یادداشت سردبیر: تابستان امسال، تحلیلگر فوتبال کالج FOX Sports جوئل کلات به عنوان بخشی از مجموعه پادکست جدید خود، “نمایش جوئل کلات: گفتگوهای بزرگ ظهر”، با بزرگترین نام های فوتبال دانشگاهی مصاحبه می کند. متن زیر گزیده ای از قسمت 3 است که در آن، گرگ سانکی، کمیسر SEC حضور دارد. میتوانید اپیزود 1 را با دیون سندرز در اینجا گوش دهید و قسمت 2 با نیک سابان در اینجا.
به دفتر مرکزی کنفرانس SEC بروید، تابلوی بزرگی خواهید دید که روی آن نوشته شده است: «مشکلات منجر به تلاش میشوند».
کمیسر SEC، گرگ سانکی، اخیراً به جوئل کلات، تحلیلگر فوتبال کالج FOX Sports در مجموعه پادکست تابستانی خود، “نمایش جوئل کلات: گفتگوهای بزرگ ظهر” پیوست تا در مورد چندین مشکل پیش روی فوتبال کالج در چشم انداز همیشه در حال تحول امروز بحث کند.
یکی از موضوعات مورد بحث، تقویم فعلی فوتبال کالج بود که به گفته سانکی، به بحث های چالش برانگیز با مربیان SEC منجر شده است.
سانکی گفت: “در صحبت با مربیان از پایان فصل عادی، ناامیدی هایی وجود داشت.” ما دسامبر را برایشان بدبخت کردیم».
گرگ سانکی در تقویم فوتبال کالج
در فصل گذشته، تاریخ امضای اولیه برای دوره فوتبال دسته اول 21 دسامبر بود، در حالی که اولین پنجره نقل و انتقالات در 5 دسامبر باز شد و 45 روز بعد در 18 ژانویه 2023 بسته شد. نه تنها این دو دوره با هم تداخل داشتند، اما آنها همچنین زمانی را مشخص کردند که برنامه ها برای آماده سازی برای بازی های کاسه پس از فصل شروع به تمرین کردند.
این همپوشانی منجر به تعدادی از مسائل پیرامون ساخت فهرست شد و استرس زیادی را بر مربیان وارد کرد.
سانکی گفت: “نگرانی که باید در درازمدت داشته باشیم این است که افراد خوب بازی را از دست بدهیم زیرا افراد خوب می گویند من نمی خواهم این کار را انجام دهم.” “سلامت روان مربیان ما در این محیط به چالش کشیده می شود. آنها پول زیادی به دست می آورند، اما وقتی با برخی از نکات بهداشت روانی که این سرعت مداوم و آشفتگی مداوم می تواند ایجاد کند، پول صورت حساب ها را پرداخت نمی کند.” “
سانکی 59 ساله که کار حرفه ای خود را به عنوان مدیر ورزش های بین شهری در کالج Utica آغاز کرد و از آن زمان به عنوان یکی از معتبرترین رهبران در رشته دو و میدانی کالج شناخته شده است، راه حلی را ارائه کرد. به تقویم فعلی فوتبال کالج.
Sankey گفت: “من پیشنهاد می کنم یک مرحله این است که اجازه دهید پورتال دسامبر را کوتاه کنیم و اجازه دهیم این تصمیمات برای ورود در یک بازه زمانی دو هفته ای گرفته شود.” “این یک تجربه یادگیری دیگر خواهد بود زیرا تحقیقات زیادی در این مورد وجود ندارد.”
سانکی معتقد است که چنین تغییری نه تنها استرس مربیان فعلی در سراسر کشور را کاهش می دهد، بلکه به برخی از “پیشنهادات” نامطلوب که بعداً در پنجره پورتال به نظر می رسد کمک خواهد کرد.
سانکی گفت: «آنچه که دیدید این بود که روز بعد از قرار دادن کاسه، درگاه باز شد، یکی دو هفته اول دقیقاً رفتار پیشبینی شده بود. یکسری از مردم که میگفتند یا نمیخواهم اینجا باشم، من زمان بازی بیشتری میخواهم، انتخاب درستی نکردم، میخواهم به خانه نزدیکتر باشم، هر چه که باشد، دستشان را بالا بردند و گفتند: وقت رفتن است.’
پس از آن دو هفته، داستانهای زیادی را دیدید که در آن افراد تأثیرگذار، اشخاص ثالث، نمایندگان، افرادی که نمیشناسیم، دارید که میگویند «اگر ترک کنی با تو قرارداد داریم». این صفر نیست. برخی آن را به عنوان رشوه توصیف می کنند. برخی آن را به عنوان انگیزه توصیف می کنند. این چیزی نیست که قرار است باشد.”
گرگ سانکی در مورد NIL و مسائل ناشی از آن
سانکی نکته مهم دیگری را در مورد تغییرات اخیر در سراسر فوتبال کالج به کلات ارائه کرد، این مورد به طور خاص به پورتال انتقال و نحوه تأثیر آن بر گزینه های تحصیلی یک ورزشکار مربوط می شود.
Sankey گفت: “هنگامی که شما انتقال می دهید، هر انتقال اعتباری انجام نمی شود و ممکن است نتوانید در برنامه ای که می خواهید ثبت نام کنید.” “اگر به آن دو هفته گذشته برگردید، زمانی که آن زمزمه ها در حال وقوع است، نمی دانم کسی بگوید، “آنها واقعاً به من کمک کردند تا واقعیت آکادمیک خود را قبل از تصمیم گیری درک کنم.” و این یک تصمیم طولانی مدت و زندگی است.”
قبل از اینکه در سال 2015 به عنوان کمیسر SEC معرفی شود، سانکی به مدت 13 سال در دفتر کنفرانس به عنوان یک کمیسر وابسته زیر نظر مایک سیلو کار کرد و مستقیماً با مسائل مربوط به انطباق سروکار داشت. آن سمت از دو و میدانی کالج، همراه با جنبه آکادمیک، چیزی است که او به شدت به آن علاقه دارد.
سانکی میگوید: «فوتبال همیشه وجود خواهد داشت و سپس از بین میرود، اما ما با 97 درصد ورزشکاران دانشگاهی که حرفهای نیستند یا این وابستگی را ندارند، چه کنیم؟» “آیا ما به توسعه مادام العمر آنها کمک می کنیم؟ من نمی بینم که در مورد آن صحبت شود.”
برای Sankey، کار به ایجاد بستری برای موفقیت می رسد که نه تنها برای دانشجویان ورزشکار در SEC بلکه در سراسر کشور مفید خواهد بود.
سانکی گفت: «وقتی به گذشته نگاه میکنم، میخواهم جوانان بگویند خوشحالم که او رهبری کرد، زیرا تأثیر مثبتی بر من گذاشت.»
روند فوتبال کالج
از فوتبال کالج بیشتر بگیریدموارد دلخواه خود را دنبال کنید تا اطلاعاتی در مورد بازی ها، اخبار و موارد دیگر دریافت کنید
هوش مصنوعی (AI) به زودی بر بسیاری از بخش های زندگی ما تأثیر خواهد گذاشت. ممکن است در حال حاضر اثرات هوش مصنوعی را تجربه کرده باشید، حتی اگر متوجه آن نباشید، و چه بخواهید یا نه، هوش مصنوعی به کازینوهای آنلاین نیز می آید. صنعت بازی یکی از حامیان قوی هوش مصنوعی بوده و به تشویق آن ادامه خواهد داد. بیایید بررسی کنیم که چگونه هوش مصنوعی تجربه بازی های آنلاین کازینو شما را بهبود می بخشد.
چگونه هوش مصنوعی کازینوهای آنلاین را تقویت می کند؟
هوش مصنوعی پویایی بازی های قمار محبوب مانند بلک جک و رولت را تغییر داده است. بازیکنان در گذشته مجبور بودند مغز افراد معمولی کازینو را انتخاب کنند و با حریفان ماهرتری مقابله کنند. ماشینهای قمار مدرن از الگوریتمهای پیچیده برای محاسبه نتایج استفاده میکنند و شانس را به نفع خود تغییر میدهند. بسیاری از بازیکنان معتقدند که فناوری از مهارت های آنها استفاده کرده است. هوش مصنوعی امنیت قمار آنلاین و تجربه کاربر از بازی آنلاین را بهبود بخشیده است.
اپراتورها و توسعه دهندگان می توانند از هوش مصنوعی برای ارائه خدمات بهتر به مشتریان خود استفاده کنند. برای تبلیغات دقیق تر می توان اطلاعات مربوط به بازدیدکنندگان جدید و بازگشتی را جمع آوری کرد. همچنین می تواند بازی هایی که بازیکنان را جذب می کند و روش های شرط بندی آنها را آشکار کند.
هوش مصنوعی در تشخیص قماربازان مشکل ساز مفید است
ما می توانیم از هوش مصنوعی برای شناسایی قماربازان مشکل دار استفاده کنیم. هوش مصنوعی به کازینوهای آنلاین کمک می کند تا مشتریان خود را از درگیر شدن در رفتارهای قمار مضر دور نگه دارند.
با هوش مصنوعی، کازینوهای اینترنتی بالاخره می توانند بازی های منصفانه را ارائه دهند
با کمک هوش مصنوعی می توان در کازینوهای آنلاین به زمین بازی مساوی تری دست یافت و ادامه داد. هوش مصنوعی می تواند اقدامات بازیکنان را ردیابی کند و با استفاده از فناوری مدرن، متقلبان را افشا کند. میتواند میزان هزینههای قمار را بررسی کند و در صورت لزوم وقفههایی را پیشنهاد کند. اگر بازیکنی با مشکلاتی مواجه شود، هوش مصنوعی میتواند ارتباط با کارکنان پشتیبانی را تسهیل کند. شرط بندی ورزشی، نظارت بر سلامت و دسترسی، کاربردهای بالقوه ای برای این نوآوری هستند.
نقش هوش مصنوعی در شرط بندی
1) گیم پلی پیشرفته
هوش مصنوعی هم امکان ساخت بازی های جدید و هم بهبود بازی های قدیمی را فراهم می کند. بازیها را میتوان با استفاده از الگوریتمهای هوش مصنوعی برای تجزیه و تحلیل عادات و سلایق بازیکنان هیجانانگیزتر کرد. علاوه بر این، هوش مصنوعی میتواند با ارزیابی نظرات بازیکنان برای پیشرفتهای احتمالی، توسعه بازی را بهبود بخشد. بازی های طراحی شده با هوش مصنوعی گیمرها را بیشتر راضی خواهند کرد.
2) کارایی به حداکثر می رسد
فناوری هوش مصنوعی میتواند به کسبوکارهای بازی آنلاین کمک کند هزینهها را کاهش دهند و کارایی را بهبود بخشند. به عنوان مثال، خودکار کردن عملیات تکراری مانند پشتیبانی مشتری، کشف تقلب و پردازش پرداخت با الگوریتمهای هوش مصنوعی میتواند کارمندان را آزاد کند تا روی تلاشهای استراتژیکتر تمرکز کنند. در نتیجه، پلت فرم قمار ممکن است روان تر کار کند.
3) بهبود روش های قمار
هوش مصنوعی (AI) می تواند داده های تاریخی و اطلاعات عملکرد بازیکنان و تیم را در زمان واقعی تجزیه و تحلیل کند. این به مصرف کنندگان اجازه می دهد تا شرط بندی های تحصیل کرده تری بگذارند. هوش مصنوعی می تواند با پردازش حجم عظیمی از داده ها، به یکسان سازی زمین بازی و بهبود دقت پیش بینی ها کمک کند. این روندها، الگوها و همبستگی هایی را که درک آنها برای انسان دشوار است، آشکار می کند.
مزایا برای کاربران
1) افزودن تنوع به گزینه های شرط بندی
بازیهای فروشنده زنده در حال حاضر بسیار محبوب هستند. اگر در یک کازینو آنلاین حساب داشته باشید، می توانید آنها را با پول واقعی بازی کنید. برخی از کازینوهای آنلاین در حال بررسی استخدام هوش مصنوعی برای جایگزینی دلالان انسانی هستند. بازیهای زنده معمولاً شبانهروز اجرا میشوند، بنابراین این میتواند راهی برای صرفهجویی در هزینه باشد. در صورت استفاده از کروپیه های مجازی، برخی از بازیکنان حتی ممکن است متوجه تفاوت نشوند.
2) تجزیه و تحلیل پیش بینی
یکی از جذابترین جنبههای هوش مصنوعی در قمار آنلاین، پتانسیل آن برای انجام ارزیابیهای پیشبینی بر اساس دادههای تاریخی در مورد الگوها، روندها و سایر مؤلفههای مرتبط است. علاوه بر این، چنین ابزارهایی میتوانند به بازیکن کمک کنند تا نقاط قوت و ضعف نسبی تیمهای دیگر را درک کند و پیشبینی کند که در یک مسابقه چگونه در مقابل یکدیگر عمل خواهند کرد. در نتیجه، کسبوکارها بینشی در مورد استراتژیهای بازی مورد انتظار تیمها به دست میآورند.
3) نظارت بر بازی
چرا می خواهید راه حل شرط بندی مبتنی بر هوش مصنوعی را پیاده سازی کنید که هر بازی را ردیابی کند؟ ابتدا باید ایراداتی را در روش های شرط بندی فعلی و در کل بازار پیدا کنید. پس از آن، نرم افزار می تواند به طور خودکار روی هر فرصت مطلوب شرط بندی کند. این به بازیکنان مزیت قابل توجهی در مقایسه با تکیه بر تجزیه و تحلیل دستی برای شرط بندی می دهد.
راه های مختلفی وجود دارد که هوش مصنوعی می تواند بازی های آنلاین را بهبود بخشد. هوش مصنوعی میتواند مشخصات بازیکن را تجزیه و تحلیل کند تا مزایا، پاداشها و تجربیات بازی شخصیسازی شده را ارائه دهد. در نتیجه، بازیکن ممکن است زمان بهتری داشته باشد و احساس کند ارتباط بیشتری با بازی و محتوای نمایش داده شده دارد.
آیا هوش مصنوعی می تواند قمار را آسان تر کند؟
بدون شک، هوش مصنوعی تأثیر قابل توجهی بر کیفیت خدمات ارائه شده توسط سایت های قمار آنلاین داشته است.
دقیقاً هوش مصنوعی چگونه در مؤسسات قمار آنلاین کاربرد دارد؟
کازینوهای آنلاین می توانند برنامه های تشویقی خود را با استفاده از هوش مصنوعی برای تجزیه و تحلیل پروفایل بازیکنان بهبود بخشند.
آیا هوش مصنوعی قادر به پیشبینی دقیق شرطبندی در رویدادهای ورزشی است؟
هوش مصنوعی (AI) می تواند از مجموعه داده های عظیم با استفاده از تکنیک های یادگیری ماشین یاد بگیرد.
Whether teams project to be buyers or sellers, we need to take a close look at MLB trade deadline teams’ needs in 2023.
Even if we already know the top trade deadline candidates, it’s important to know the MLB trade deadline team needs for 2023 before trying to predict how things will play out this summer.
MLB trade deadline team needs 2023
Obviously, fans are hoping for an active deadline with some of the best MLB trades ever. That’s why we wanted to explore the positions to improve at the trade deadline for every team and the trade targets by team.
Keep in mind that even teams that are sellers have needs to address. Therefore, we are hoping to explore MLB trade deadline team needs in 2023 for all 30 teams.
Blue Jays – Bullpen Help, Outfield Depth
The Blue Jays have had a topsy-turvy season. There have been times when it looked like they couldn’t lose and other times when they looked like they couldn’t win. At the moment, Toronto is in decent shape, but being in the AL East, the Jays will need to make moves at the trade deadline to ensure they claim a Wild Card spot since catching the Rays seems unrealistic.
The good news is the core of the Blue Jays is in good shape. But with some injured relievers, Toronto’s bullpen could use another arm or two. The Jays are also light on right-hand-hitting outfielders outside of George Springer. To help balance out Daulton Varsho and Cavan Biggio, Toronto should add an outfielder who can hit lefties.
Orioles – Starting Pitcher, Star Power
For the first time in a long time, the Orioles aren’t going to be obvious sellers at the deadline. In fact, as the second-place team in the AL East, Baltimore could be rather aggressive. The Orioles have a deep farm system that could be useful, especially since they could most benefit from a proven starting pitcher.
Outside of Kyle Gibson, Baltimore’s rotation is young, so a proven veteran starter could be a great addition. In fact, any big-name player, especially someone with postseason experience, is the type of player the Orioles should be targeting.
Rays – Bullpen Help, Second Baseman
Needless to say, the Rays haven’t shown too many flaws this year. When looking at MLB trade deadline team needs in 2023, the Rays have a shortlist.
If Tampa does have an obvious weakness, it’s in the bullpen. The Rays have a good collection, but if they can trade for one of the better late-game relievers on the market, they can get to another level and be better prepared for the postseason. Meanwhile, the Rays should at least consider their options at second base. Even before Brandon Lowe went to the IL, that wasn’t a position where the Rays were getting much production.
Red Sox – Young Pitchers
The Red Sox have to be careful at the trade deadline because they are a borderline Wild Card contender at best. It’s more likely that Boston will be a seller if the Red Sox can’t get their act together soon.
There are even rumblings that some veterans could be traded. If that happens, the Red Sox need to target pitching prospects. They need to start building a younger rotation and their farm system lacks high-end pitchers.
Yankees – Outfielder, Starting Pitcher
While the season hasn’t unfolded as they would have liked, the Yankees will be buyers at the trade deadline. New York’s needs are also crystal clear. First, they need an outfielder who can play every day.
Even if they get Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge back from the IL, the Yanks are just rotating outfielders at the third spot and hoping to get lucky. They need a reliable player in left field or at least a platoon partner with one of their left-hand-hitting outfielders.
Meanwhile, injuries to Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes have created a clear need for rotation depth. Another reliever wouldn’t hurt either, but the Yankees need another starter who can eat up innings while their big guns are hurt.
Guardians – Hitters
It’s clear by this point in the season that the Guardians need more offense. The AL Central is there for the taking and Cleveland’s pitching looks to be good enough. But the Guards just haven’t scored enough runs.
To be more specific, the Guardians need better offensive options in right field and catcher. The Guardians should also be looking for a right-hand-hitting first baseman or DH who can complement Josh Naylor and Josh Bell, who have not produced enough power this year.
Royals – Farm System Depth, Controllable Big Leaguers
This season was practically over before it started for the Royals. The only thing left to do is trade away any players of value who have two years of team control or less.
Unfortunately, the Royals have just one prospect in MLB’s top 100, so their farm system needs reinforcements. Most of Kansas City’s top prospects are still in A-ball, which means the Royals should be looking for young players who are in the majors or close. Otherwise, 2024 could look a lot like 2023.
Tigers – Young Outfielders
Detroit had a chance to surprise some folks before the season, but things haven’t panned out that way. The Tigers will once again be sellers at the deadline with the hope of trying to acquire players who can accelerate their rebuilding process.
In terms of young talent, the Tigers are in decent shape when it comes to their infield and pitching staff. Not that you can ever have enough pitching, but the Tigers need to focus their efforts on finding outfield prospects with upside because they don’t appear to have that at the moment.
Twins – Rebuild Outfield
While the AL Central appears to be Minnesota’s to lose, the Twins are barely a .500 team. While injuries have hurt a little, Minnesota’s pitching staff is still in good shape. It’ll be a lackluster offense that the Twins will need to address at the deadline.
Keep in mind that they traded away last year’s batting champ, so it’s not surprising that Minnesota’s lineup has struggled. The hope is that Carlos Correa and some others can get things turned around. But the Twins are getting nothing this year from Max Kepler, Michael Taylor, and their other outfielders. Injuries have played a role, but the Twins may need to acquire multiple outfielders at the deadline to give their lineup a boost.
White Sox – Rebuild Farm System, Young Catcher
The White Sox have somehow gotten themselves back within striking distance in the AL Central. But they might be better have a fire sale at the deadline and rebuilding their farm system in a big way.
Obviously, acquiring as many young arms as possible is a priority for a team in Chicago’s position. But the White Sox also need to look to get stronger up the middle by trying to acquire prospects who can be MLB starters at second base or shortstop one day, as well as a young catcher to groom for the future because the White Sox have no such player in their farm system right now.
Angels – Rotation, Bullpen
The Angels are hoping that the tandem of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani can keep them in contention and make them buyers at the deadline. Offensively, the Halos are in good shape if they can keep everyone healthy.
But they don’t exactly have a playoff-caliber rotation outside of Ohtani. The Angels will need to get the best starting pitcher they can. In the bullpen, they don’t need a stud, but the Halos do need to add additional depth if they’re going to claim a spot in the crowded Wild Card race.
Astros – Outfielder, First Baseman
Houston typically makes deadline moves for fun rather than need. But they aren’t leading the AL West right now, so the Astros are in a similar boat with everyone else when it comes to MLB trade deadline team needs in 2023.
At the surface, it looks like the Astros need pitching, but they just need to get healthy. The thing the Astros need more than anything is help in the outfield, especially in left field. Also, it might be worth exploring their options at first base because Jose Abreu has had a disappointing season.
Athletics – MLB-Ready Talent
The A’s will be sellers at the deadline, although they’ve made so many moves over the last couple of years that they don’t have many trade chips yet. But with whatever trades they make, the goal should be getting players who are at least close to contributing in the big leagues.
Oakland has a few prospects that are getting there. But if the A’s are going to be noticeably better in 2024, they need players who can help in the immediate future rather than trying to build their farm system from the bottom up.
Mariners – Full-Time DH, Second Baseman, Third Baseman
When it comes to trade targets by team, the Mariners usually have a long list this time of year. GM Jerry Dipoto isn’t shy when it comes to making trades, and with the Mariners having a disappointing year, they need to do something big at the deadline.
The first thing Seattle needs is a full-time DH or a right fielder who can push Teoscar Hernandez to that role. The Mariners just haven’t gotten enough out of that spot. They could also use a versatile infielder who can play multiple positions because third baseman Eugenio Suarez has had a down year while Jose Caballero may not be the answer at second base.
Rangers – Back-End Starter, Veteran Bat
As the AL West leaders, the Rangers are surely eager to add reinforcements at the deadline rather than become sellers. With Jacob deGrom out for the season, the Texas rotation needs help, although Nathan Eovaldi and Jon Gray have pitched so well that the Rangers don’t necessarily need to target a high-end starter.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to find a glaring weakness in the Texas lineup. But adding a veteran hitter to the mix couldn’t hurt, especially someone who can play the outfield and bats left-handed.
Braves – Starting Pitcher, Outfielder
The Braves don’t appear to have a lot of needs right now, but they will surely do something at the deadline to boost their chances of winning a second World Series in three years. With Max Fried and Kyle Wright currently sidelined, the Braves will surely look for a starting pitcher rather than take a chance on their younger arms.
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s outfield could use a boost unless Michael Harris II can get it going. Even if he does, a right-handed outfielder who can play multiple positions would be a good fit for the Braves.
Marlins – Starting Pitcher, Outfield, Catcher
Don’t adjust your screen when we tell you that the Marlins are likely to be buyers at this year’s trade deadline. In a perfect world, Miami would find a frontline starter to pair with Sandy Alcantara, who hasn’t been at his best in 2023.
However, that won’t be their only need. The Miami outfield could be in need of reinforcements, especially if Jazz Chisholm struggles when he returns from the IL. The Marlins are also likely to explore their options on the trade market behind the plate.
Mets – Bullpen Depth, Left-Handed Power Bat
In terms of MLB trade deadline team needs in 2023, the Mets are facing a conundrum. They spent like a contender during the offseason but haven’t looked like one on the field.
Unfortunately, New York’s problem is that key players haven’t performed up to exceptions. That’s not something that can be fixed at the deadline. However, if the Mets are going to make moves this summer, they surely need to add multiple relievers, perhaps a proven late-game reliever.
Finding a left-handed power bat to replace Daniel Vogelbach as the primary DH would also make sense.
Nationals – MLB-Ready Pitchers, Farm System Depth
While the Nats will be sellers, they have a chance to be productive this summer. They have a few building blocks in place and some talented outfielders in the minors.
That means Washington needs to keep trying to acquire MLB-ready pitchers to add to the group that also includes MacKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray. They can also trade some rental players and add more depth to an already solid farm system.
Phillies – Bullpen, Rotation Depth
Even in the midst of a disappointing season, there will be pressure on the Phillies to do something at the deadline. Just like last year, the bullpen is a lingering concern that needs to be addressed.
But the Philly rotation can’t be ignored either.
Ultimately, the Phils aren’t going anywhere if Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola can’t pitch like aces. But filling out the last two spots of their rotation has been problematic with Matt Strahm essentially being used as an opener. Adding a back-end starter would be a cost-effective move the Phils can make at the deadline.
Brewers – Rotation Depth, Outfield
Milwaukee should be running away with a mediocre NL Central at this point. Instead, it looks like the Brew Crew will need some help at the deadline. Given the injuries to Milwaukee’s starting rotation, that’s where the Brewers need to start.
They don’t necessarily need a frontline starter, but it’d be nice to find someone to be the no. 2 starter behind Corbin Burnes. Meanwhile, injuries and a lack of production have been an issue in the outfield. The Brewers may need to add at least one everyday outfielder, possibly more, before the trade deadline.
Cardinals – MLB-Ready Pitching, Farm System Depth
Unless something drastic happens, the Cardinals could be relegated to being sellers at the deadline. While disappointing, a couple of trades could help them to reload for 2024. St. Louis has an aging and injury-prone rotation, so acquiring MLB-ready pitchers should be the priority.
Oddly enough, there aren’t a ton of glaring needs in the organization, allowing the Cards to focus on pitching and trying to add talent to their farm system for the next time they are buyers at the deadline.
Cubs – Young Pitchers, Young Catcher
The Cubs made an honest effort to rebuild this past winter, but it looks like they’ll be sellers this summer.
They have a solid farm system, although immediate help isn’t on the way. Chicago’s farm system has a few promising pitchers and outfielders but not much else. The Cubs should try to acquire a young catcher with Miguel Amaya looking like a bust. They should also try to acquire as much young pitching as possible.
Pirates – Frontline Starter, First Baseman
In another shocking twist in 2023, Pittsburgh could be a buyer at the deadline. If the Pirates are serious, they’re going to need to acquire the best starting pitcher they can find.
While Mitch Keller has turned things around, Pittsburgh still lacks a proven ace with playoff experience, and while he’s a good no. 3 starter, Rich Hill no longer fits that description. Elsewhere, first base and possibly catcher are positions that could also use an upgrade. Carlos Santana’s power just isn’t there, and since he doesn’t add much else but power potential, the Pirates need to look at their options at first base.
Reds – Veteran Starting Pitcher, Outfield Depth
Believe it or not, the Reds might be buyers this summer too. If Elly De La Cruz and other young players can make an impact, Cincinnati could make a push for the NL Central crown. But a young rotation will likely need a veteran leader.
It doesn’t have to be a frontline starter, but an experienced starter would be a great asset for the Reds. Adding another arm or two to the bullpen wouldn’t hurt either. However, given the rash of injuries to the Cincinnati outfield, that’s one area where the Reds need help, even if it’s just a part-time player who can provide some pop.
Diamondbacks – Back-End Starter, Bullpen
As the current leaders of the NL West, the Diamondbacks could be aggressive at the deadline. One thing they’ll likely need to hold off the Dodgers is some rotation help.
Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly are leading the way, but Arizona needs to shore up the back end of the rotation. Likewise, the D’Backs will surely search for one or two bullpen arms to help down the stretch. Offensively, look for the Diamondbacks to trust the players they have, perhaps adding a veteran outfielder to be safe, but pitching is Arizona’s obvious need for the trade deadline.
Dodgers – Starting Rotation, Shortstop
Los Angeles was unusually quiet last winter, so it’ll be interesting to see if that changes this summer, especially in what could be a tight NL West race. With no guarantee that some of their injured starters will return and be reliable, the Dodgers will surely need to add to their rotation.
They might trust Tony Gonsolin and Clayton Kershaw but a veteran back-end starter will help. Of course, shortstop might be an even more pressing need. The Dodgers weren’t able to replace Gavin Lux before the season, although the trade deadline will give them another chance to replace their injured shortstop.
Giants – Late-Game Reliever, Power Hitter
With a little help at the deadline, the Giants could make a strong playoff push late in the season. The rotation has carried San Francisco at times, but the bullpen could use another reliable setup man.
Of course, depending on how the injury situation shakes out in July, the Giants might also need rotation depth as well. Equally important, the Giants need more power in their lineup. That power could come in the form of a catcher, outfielder, shortstop, or third baseman. No matter what, the San Francisco lineup needs more power.
Padres – DH, First Baseman, Center Field, Catcher
San Diego invested too much in this year’s team to turn into sellers at the deadline. Look for the Padres to double down and make an aggressive move or two.
Veterans Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter haven’t done much, so a new DH could be on San Diego’s wish list. They could also look at first baseman, knowing Jake Cronenworth can move to another position.
Catcher could also be considered a position of need unless Gary Sanchez can continue his hot hitting. Finally, given a lack of production from Trent Grisham, the Padres could explore their options in center field.
Rockies – Young Pitching, MLB-Ready Outfielders
It’s no surprise that the Rockies will be sellers at the deadline. Fortunately, with some decent trading chips, the Rox can get to work on strengthening their farm system. As usual, the Rockies need young pitching, especially those who induce a lot of ground balls.
It’s not easy for Colorado to sign free agents, so the Rox need to overload their farm system with young arms they can develop. Colorado should also seek MLB-ready outfielders since most of their current outfielders are a little old. While the Rockies have some promising outfield prospects, most are still a year or two away from reaching the majors.
با نزدیک شدن به تقویم NFL در ماه های می و ژوئن، بازیکنان در حال بستن کلاه ایمنی خود برای شرکت در OTA و مینی کمپ هستند. اگرچه تمرینات با تی شرت و شورت تفاوت زیادی با جلسات تمرینی شدید با تکان دادن پدها دارد، اما تمرینات سازماندهی شده به بازیکنان و مربیان اجازه می دهد تا تکنیک ها و طرح های مختلفی را برای آماده شدن برای فصل آزمایش کنند.
با توجه به اینکه توسعه بازیکن به عنوان هدف اصلی هر تیم در طول تابستان تلقی می شود، زمان عالی برای بررسی بازیکنانی است که باید در OTA و مینی کمپ در ماه آینده بدرخشند. بازیکنانی که باید تماشا کنید:
جردن لاو، QB، گرین بی پکرز
پس از اینکه لاو صبورانه منتظر بود تا نوبت خود را برای جانشینی آرون راجرز به عنوان کوارتربک فرنچایز پکرز بگیرد، دنیای فوتبال این فرصت را خواهد داشت که ببیند آیا او ارزش این انتظار را داشت یا نه. اگرچه این بازیکن حرفه ای سال چهارم به طور پیوسته در طول دوران تصدی خود پیشرفت کرده است، اما استاندارد برای بازی کوارتربک در گرین بی پس از تماشای مردان جلیقه طلایی (برت فاور و راجرز) که در این موقعیت در 30 سال گذشته پیشرفت می کنند، بالا است.
از آنجایی که شکاکان میپرسند که عشق میتواند در تایتلتاون استاندارد بازی کند یا خیر، اولین شروع کننده میتواند اعتماد به نفس خود را با اجرای خوب در جلسات OTA و مینیکمپ افزایش دهد. با توجه به اینکه زمان بندی، ریتم و تکانه می توانند جرقه بازی هیجان انگیز را در موقعیت ایجاد کنند، کار انجام شده توسط Love در ژوئن و جولای می تواند منجر به موفقیت در فصل عادی شود.
تراوون واکر، حاشیه، غیرمتمرکز، جکسونویل جگوار
انتظار می رود انتخاب شماره 1 کلی در درفت 2022 اختلال بیشتری در فصل دوم او ایجاد کند. واکر قدرت، قدرت و انفجاری چشمگیر در نقطه حمله به نمایش گذاشته است، اما جگوارها به یک حرفه ای در سال دوم نیاز دارند تا به یک استاد ساک تبدیل شوند تا دفاعی را ارتقا دهند که به تولید بیشتر در خط مقدم نیاز دارد تا جگوارها را وارد رقابت عنوان شود.
با توجه به پتانسیل تهاجمی Trevor Lawrence & Co.، واکر باید فرصت های زیادی برای تعقیب پاسور در موقعیت های عجله پاس مساعد داشته باشد. اگر راند اول سابق به عنوان یک آرتیست ساکت رشد کند، دفاع جگوار باید پرش مورد نیاز برای تکمیل یک حمله پرقدرت با پتانسیل سوپربول را انجام دهد.
تونی پولارد و رونالد جونز، RBs، دالاس کابوی
بازی دویدن کابوی ها کلید حمله ای است که به طور معمول حریفان را با شوت های بدن و ضربات ناک اوت غرق می کند. علیرغم کاهش تولید ازکیل الیوت در پایان دوران تصدی خود، این کهنه کار با سبک دویدن خشن خود هویتی قدیمی به کابوی ها بخشید. بدون قهرمان دو بار عجله در جمع برای تنظیم لحن، کابوی ها می توانند به یک حمله “نرم” تبدیل شوند که فاقد قدرت و پاپ برای پایان دادن به بازی ها هستند.
اگرچه تمرینات OTA تمرینات غیرتماسی هستند، اما تیم این احساس را خواهد داشت که آیا پولارد و جونز توانایی انجام کارهای کثیف مورد نیاز برای کمک به این حمله را دارند تا هویت یقه آبی خود را در سال 2023 حفظ کنند یا خیر.
Skip Bayless: Cowboys NFC East را برنده خواهد شد، به بازی قهرمانی NFC میرسد
ناکوبی دین، پوند، فیلادلفیا ایگلز
Eagles وارد فصل 2023 می شود به این امید که بتواند با قدرت دفاعی پویا که در سال گذشته تیم های حریف را تسلیم کرد، به سوپر باول بازگشت. اگرچه قسمت جلویی مخرب تقریباً دست نخورده باز می گردد، تغییر گارد در پشت خط می تواند بر عملکرد واحد تأثیر بگذارد.
دین پس از گذراندن سال 2022 به عنوان شاگرد تی جی ادواردز و کیزیر وایت، میتواند نمایش را بهعنوان پخشکننده دفاعی تعیینشده یک طرح جدید اجرا کند. با توجه به این مسئولیت که به عنوان چشم و گوش هماهنگ کننده دفاعی جدید شان دسای در زمین عمل کند، حرفه ای سال دوم باید به مربیان خود نشان دهد که می تواند نمایش را مانند یک دامپزشک زیرک اجرا کند.
سام هاول، QB، فرماندهان واشنگتن
شاید ران ریورا چیزی می داند که ما در مورد پتانسیل انتخاب دور پنجم سابق که آماده است در نقش QB1 برای فرماندهان قدم بگذارد، نمی داند. علیرغم داشتن تنها یک شروع حرفه ای، هاول کلیدهای این فرنچایز را در یک سال ساخت و ساز در DC به دست آورده است. 1 INT)، اما بازی برنده فوتبال به عنوان یک شروع کننده بی تجربه به هماهنگ کننده تهاجمی جدید اریک بینیمی نیاز دارد تا یک سیستم دفاع پسند با مفاهیم آسان و پرتاب های با درصد بالا ایجاد کند.
اگر هاول بتواند به هم تیمیها و مربیان خود نشان دهد که میتواند به طور مداوم تمامها را در کنار هم قرار دهد، کوارتربک جوان میتواند به عنوان رهبر تیم مسحشده در حالتی که باید برنده شود، احترام بیشتری به خود بگیرد.
باکی بروکس یک تحلیلگر NFL برای FOX Sports است. او مرتباً در “Speak For Yourself” ظاهر می شود و همچنین بازی را برای شبکه NFL و به عنوان یک کوهست پادکست “Moving the Sticks” تجزیه می کند. او را در توییتر دنبال کنید @BuckyBrooks.
دنبال کردنموارد دلخواه خود را دنبال کنید تا تجربه FOX Sports خود را شخصی کنید
لیگ ملی فوتبال
گرین بی پکرز
از لیگ ملی فوتبال بیشتر بگیریدموارد دلخواه خود را دنبال کنید تا اطلاعاتی در مورد بازی ها، اخبار و موارد دیگر دریافت کنید
این یک بازی نیمه اول لالیگا است زیرا رئال بتیس که در رده ششم قرار دارد، دوشنبه ساعت 19:00 به وقت گرینویچ در ورزشگاه بنیتو ویلامارین میزبان رایو وایکانو رتبه نهمی خواهد بود.
بتیس همچنان در 5 بازی آخر فصل لالیگا برای مکان های اروپایی بازی می کند. آنها در حال حاضر دو امتیاز کمتر از ویارئال بهبود یافته و 9 امتیاز با رئال سوسیداد رتبه چهارم فاصله دارند.
رایو وایکانو به دنبال این است که در این فصل در نیمه نخست به پایان برسد، زیرا آنها در پنج بازی آخر فصل حرکت می کنند. آنها در حال حاضر با 46 امتیاز در رده نهم قرار دارند و دو امتیاز بیشتر از اوساسونا رده دهمی هستند.
نکات برجسته کلیدی
بازی رئال بتیس برای مکان های اروپایی
ناهماهنگی رئال بتیس پاشنه آشیل بوده است زیرا چالش آنها برای صعود به جمع چهار تیم برتر در ماه های اخیر کم رنگ شده است. از آنجایی که رئال سوسیداد چهار بازی بدون شکست را پشت سر گذاشته است، بتیس در چهار بازی اخیر خود فقط یک بار پیروز شده است.
مانوئل پلگرینی به دنبال بهبود مسابقات دور بعدی خود خواهد بود زیرا آنها به دنبال شانس راهیابی به اروپا – لیگ اروپا یا لیگ کنفرانس فصل آینده هستند.
بتیس در پنج بازی اخیر خود فقط دو بار پیروز شده است. آنها دو بازی را باختند و یک تساوی داشتند. این دوره از فرم شاهد سقوط در جدول به رتبه ششم بوده است. پلگرینی مشتاق است تا فرم خود را در پایان تجاری، با شروع بازی مقابل رایو وایکانو، تغییر دهد.
با بازی در خانه، بتیس در رویکرد خود تهاجمی خواهد بود. آنها سریع شروع خواهند کرد، بر توپ مسلط خواهند شد و وایکانو را مجبور به دفاع در بیشتر بازی خواهند کرد. این به سمت ایجاد شانس و افزایش شانس آنها برای برنده شدن خواهد بود.
پیشنهاد رایو وایکانو برای پایان نیمه اول
وایکانو در مسابقات اخیر گرم و سردی داشته است. آنها سه بار پیروز شده اند که بین هر یک از این پیروزی ها شکست هایی در هم تنیده شده است. این فرم به این معنی است که وایکانو از نظر صعود به جدول پیشرفت کمی داشته است.
آنها 46 امتیاز کسب کرده اند که دو تیم بالاتر از آنها قرار دارند – باشگاه اتلتیک در رده هشتم و خیرون رتبه هفتم هر دو با 47 امتیاز. حریف روز دوشنبه آنها با 52 امتیاز 6 امتیاز پیش است.
وایکانو به دنبال این خواهد بود که با برد خارج از خانه فاصله رئال بتیس را به سه امتیاز کاهش دهد. آندونی ایراولا ساگارنا و مردانش تلاش میکنند تا ثبات خود را در این رقابتها تقویت کنند زیرا به دنبال رسیدن به جمع چهار تیم برتر هستند.
وایکانو در خارج از خانه مقابل بتیس از نظر دفاعی قوی به نظر می رسد. آنها به تعداد دفاع خواهند کرد و در مراحل انتقالی به دنبال حمله خواهند بود.
نبیل فکیر، هافبک تهاجمی، پیش از دیدار روز دوشنبه با وایکانو، از انتخاب خارج شد. فوروارد با پارگی رباط صلیبی کنار گذاشته شده است.
فکیر از 27 فوریه 2023 دور از میادین بوده است. او تاکنون 17 بازی برای بتیس را از دست داده است. بعید است که او برای دیدار خانگی مقابل وایکانو در دسترس باشد.
وایکانو رادامل فالکائو، مهاجم مرکزی خود را در اختیار نخواهد داشت و این بازیکن 37 ساله با یک پای مرده از میدان خارج شد. فالکائو از 15 آوریل 2023 دور از میادین بوده و تاکنون 4 بازی برای وایکانو را از دست داده است.
بعید است که این مهاجم برای بازی خارج از خانه روز دوشنبه برابر بتیس در دسترس باشد.
ترکیب های احتمالی
C. Bravo; J. Miranda، P. Akouokou، G. Pezzella، Y. Sabaly; A. Guardado, G. Rodriguez; A. Perez, W. Carvalho, S. Canales; ویلیان خوزه
S. Dimitrievski; I. Balliu، A. Mumin، A. Catena، F. Garcia; O. V، S. Comesana; I. Palazon، O. Trejo، A. Garcia; آر. دی توماس
بتیس با حمایت هواداران خانگی روی پای جلو بازی خواهد کرد. آنها فشار می آورند و با از دست دادن مالکیت به شدت به دنبال بازپس گیری مالکیت هستند.
وایکانو در رویکرد خود فشرده و محکم خواهد بود. آنها تعداد زیادی دفاع خواهند کرد و از ضد حمله برای حمله به بتیس استفاده خواهند کرد.
رئال بتیس در این مسابقه پیروز خواهد شد و شانس خود را برای صعود به جدول در دور برگشت تقویت خواهد کرد.
حتما روی آن شرط بندی کنید رئال بتیس مقابل رایو وایکانو با 22Bet!
Picture the Derrick White you think you know. The dependable, do-it-all combo guard. The sneaky and spectacular shot-blocker. The relentless on-ball defender. The clutch shotmaker whenever the Boston Celtics need a bucket. The connector. The Derrick White who had 26 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and one steal against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2.
His family and close friends have always known him like this, the unassuming baller shining on the court. But growing up, coaches and recruiters and teammates and opponents didn’t notice Derrick White until they couldn’t avoid him.
“He had just gotten his wisdom teeth out,” said Alex Welsh, White’s best friend and teammate at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. “It was either that morning or the day before. And you’ve been around someone who’s gotten their wisdom teeth. They have chubby cheeks. And at this point, Derrick’s like 6’4”, 160 pounds. So skinny. And he just walks in, he’s got these huge cheeks, and this is his first impression with a lot of the guys.”
In the summer before starting at UCCS, a Division II school and the only college to scout him, White had yet to grow into his frame.
He was a slight, scrawny kid just out of high school. And he had really puffy cheeks.
Along with a few new teammates, he went to get some practice in at a Pro-Am league. No one expected much of him — he was expected to red-shirt his freshman year.
“We all know who he is. Some of us met him. But he walked in, and everybody was like, ‘Yo, are you good? Like, what?’ He was like, [mumbled] ‘Oh, I got my wisdom teeth out.’ He’s talking like you do when you get your wisdom teeth out. Everybody’s like, ‘Why are you here?’ He was like, ‘Oh, I feel fine. I’m okay.’”
And despite initial hesitation, the reserved, chipmunk-y kid did what he always does: busted out of his shell.
“All of a sudden, [the Pro-Am] was like a one night a week thing for three or four weeks throughout the summer — he’s ridiculous,” said Welsh. “He’s doing put-back slams and driving down the lane and taking off on people off one foot. And we’re like, ‘What? Who is this kid?’”
White had defied everyone’s expectations. Again.
Derrick White isn’t a star from NBA central casting. In a sport that highlights dramatic, rim-rocking plays, White’s been often overlooked. But there’s a competitive drive that simmers just under the surface of the quiet kid from Parker, Colorado. It’s propelled him to be the essential piece of a championship contender that he is today.
Derrick White’s friends and family say he’s always had enough confidence to fill an entire arena. They also understood that, because of his appearance, he was chronically passed up.
“He was just not that big. He just didn’t have the size,” said Cory Calvert, a childhood friend. Outsiders would take a look at White’s skinny frame and move on.
To casual observers, White has always been shy and reserved. However, in quiet, private settings, Calvert remembered him differently. “You get to know him, and he talks a lot of smack,” he said.
“His personality has always been very competitive,” said Richard White, Derrick’s father. “He’s liked sports since the age of 4. He’s very social with his particular friends. So, he’s very loyal in that regard.”
And while White constantly showed off his conviction in more intimate environments, his personality only reinforced the presumptuous way outsiders viewed him.
“He’s never going to be the loudest guy in the room that comes out. That’s just not his style,” said Reece Elliot, another childhood friend. “He doesn’t have that outgoing personality. But it’s not because he’s reserved. He’s just very aware, and he’s a good listener, and he’s a good friend. So, he picks and chooses his battles wisely, which I love about him.”
From high school to college, and on to the NBA, coaches and scouts have judged White for his size and demeanor. It made the road to the league, already improbable, even harder.
Imagine White now, in his element. He’s just slithered over a screen and he’s fighting back into the play. He’s a step behind as Anthony Edwards makes his move, but just as the shot goes up, White extends his reach to cleanly swat the ball from behind.
That defensive artist didn’t get a shot to play basketball for his middle school.
“In eighth grade, he actually got cut from the team and didn’t even make the A-team,” Calvert said. “And I remember being really frustrated about it at the time because he’s one of my best friends, and he was obviously good enough.”
The setback was earth-shattering.
“[He was] devastated,” said Calvert. “And I remember his parents were furious. And I was furious. It just was a really, really unfortunate situation, to be honest.”
Some thirteen-year-olds throw tantrums when life doesn’t go their way. White took the disappointment on the chin. Not unlike the relentless defender he is on the court, he fought through the pick and kept moving. He decided to prove his doubters wrong.
“He became the man at his high school the next year as a freshman,” Calvert said. “And even though he was small, he was by far their best player.”
In his four years at Legend High School, White logged 1085 points and 176 steals, establishing himself as a Titans legend. He’s one of only three athletes from Legend to go pro; the other two are Boston Red Sox infielder Bobby Dalbec and Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Chad Muma.
But despite his high school success, White wasn’t on many college recruiters’ radars. Interest was so low, White’s dad took matters into his own hands.
“I found out how Richard had been emailing a bunch of [Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference colleges] in the DII conference out here and every other coach that would take their email,” said University of Colorado Colorado Springs head coach Jeff Culver. “[He] didn’t have much success.”
Culver was the only collegiate coach to scout White coming out of high school. He knew of White from his time at Johnson & Wales, an NAIA school known for its culinary program. So, when Culver made the move to UCCS, he recruited White.
Upon White’s arrival at UCCS for his freshman season, Culver planned to red-shirt his new recruit. He was confident in White’s abilities, but he believed that White needed to grow into his frame a bit more before contributing at the next level.
“I didn’t have a lot of finite answers for [White’s family], but what we did offer was an opportunity,” Culver said. “And really, that, at the end of the day, was what Derrick was looking for. He believed in himself and was just looking for a coach and a program that would believe in him as well.”
In high school, White quickly emerged as Legend’s best player, but that wasn’t in the cards at UCCS to start.
He was living with three other players, all of whom were getting minutes. “It was four of us, all on the basketball team,” Welsh said. “Nobody else was red-shirting besides him, so it was tough for him.”
When the Mountain Lions started preseason practices, White lined up with the reserves. They scrimmaged against the starting unit, but it was lopsided— in favor of White’s squad.
“Derrick was killing our starting five,” Welsh recalled. “He’s taking the ball from them, he’s going over the top of people, he’s out-rebounding them, [and] their team is beating ours in practice.”
As he continued to exceed expectations, the plan to red-shirt White seemed out of the question. Everything changed after UCCS traveled north for a preseason game, and things didn’t go well. “We got spanked,” Welsh remembered.
Then, White got his shot.
“The next day, we fly back, and Derrick doesn’t say anything,” Welsh said. “We lived together. We show up at practice the next morning, and he goes from red-shirting to starting. They moved him right into the starting lineup. It’s just a hell of a story.”
His freshman season, the team went 6-22 overall, including a 5-17 record in the conference. The very next year, the team went 21-9 with a 16-6 conference record.
His minutes only went from 29.5 to 30.5 per game, but Culver trusted him with increasing his responsibilities. White attempted 293 shots his freshman year, but as a sophomore, the number jumped to 367, and his scoring numbers went from 16.9 points per game to 22.2.
As a junior, White and the Mountain Lions really took off. UCCS went 27-6 overall and 17-5 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. They broke off a 14-0 win streak to start the season, peaked at #2 in the NCAA Division II rankings, and took home an RMAC Championship.
White formed a dynamic duo with his roommate Welsh, the Mountain Lions’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder, and the two became best friends. UCCS under Culver was a home — a place where White was thriving.
But, like so many young adults discovering themselves, White wanted more. That meant leaving the community he’d built with Welsh and Culver in Colorado Springs.
“The conversation that we had that stuck with me was when it was brought to my attention, he said, ‘Coach, you told me that every year I have to get better,’” said Marcus Mason, White’s trainer, mentor, and long-time friend. “And he articulated why he wanted to leave.
”He said, ‘You told me every year that I have to get better.’ And I got really upset with him, and I said, ‘What do you mean? You’re telling me you can’t get better next year?’ And he said, ‘Well, no Division I schools will schedule us. I will only probably have two competitive games the entire year.’”
White didn’t think he didn’t fit at UCCS. He loved it there. He was with his friends, it was the only school that gave him an opportunity coming out of high school, and Welsh thought they had a shot at winning a national championship the following year.
Success with the Mountain Lions alongside his best friend was a story three-quarters finished. But White was eager for the next challenge, and the University of Colorado Boulder had come calling and White was ready to answer.
However, leaving UCCS meant letting others down. White hated that. And he had to tell his best friend that he was leaving for Boulder. That conversation was more difficult for White than any on-court challenge he’d faced so far.
Welsh remembered being home in the six-bedroom apartment he and White shared with other basketball players. He got a text from the bedroom upstairs.
“What are you doing?”
Welsh was quick to mock his best friend. “We’re like ten feet apart. Why are you texting me?”
So White came downstairs. Welsh, sitting on his bed, watched White plop himself into his desk chair.
“He’s kind of rocking his body back and forth. And I’m like, ‘What’s up, bro? Are you okay? What’s going on?’”
White refused to get to the point and was doing whatever he could to avoid the conversation. Eventually, Welsh figured it out himself.
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?”
All White could muster up was an exasperated, “Yeah…”
He revealed that he was joining CU and that the transfer would be official soon. Welsh was stunned, and the two best friends sat in silence, neither knowing exactly what to say. After a few quiet moments, White spoke.
“Are you mad at me?”
White, not one for conflict, was more worried about disappointing his friend than changing schools. But Welsh quickly eased his friend’s guilt.
“Bro, no, I’m not mad. I’m so happy for you, and I will never be mad. But I am sad.”
After a brief moment of sadness, the two friends reconciled, and the whole friend group began joking about whether or not White could get them the latest CU gear.
In Boulder, White finally got the red-shirt year he was supposed to have as a freshman at UCCS. Culver said White spent the extra time in the weight room. “His body was finally done growing vertically. He had been filling out [in] Year Two and Year Three with us, but then a full year in the weight room and an offseason program was huge for him in Boulder.”
After sitting out one season at CU per NCAA rules, White once again demonstrated why those in his corner speak so highly of him. He played 32.8 minutes per game, leading the team in scoring (18.1 PPG), assists (4.4 APG), and steals (1.2 SPG). White also finished second in blocks (1.4 BPG) and fourth in rebounding (4.1 RPG).
Colorado went just 19-15, but White proved that he belonged at the DI level and then some. After his senior year, he declared for the NBA Draft and was selected 29th by the San Antonio Spurs.
Now in the NBA, White was still being ignored, even by the team that had drafted him.
“I never even saw him, never even knew he existed in the world,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Didn’t know he was on the planet.”
San Antonio was in a state of flux. Kawhi Leonard was attempting to force his way out of town. The Spurs were pivoting towards a rebuild. They were on the hunt for new players, but White only earned an opportunity at the G League level.
He showed out for the Austin affiliate, averaging over 20 points and five rebounds. But in spite of increasing success including a G League championship, White was the same: jovial and outgoing with friends and family, timid in front of a crowd. Even after being drafted into the NBA, he was still trying his best to go with the flow and be a fly on the wall.
“It was maybe his first or second G League game, and he took like two shots. He was being passive,” said Dan Hargrove, former UCCS assistant and one of White’s closest friends. “I texted him after, and I was like, ‘Bro, what are you doing? Like, this isn’t you. What is going on here?’ He was like, ‘I know. I’m just trying to find my role.’ I think he’s always been so careful not to shake up what’s already been built or to upturn the applecart if you will. He’s very conscientious and very pragmatic when it comes to moving to new situations.”
White’s head-down, do-the-work attitude meshed perfectly with Spurs basketball, but even Popovich had to convince White that he belonged. Under Pop and his staff, White started to shed some of his outer shell. Once challenged, he outperformed. Yet, his quiet attitude remained. Sometimes he still needed external pressure.
“[Popovich] told me, ‘I got no choice. You gotta go.’ So I just got thrown into the fire and was just trying to learn on the fly,” White told JJ Reddick on The Old Man & The Three Podcast. “I mean, his big thing with me is telling me that I belonged, to prove myself that I belonged, so every other day he would come up to me and be like, ‘Hey, you belong here.’ So having someone believe in you and trusting you, it meant a lot.”
The very next year, San Antonio acknowledged White’s success. He became a core part of their rotation. He appeared in 67 games, starting 55 of them. By March, White had Popovich begging the front office to hand him a new deal. “He should refuse to play another game until we change this contract. He has been spectacular,” Popovich said.
In the postseason, White continued to show off his game. He made headlines after an incredible performance in a win over the Denver Nuggets. White put up 36 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a block on 15-of-21 shooting.
Following his remarkable playoff performance, White earned the chance to play with Team USA at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Coached by Popovich, White averaged 15.5 minutes per contest, playing alongside future teammates Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.
From then on, the opportunities to shine flooded in. He improved his scoring numbers in each of the next two seasons, jumping from 9.9 points per game to 11.3 to a career-high 15.4 in the 2020-21 season. White was starting nearly every game as a top-3 scoring option in San Antonio.
White had seemingly made it, but still rarely showed his confidence in ways fans might expect. The soft-spoken approach covered up the killer instinct. “He’s just [a] locked in, quiet assassin,” said Hargrove.
White seems to have always possessed internal belief, and he’s naturally combined it with the humble external attitude that the public sees. It’s not an easy balance to maintain with the bright lights of the NBA shining down on him.
“He’s a great guy to have in a locker room because he’s a stabilizing influence with a level head and never takes any credit for himself,” said Calvert. “He’s always dishing compliments to the team and deflecting any of the limelight that he gets. So, I think it’s a pretty unique quality that he has.”
Outsiders always found a way to cast him aside, but after a few years with the Spurs, that began to change.
And by the time the 2022 NBA trade deadline rolled around, another team expressed their interest for White.
On February 10, 2022, Boston sent Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, their 2022 first-round draft pick, and a 2028 pick swap to San Antonio in exchange for White’s talents.
Even after the Celtics had rattled off a 17-7 record after the new year and become a Finals favorite, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens identified White as a missing piece to a Banner 18 run.
“They paid a little bit extra to get a guy they really like,” an NBA executive told Steve Bulpett of Heavy Sports. “He’s the guy that they targeted. The Celtics went after him. They ended up getting the guy they wanted. You can tell by the price they paid for him.”
It was a whole new environment for White — a team with a shot at the title and an entirely new set of people to warm up to. Not an easy situation for the introvert.
When he joined the Celtics, the team was already gelling. They had won six in a row and eight of their last nine, and their defense had established itself as the best in the league.
Listen to any recently-traded NBA player and they’ll give you the stock answer that basketball is a business. But that belies the difficulty of the transition. White was plopped in the middle of an unfamiliar team in the middle of a season.
And it was no longer about whether White was good enough to compete with the other players on the floor. He had established that in San Antonio. But could an all-around glue guy be an all-around glue guy for a championship?
In just his first game as a Celtic, White delivered. He was a member of the closing lineup in a hard-fought win over his home-state Nuggets. He had 16 points, six rebounds, and two assists. “He looks good in green,” Tatum said post-game.
Unselfishness is a skill often praised, especially when it comes to point guards. It’s one of the reasons Boston chased White.
“He’s a guy that only cares about winning, that will do all of the little things, as you can see in some of his stats, defensively, with regard to willingness to put his body on the line, activity, shot challenges, all of those things,” Brad Stevens said after the trade. “And on offense, just by making simple plays and doesn’t need to do anything to be on the highlights to really, really impact winning.”
And while White shot out to a hot start with Boston, his play quickly became unsteady as he tried to adapt to his new surroundings. After scoring in double figures in nine of his first twelve games, he failed to reach that mark for four-straight contests. He was consistently inconsistent in the postseason. His minutes fluctuated along with his impact.
Flash forward to now, with a training camp and full regular season in Boston behind him, the Celtics have reaped the benefits of a more comfortable and integrated White.
“He’s working on confidence and to [know] that he belongs,” said Richard White. “And knowing that he can do these things.”
And his teammates continue to encourage him to be his best self.
“We’re just so much more of a dynamic team when D-White is asserting himself, and being aggressive, and not being passive,” said Tatum after Boston’s Game 2 win over the Hawks. “We’ve talked about him being too passive and looking for guys too much. He’s too good of a guy.”
White’s top-4 plus/minus overshadows Tatum. His defensive impact has him in consideration for an All-Defensive team. He’s exploded for four 20-point, 10-assist games — all since February.
After years of hard work, White’s talent is no longer being hidden behind humility — it’s jumping off the page. No one — not other NBA players, coaches, GMs, or NBA pundits — is writing him off anymore.
Maybe the NBA and its fans are finally learning the lesson that Welsh and White’s other college teammates learned early on. Tommie Anderson, another one of White’s UCCS teammates, still possesses a vivid memory of the shock that ran through his head when he first saw White play.
“He was just this small skinny kid with a fro,” said Anderson. “And I thought, ‘Dang, this is the guy everybody’s been talking about?’ And then I just remember seeing him actually play, and I was like, ‘Oh, okay, now it makes sense.’ He was just a beast.”
Winning is everything for White, and that’s a big reason why he’s so team-oriented. If a basketball player wants success in the upper echelons of the NBA, he probably cares about winning. Enough that, even for someone as mild-mannered as White, his competitive drive spills out in other parts of life.
Try playing a board game or video game with the likely-to-be-All-Defense Celtic and it gets tough and contentious quickly. “If he ever loses, it’s always figuring out why did he lose, not because he was actually beaten,” said Welsh.
White’s competitive drive is so fierce that not even his friends and family can avoid it. Once, he styled himself a winning makeup artist.
“Our wives are pretty close, so we hang out a lot,” said Anderson. “They had this huge idea. I don’t know if they saw it on TikTok or somewhere on social media. They wanted us to do their makeup, and they were going to have a competition [to see] who does it the best.”
White and Anderson traded in their headbands and Nikes for blush and mascara and got to work. Suddenly, a playful game between friends was a high-stakes contest.
“Derrick is getting super competitive about this,” said Anderson. “He starts [saying], like, ‘What does this do? Tell me what this does if I do it to your makeup.’ Getting all into it. We’re doing makeup, and he’s trying to perfect it. He just did not want to lose.”
Unfortunately for White, his questions did not yield the answers he was hoping for.
“I think both of our wives said that each one of us did better,” said Anderson. “So, of course, he was pissed. He’s like, ‘There’s no way. Mine is better than this s***.’ And, of course, he got mad because he wanted to win.”
If it doesn’t involve playoff-intensity eyeliner application, White keeps it low-key. Maybe too low-key, if you expect NBA players to outwardly acknowledge their success through their wardrobe and appearance.
Hargrove remembered offseason summers in Colorado when White was playing for the Spurs. People back home were starting to ask him for pictures.
“He went out to the bar in a Twitter t-shirt,” Hargrove said. “It was just a big gray t-shirt with the Twitter bird in the middle of it. And I was like, ‘Derrick, we got to change this up.’
Perhaps White knew what he was doing. Those that know him say his sense of humor is dry.
“He’s self-proclaimed that he’s the nicest person that you know,” Welsh said. “He would tell you, ‘I’m the nicest person you know,’ and it’s really hard to argue. Through and through, he’s a good dude. He’s a great friend. He’s always there. He doesn’t ever tarnish any relationships that he has.”
White’s family is his anchor. Last summer, he and his wife Hannah welcomed their child Hendrix in the middle of Boston’s run to the NBA Finals. He missed Game 2 against the Heat to be at their side.
“He went from a little bit nervous about having a kid, which I think every human goes through, to kind of calling into action,” said Josh Repine, White’s roommate from Boulder and close friend. “And, of course, Hannah gave birth right during their playoff run last year, and he’s balancing both. He’s not sleeping. He’s doing whatever it takes for Hendrix. As a friend, it’s cool to look at. I’ve learned a lot from it. It’s pretty inspirational.”
Like he did with every other development in his life, White took on the challenge.
“He’s an awesome dad, and he loves it,” said Welsh. “It’s something that he prides himself on. You can see the way he interacts and the time he spends with his son is super valuable to him. And he and I have chatted a little bit about how he wants Hendrix to recognize him as a basketball player and what that looks like for his career moving forward, which I think is special. You’ll see it in his play. It’s elevating his game. It’s adding to the motivation for him now that he has this little boy’s eyes watching.”
Now, no matter what happens this season, or in any season beyond, White wants to leave a legacy that his son will be proud of. Richard White explained his son’s newfound motivation.
“If you go on a road trip and it doesn’t necessarily go well, you know that you’re going to come home, and somebody’s going to be very happy to see you,” he said. “So, I mean, you kind of struggle, and you come back, and then Hendrix wakes up, and he smiles at his dad, and you kind of forget about all the other things that may or may not have gone well while you were gone.”
White’s even started repping his fatherhood on game days. He showed up to Game 2 of Boston’s series against Atlanta wearing a hoodie with the acronym ‘W.A.S.H.E.D’ across the chest.
“What it stands for is We Are Super Heroes Every Day,” White explained post-game. “It’s called WASHED Dads. It’s a cool little brand. I’m a dad, so shoutout to them.”
That pure love for his son keeps White going, and his kind-hearted nature allows him to get through the most disappointing times in his life. Elliot, White’s friend since age 5, was in town when the Celtics lost in Game 6 to the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden. He and his wife Holly had made the trip to Boston to watch White play, but their visit couldn’t have come at a more heartbreaking time for White.
“I was like, you just lost the Warriors in Game 6,” Elliot remembered. “Yeah, we made a trip, but I’m going to give you your space. And he’s like, ‘No, come over to the house. Come meet my baby. Come hang out.’”
So, Elliot and his wife went. If the Celtics had won, the trip would have been an excitement-filled celebration, but after the loss, it could have easily turned into an awkward, silent stay.
Instead, White’s reverted to what matters most. In one of the most disheartening moments of his career to date, White put his family and friends first.
“He just saw the Warriors pick up the trophy in his own [arena],” Elliot said. “He comes home, and the first thing he does is he gives Hendrix a kiss, he gives Hannah a kiss, and he asks how they’re doing. He’s asking Holly about how our trip has been. He’s asking about where we went to dinner.
“This is four hours after Game 6, right? It just goes to show his priorities. And that’s not to say that basketball isn’t a priority because it’s a big one for him, and he’s competitive. But he’s just always going to be my best buddy from five years old growing up.”
White gave his friends a tour of the new house. He made sure they were comfortable.
And then, he reached for the Oreos.
“I was like, ‘When was the last time you had an Oreo?’ He’s like, ‘I haven’t had one since the playoff series.’ And he pulls out this clear jar of, I don’t know, 40, 50, 100 Oreos and just starts smacking. He’s like, ‘Man, those are so freakin’ good.’”
Elliot was stunned.
“I’m like, ‘Dude, do you need to vent? Do you need a shot of tequila? Do you need to go throw something at the wall? Like, what do you need?’” Elliot recollected. “He’s like, ‘I need a frickin’ Oreo.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, man, let’s watch some TV and hang out with Hannah and shoot the shit like old times. So, I think it’s just a good representative of, he’s just a good dude.”
As the Celtics prep for Game 3 of their first-round series with the Hawks, Derrick White has made a name for himself. His 2022-2023 regular season is award-worthy and he’s kicked off the playoffs as Boston’s second-leading scorer.
“I feel like I’ve been here forever even though it’s only been one year,” said White after his 33-point, 10-assist showing on the one-year anniversary of his joining the Celtics. “This year, [I’m] just a lot more settled in. Compared to a year ago today when life kind of just changed in an instant. So, I got to say, I love being here, and it’s just been fun playing with this team.”
White is even earning MVP chants at TD Garden after scoring 26 points and being Trae Young’s key defender in Game 2.
“We talked about it after the game,” Tatum said of White’s MVP chants. “He was like, ‘That’s what it feels like?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’”
For White, reaching this point has been a unique battle in expressing himself. Cut from his middle school basketball team. Overlooked by Division I scouts. Nearly red-shirted at the Division II level. Success always preceded by judgment and adversity.
Time after time, challenge after challenge, White diligently proved the initial judgments wrong. He’s reached inside himself for extra motivation so many times, no one could blame him for developing that special brand of NBA, I’m-The-Guy brashness.
But that isn’t Derrick White. He’s always kept his ego in check while staying sure of himself.
“The person you see on the court with Derrick is who he is off the court,” said Repine. “He’s always smiling. He’s pretty straightforward.”
The simplicity of White’s desires breeds an inability to appreciate everything he brings to the court. NBC Boston’s color commentator Brian Scalabrine noted that, “his personality doesn’t fit how good of a player he is.”
White would rather play a board game and hang out with his friends than go out and party. His friends have to beg him to leave the house. “He could sit there all day if we let him,” said Welsh.
So what? Let the other stars handle the glitz and glamor. Derrick White wants to win, he wants to spend time with his family, and he’ll probably want some Oreos.
“He’s a simple dude. Super kind-hearted. Super genuine,” said Welsh. “And unfortunately, definitely one of the nicest dudes I know.”
1. میلواکی باکس در مقابل برنده شماره 8 مرحله بازی 2. بوستون سلتیکس در مقابل برنده شماره 7 مرحله بازی 3. فیلادلفیا 76رز در مقابل 6. بروکلین نتس (نهایی) 4. کلیولند کاوالیرز در مقابل 5. نیویورک نیکس (نهایی)
On a cloudy day in early January, Aaron Judge walked into the Yankees’ player development complex in Tampa, Florida. Hitting coach Dillon Lawson and infielder DJ LeMahieu were already working in the batting cages inside. They greeted Judge and congratulated him on the contract he’d signed a few weeks before, guaranteeing him a staggering $360 million over nine years.
Judge turned to Lawson. “So, what do you got for me?” he said. Judge wanted something specific to work on during this voluntary winter session, a flaw on which he could focus. Lawson hesitated. He was intimately aware of the obvious reality: Judge hit 62 home runs last season. He set an American League record for power last season. He became the biggest star in his sport last season.
“What — you don’t want to just run that one back?” Lawson said. But Judge gave only a courtesy laugh.
It wasn’t that Judge wasn’t touched by the praise. It was that his own record-breaking season isn’t how he frames what was or what might be for this team, a group of players that won 99 games in 2022 but failed — again — to deliver the Yankees a first World Series since 2009.
The difference this year, Judge believes, will lie in the small margins. In the little moments. In the marrow. The Yankees, Judge thinks, are so close to getting what they want that it’s impossible to be certain what tiny improvement might push them over the line. (It doesn’t hurt to keep hitting home runs, either. In his first three games, he already has two.)
So no, Judge told Lawson, he doesn’t want to run back last season. And even in January, he didn’t just want to shake the dust off his swing. He hefted his bat and stepped into the cage.
“There’s got to be more,” he said.
TWO DAYS BEFORE the Yankees’ first exhibition game in late February, Oswaldo Cabrera, a young Venezuelan utility player entering his second season in the majors, bounded into the clubhouse with a binder and a paperback book tucked under his arm. The book was “El Arte de la Guerra,” a Spanish translation of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” — the famous Chinese military treatise that has found a modern audience among those wanting to better understand the connection between mental strength and success.
“I have talked to him a lot about the mind,” Cabrera said, nodding his head at Judge’s locker just a few places up the row. “He talks to me about how important it is, how it means so much. That’s what I am learning now. And look at his career — why wouldn’t I want that? Why wouldn’t I want to do what he is doing?”
Later, Judge smiled when he heard about Cabrera’s reading choice. This is the sort of incremental improvement Judge embraces. Teammates understandably want to grill him on the details of how he loads weight to his back foot or the mechanics of his swing path, but the intellectual part of being a professional athlete has always intrigued Judge even more.
In his first few years with the Yankees, Judge picked up a habit of swiping dirt from the ground while at the plate, squeezing it with his hand and then tossing it away as a sort of mental trigger to help put a bad swing behind him. As his star — and the stakes of his career — rose higher, Judge searched for more mental advantages, digging deeper and deeper not only into the things he chose to do but also into the way he thought about doing them.
Books, like Ryan Holliday’s “Stillness is the Key” and Gary Mack’s “Mind Gym,” became a significant and consistent part of Judge’s cerebral development. He rotates through a variety of meditation apps (with a preference for Calm). He utilizes different wearable stress-relief devices, including one that has made its way around the Yankees’ clubhouse and, as Judge puts it, involves “holding it in your hands and it vibrates and man, it makes you feel relaxed.”
Judge gestured at the rest of the locker room: “This is all a tool that I use. Look around — everyone in the league has a bat. Everyone goes to the cage, does drills. Everyone. But somebody that doesn’t use this, doesn’t use these techniques or doesn’t have somebody they can talk to — I think I’ve got an edge on them.”
Among the most important people who contribute to his success, Judge said, is Chad Bohling, the leader of the team’s mental conditioning department. One of the routines Judge developed with Bohling is a ritual for the moment just before he goes out to the field. At exactly the same time before first pitch — “You can set your watch to it,” manager Aaron Boone said — Judge leaves the clubhouse, ducks into Bohling’s office and watches one of several videos Bohling has prepared that feature a flurry of positive images: Judge making a smooth defensive play or a sequence of excellent swings, one after another. Sometimes there will be a clip of an iconic athlete, like Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning. Sometimes there are images of Judge rounding the bases.
The inspirational component to the videos is obvious: “I’m probably not going to go 5-for-5 but at least it’s in my mind,” Judge said. Yet inspiration isn’t the main reason he watches them.
Despite standing 6-foot-7, despite averaging a home run every 9 at-bats, despite being named the 16th captain in Yankees history, Judge still battles fear. He still gets terrified he won’t be able to deliver what is expected of him night after night.
“Even days that I don’t want to, days where I just want to get the game started, I still go in there and watch the video,” Judge said. “Because I need something to help me switch.”
“Like, I’m in here right now, and I’m Aaron — I’m hanging out with you, right?” he said.
“But you know, when I step out there, you have to be somebody else,” he continued, pointing at the door to the field. “Because maybe Aaron, in this moment, might be scared. But No. 99? He isn’t afraid at all.”
THE YANKEES ACTUALLY tried to re-sign Judge at the start of last season, before all the home runs, but Judge turned down a seven-year, $213.5 million offer, betting on himself to raise his own free agent market. He won that bet — handily — captivating the sport as he chased down Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League record.
In the afterglow, Judge got his astronomical contract and the captainship, and was saddled, immediately, with the question that elevates and shatters so many:
“There’s that quote — something like, ‘It’s impossible to step twice into the same spot in a river,’ because the river is always flowing, right?” said Brian Cashman, the team’s longtime general manager. “Last season was a flood. This season, whatever happens, whatever we all do, is going to be different in so many ways.”
Judge knows that, too, but even as he officially assumes the role of captain, his basic leadership style remains the same. At its heart, it’s one of commitment, kindness and appreciation.
Willie Randolph, who was the Yankees’ captain from 1986-88 and still serves as a spring training instructor, said he believes Judge is one of the few players who doesn’t need to change anything at all in his new position. “I think it’ll just make him a little more aware of the things he’s doing,” Randolph said. “I felt like I was a captain for a few years before I was named one, and I think Aaron is the same way.”
Most of the stories Judge’s teammates told about him in Tampa were about small, intimate moments, and focused less on his largesse or generosity — though that was evident too — and more on basic gratitude.
On a recent afternoon, the Yankees finished workouts early and went on a team-building field trip to PopStroke, a nearby miniature golf franchise.
“Hey, you’re carrying us today, right?” Willie Calhoun, a veteran outfielder who joined the Yankees this offseason, asked Judge just before they teed off on the first hole. Judge howled. “I’ve literally never played golf before,” he said.
Judge, to put it kindly, didn’t carry them. “The problem was they barely had a putter that fit!” he griped a day later, but Calhoun said that watching a hunched-over Judge hit 3 straight putts way past the hole only to then leave the next 4 shots short was one of his favorite experiences this spring.
“He’s competitive because we all are, but he really was paying more attention to everyone else,” Calhoun said. “He was all over the place. I haven’t been here that long but you could see how much he loves these guys.”
This past offseason, pitcher Nestor Cortes was in Tampa when Judge mentioned that he was planning to go to the Buccaneers game the next night. Cortes asked if Judge had room for him and his wife (and maybe also his agent), and within minutes, the tickets arrived in his email.
“Here’s the thing, though,” Cortes said. “What I think about with that weekend isn’t that he gave us the tickets, which was amazing, but that when we got to the game and came up to him, before we could even say thank you for these tickets, he grabbed me and was like, ‘Thank you so much for coming — I’m really, really happy that you guys are here.'”
Cortes laughed. “I was like, ‘Shouldn’t we be thanking you?’ But he was thanking us. He just wanted to spend time with us. And he meant it.”
Captain or not, this is who Judge has been. A Yankees clubhouse staffer said Judge is one of the very few players who, ever since joining the team seven years ago, goes into the kitchen every single day to thank the chefs who prepare the postgame spread. And Lawson, the hitting coach, said he has seen a similar dynamic in the batting cages, as Judge will often go hit in Cage No. 4 during spring training, even though “the big boys usually hit in 1 or 2 because those are the nicest ones.” After taking his swings with the fringe roster players, Lawson said, Judge will thank them for hitting with him.
Elijah Dunham, a young player who has yet to make his big league debut but has hit in Cage No. 4 with Judge, said that what he appreciates most about Judge is that “he acts like we are equals.
“He’s the most important player on the team but he never makes me feel like we aren’t the same,” Dunham said.
If that sounds a bit like pro sports pablum, well, fair enough. But 20 minutes after Dunham said it, the Yankees finished their warmups on the main field and, position-group by position-group, clumps of players would run down the right-field line and head toward the indoor batting cages.
In each instance, the player at the front of the group would reach the door to the cages, fling it open and run through with the rest of the group trailing behind him.
Judge was the only one to do it differently. He led the outfielders over, but instead of going through first, he stopped, pulled the door open and stepped to the side, holding it for all the other outfielders to shuffle past.
Once everyone else went through, Judge followed.
A LITTLE BEFORE 11 a.m. on a Sunday late last month, the fans at Steinbrenner Field buzzed as Judge stepped to the plate during batting practice. First pitch in the Yankees’ opening exhibition game was still a ways off, but any opportunity to see Judge hit is an event.
Giancarlo Stanton, who frequently bats behind Judge in the lineup, had mentioned the day before that Judge has “long levers,” and that phrasing is just right. To see Judge steadily unspool his muscles before whipping his bat through the hitting zone is mechanically absorbing, sort of how staring at the pistons of an engine can be mesmerizing.
Discussing how many home runs Judge will hit this season is a recurrent party game among Yankees fans, and so as Judge blistered more than a few batting practice pitches over the fence, the numbers bantered about in the stands crept higher and higher. “I think he should hit a hundred,” a young boy standing near the dugout said matter-of-factly. (His father did not rule it out.)
Judge is not indifferent to those desires. But he also makes no secret of his focus on improving other aspects of his game. As good as his season was a year ago, the Yankees did not win the World Series, and his power largely disappeared during the stretch run and playoffs.
Because of this, and because of his philosophy of incremental growth, Judge has been attentive (if not a bit overzealous) about the less-obvious details in his game. Boone said he constantly sees Judge spending time with Matt Talarico, the team’s baserunning coach, to perfect his first-step speed. Judge said he is also working with Lawson to modify his approach in certain at-bats where he falls behind — a telling focus since he hit a league-best 21 home runs with two strikes on him last year.
At the mention of a book about the value of small changes called “Atomic Habits,” Judge brightened. “Yes — I know it; I’ve seen that on my wife’s bookcase [and] I’ve been meaning to steal it,” he said. Then he added, “You keep looking because no one knows what will make the ultimate difference.”
In conversations with his teammates this spring, Judge has repeatedly made this point. Simply because last season was his best-ever for hitting home runs doesn’t mean that it was his best-ever season for everything (or even anything) else.
And so he pokes and prods. He tinkers. He keeps looking for that edge he hasn’t yet found. At one point, when talking about the videos he watches before games, Judge mentioned Kobe Bryant. Judge said Bryant is a role model for him when he thinks about how to more consistently toggle that switch from Aaron to No. 99.
Bryant famously had his “Black Mamba” alter ego that he cultivated to help him separate his personal life from his work on the court, and Judge said he is in awe of that clear and simple definition.
“Do you have something like that?” he was asked. Judge narrowed his eyes.