
Cancel the Toe-Night Show dugout interviews and all those shenanigans. They were fun while they lasted, but, boom, that time of baseball innocence has passed.
Those lovable Baby Bombers are now the Bronx Behemoths.
Deal with it, haters. The Yankees are back where they belong, as public enemy No. 1.
The Evil Empire is ready again to snuff out the baseball universe. The team with 27 World Series titles is hot on the trail for No. 28.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Giancarlo Stanton and his major league leading 59 home runs will join the Yankees and the 6-7, 282-pound Aaron Judge and his AL-leading 52 home runs, thanks to a stunning trade, pending a Stanton physical, with Derek Jeter’s bargain basement Marlins.
Don’t forget Gary Sanchez’ 33 bombs, that’s 144 home runs from those three hitters — Stanton, Judge and Sanchez — last season.
That’s 16 more home runs than the Giants hit last year, the same Giants Jeter thought he had a Stanton trade worked out with — neglecting to run it by Stanton with his full no-trade clause. The NL MVP painted Jeter into a corner, saying he would only accept a trade to the Yankees, Dodgers and Astros.
Stanton, 28, called his trade shot and the Yankees are the big winners, thanks to the Captain’s gift to his old team — just another South Florida deal some might call shady.
The Yankees are going to be loathed this season by everyone who is not a Bombers fan. Goliaths with gobs of cash opposing fans will be rooting against, much like opponents and fans disliked Alex Rodriguez.
This is an organization that has haters anyway and it’s going to be magnified now. Can these Yankees players deal with that kind of adversity and the hateful atmosphere in other ballparks, starting with Fenway Park?
The team with the most home runs in 2017, the Yankees, with a booming 241 blasts, are adding the major league’s home run leader, shades of Babe Ruth joining the Yankees on Dec. 26, 1919, when he was purchased/stolen from the Red Sox for $100,000.
The team that came one win away from going to the World Series, losing the ALCS to the eventual world champion Astros in seven games, has reloaded and the Winter Meetings have yet to officially begin.
The Yankees are back to being the Big Bad Bombers playing in a bandbox.
“It’s going to be a devastating lineup, a force to be reckoned with,’’ one scout told The Post on Saturday. He laughed and added, “They better order another 500 dozen BP balls. That is going to be must-see TV with Sanchez, Judge, Stanton and [Greg] Bird hitting in the same group. I can’t wait until the first warm night in May when the ball is jumping at Yankee Stadium.’’
Noted another scout, “This is the new Murderers’ Row. Stanton is going to take a lot of pressure off Judge and Sanchez.’’
At Minute Maid Park the Yankees managed to score only three runs in four ALCS games, all Yankee losses. Stanton will change that. The days of Didi Gregorius hitting fourth are over.
The mighty Stanton can check his swing and hit one into the right-field seats. After playing in cavernous Marlins Park, Yankee Stadium will be home, sweet home, the ultimate nightmare for opposing pitchers.
Be prepared for a new home run call by the Yankees’ Broadway-loving broadcaster John Sterling — another Stantonian blast.
Aaron Boone is the world’s luckiest manager, going from the broadcast booth to choreographing his near nightly version of the Home Run Derby all within a week.
Sure there are possible problems ahead. Nothing is guaranteed in baseball.
Stanton does not possess Judge’s easy-going nature with the media. He can be overly defensive and that may wear thin in the media capital of the world. Boone has too many outfielders, with no place for young Clint Frazier, but another trade could change that. Jacoby Ellsbury becomes the world’s most expensive pinch-runner and defensive replacement. So be it. Money can’t buy you love, but it can sure pay for home runs.
The Yankees are short on starting pitching at the moment as well, but that could change quickly because general manager Brian Cashman still has his major trade chips.
And yes, in February 2004 the Yankees thought they hit World Series gold with the trade for Rodriguez, but it took time to win a title. That was a Yankees team opposing fans loved to hate.
With this trade the Evil Empire is back. Game on, hate on.