Most Yankees teams have plenty of star power in the rotation or the lineup. Guys like Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera dominate fans minds and are rightfully on the back of most t-shirts. While these are the most important players in the lineup, teams also need the good chemistry guys who can keep things fun and light. While they may not be the best players on the team, they are often just as critical for a successful season.
With that in mind, lets take a look at some of the more recent “Fun Guys” and who can serve that role this season!
The first and most recent fun guy is hard for me to write. Personally, I loved Tommy Kahnle and thought the fun that he brought showed signs of a strong unit. From watching Kahnle on the mound, to his locker room antics showed how beloved he was on the team. Perhaps his greatest moment came on Mike Ford’s walk-off home run in 2019.
During the 2017 season, the Yankees were looking to boost their offensive production at third base. Chase Headley never duplicated his breakout year in San Diego, and the Yankees acquired the Todd-father from the White Sox in the same trade that brought Kahnle to the Yankees.
Frazier immediately brought a spark to the Yankees and would be a key player in their 2017 Wild Card team. Frazier’s best moment came in September of 2017. A Yankees/Rays game was pushed from Tampa to Queens and Citi Field due to a hurricane in Florida. After Frazier blasted a home run, the cameras caught a Mets fan flashing a thumbs down sign. Frazier immediately picked up on it and soon it became a rallying cry for the Yankees.
Frazier wasn’t the only one from the 2017 team that could help keep the spirits high in the locker room. Yankees players and fans alike would come to love the small utility infielder known simply as Toe. Ronald Torreyes had a career year in 2017 but would become a legend in the dugout with his “Toenight Show.” Mimicking Jimmy Fallon, Torreyes fashioned a “camera” from things found in a locker room and held fake interviews with his teammates. Unfortunately, the Astros must have really enjoyed the idea.
It feels like no article about fun Yankees can exclude Nick Swisher. Having come to the Bronx in a trade in 2009, Swisher became one of the most beloved players in recent memory. Swisher was a much more critical player than Frazier, Kahnle or Toe and seemed destined for the Bronx lights. From diving after every ball or pointing to the sky after every big hit, Swisher brought a certain levity to the Yankees that was badly needed in 2009. With Swisher’s help, the Yankees would win the 2009 World Series.
In 2021, the Yankees will hopefully get big seasons from Judge, Cole and Stanton. These are the guys that the team will be relying on to capture their 28th World Series title.
The first guy that comes to mind to help bring some fun into the locker room is Clint Frazier. Frazier has a pretty funny and active twitter account and hopefully can bring some much needed fun to the Bronx as a full time player next season. For context, this is what Frazier tweeted after being called back up to the Bronx last August.
Voit can serve a similar role to Nick Swisher in the Bronx. Both seem to love the limelight, and they can crush home runs and bring a positive attitude to their teammates. Now the Yankees will need another strong season out of Voit to be competitive, but hopefully he can also bring some fun moments to the club. We’re just hopeful that someone has taught him how to eat sunflower seeds.
The last potential “Fun Guy” is Voit’s running mate at first, Mike Ford. Best remembered for his big walk-off home run in 2019, Ford has the ability to become a fan and dugout favorite. Last August, an interaction between Ford and Barstool’s Jared Carrabis showed a little of Ford’s personality. After Carrabis compared the Yankees first baseman to Babe Ruth, Ford clapped back with this gem:
As the Yankees approach the 2021 season, hopefully they can find a way to bring some fun back into the dugout. While these players are usually not the most important, they are critical for building a strong team chemistry and keeping their teammates in positive spirits. With that said, who do you think will help bring some fun to the Bronx?