Tommy John happy surgery named after him isn’t for hemorrhoids

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Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch caught up with Hall of Very Good pitcher Tommy John.

Over all John seems rather cranky when it comes to baseball these days. He hasn’t watched a game in ten years and has little interest in it. Part of it seems to stem from his displeasure at having to settle for being in the Hall of Very Good as opposed to the Hall of Fame, as he believes his 288 career wins justifies his induction. We’ll cut him some slack for personal bias and personal pride on that, but the less one dwells on his “my wins and Sandy Koufax’s wins are equal” argument the better.

Objectively speaking, John was good for a very long time and one might reasonably grade him upward for being the first to come back from the surgery that bears his name, so there is a case there. I tend to think that he falls short, though, particularly given the pitcher-friendly era in which he played and particularly given how he fares in comparison to the top pitchers of the 1960s and 70s. But again, his own mileage understandably varies.

Part of John’s crankiness also has to do with the nature of today’s game. He doesn’t care for managers being told what to do by front offices and doesn’t see a ton of similarity between the game he played and the game as it is today. Again, some slack can be cut here, I think.

Everyone has a greater affinity for the game they knew and loved at a certain point in their lives, be it the one they watched as a kid or the one they played a younger man. It’s unfortunate when love of that particular game works to preclude one from enjoying the current game, but it’s fairly common I suppose, particularly for guys of a certain vintage. As it is, his specific complaints touch on a lot of things we complain about around here from time to time so, again, let’s let Tommy John be Tommy John.

But even if that’s too much for you — even if you think he’s being too grumpy of an old man about all of this — can we at least acknowledge that he has a damn good point here?

To have your name attached to a surgery rather than just a ligament attached to your elbow does have its recurring moments of notoriety.

“It’s better to have a ligament replacement surgery than hemorrhoids surgery,” cracked John.

You can’t argue with that, man.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.