Things Eager Yankees Fan Should Know in 2018

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Next is newly signed slugger J.D. Martinez at $23.75 million, then Hanley Ramirez ($22.75 million) and Rick Porcello ($21.125 million).

Few teams in baseball will begin the 2018 season with higher expectations than the New York Yankees.

But let's not forget this is still baseball, and while it may be easy to dismiss the Orioles, Blue Jays, Twins, Rangers, Angels, Mets, Phillies, Brewers, Cardinals, Rockies and Giants, that's not the way the sport works.

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Colin Powell (under Ronald Reagan), to Condoleezza Rice (the first woman), to Susan Rice (under Barack Obama ), to former Lt. Bush's United Nations ambassador as a "recess appointment" due to broad opposition to his confirmation in the Senate.

We usually root, root, root for the home team, but in this case, we've gotta call foul on this one.

There will be surprises, and division titles that look obvious in late March will leave baseball enthusiasts burying their heads in their hands by Memorial Day. The Boston Red Sox have departed their Florida spring training camp but the schedule-makers are wisely keeping them in Florida for another week while Fenway Park thaws out.

If the Yankees and Dodgers stay under the threshold, their base tax rate would drop from 50 percent to 20 percent in 2019, putting them in better position next offseason for a free-agent class that includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson. There may be quite a few games where NY has to rely upon that offense to end up in the win column.

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The show attracted millions of listeners and shattered records for the number of times a podcast has been streamed or downloaded. In the meantime, Syed's current attorney, Justin Brown, has celebrated the decision, tweeting in all-caps: "WE WON THE APPEAL".

Aaron Judge and newcomer Giancarlo Stanton will bat second and third when the Yankees open against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. Catcher Gary Sanchez is hitting cleanup, center fielder Aaron Hicks is slotted fifth and shortstop Didi Gregorius will hit sixth. The team was irrelevant, lacked a star attraction (Brett Gardner led position players with just 3.4 WAR, the lowest team-leading figure since the 1981 strike season) and home attendance plummeted to its lowest figure in almost two decades. I'd feel even better about the Yankees if Greg Bird were in the lineup at first base.

The Bombers will carry 13 pitchers, as previously noted, along with three bench players to start the 2018 campaign. When the Yankees gave up Starlin Castro and a couple of prospects for Stanton in an off-season deal, it was to push through to the World Series and take advantage of a young lineup that's progressing faster than expected. "We made the playoffs a couple years ago and lost in the wild-card game to the Astros, but for the Yankees and our fans, it had been a disappointment, and nobody [was] more disappointed than the players inside this room". Ultimately Thames was named hitting coach for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders the Yankees Triple-A team. "It shows in the way that he goes about his business and the pride he takes in every part of the game has been impressive".

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