There can be no argument that LeMahieu, already a great player from his Colorado days, has reached another level on the New York Yankees. He continued to be an outstanding hitter while hitting for a whole lot more power and making himself an MVP candidate. And as a nice little thumb in the eye of the Rockies, he is playing first base in the playoffs.
Part of LeMahieu’s implied gripe with the Rockies here is that they came at him with “all this launch angle stuff,” year after year. But then the Yankees coaches said to just do his thing and hit the ball up the middle and the other way. Because I guess that’s somehow different from how he approached things on the Rockies?
I remember the occasional foray into trying to get DJ to pull the ball, and I don’t know what happened behind the scenes as far as DJ being frustrated with coaches. But I hardly think anybody would describe him as anything other than a hitter who goes up the middle and the other way based on his time with the Rockies.
And “all that launch angle stuff” sounds like something lots of teams would present to a hitter, not to mention the fact that the Rockies were probably tired of DJ being a double play machine.
Listen, I’m happy for DJ and will take his side over the Colorado front office in almost all cases. But this feels like retrofitting an explanation that doesn’t really make sense, not to mention that it feels like the opposite of the previous articles saying the Rockies don’t present players with enough information.
It’s also hard to even follow the plot in this article from Lindsey Adler, in which it says that DJ’s “put your head down and work” attitude is a natural fit for the Yankees, only to later say that New York may not be a natural environment for a “soft spoken grinder.”
I’m happy for DJ that he’s doing so well. I accepted long ago that part of his success is better coaching on a better franchise, and that his success in New York is an indictment of a Colorado system that is probably broken. So now I think I’m ready to just cheer for him and quit trying to parse the details of all the ways the Rockies did him wrong, especially if they’re going to stop making sense.
Looking ahead to Colorado’s options at second base, Hampson’s emergence over the last couple months was a big positive. It potentially gives the Rockies a versatile option off the bench, something quite valuable in the National League. It also gives them some depth depending on how things shake out with Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers. Noah Yingling writes about a recent interview with Hampson in which he discusses his strong finish to the season and how he’s embracing a versatile role moving forward.
Murphy is now a minority owner of the Jacksonville Icemen, an ECHL hockey team near his hometown. So that’s neat. As far as the theme of this Rockpile, he’ll probably (hopefully) never play much second base for the Rockies, and you’ll note in this article that none the career accolades listed at the bottom of the press release happened this year in Colorado.