ANAHEIM — Since the Yankees designated Mike Ford for assignment and later sent him away last summer, Ford hasn’t precisely expanded his wings.
In 2022, the first baseman has played for eight different organizations, including four in the big leagues and four in Triple-A. The 30-year-old was batting.225 in 60 games across both levels going into play on Monday night, and he was batting.179 in the Major Leagues.
So on Monday, after Anthony Rizzo had given New York a lead with a soaring home run in the top of the fourth when Ford walked up to the plate for the Angels, Yankees supporters in attendance at Angel Stadium weren’t in the least bit concerned.
At that point, Ford jumped starter Frankie Montas’ first-pitch cutter and smacked a solo home run that traveled 395 feet down the right field line.
Ford hit his first home run in the majors this season and his first home run in the MLB while not wearing a Yankees uniform.
What came next was even more noteworthy than Ford’s first significant fly since May 22 of last year.
Ford flicked his bat forcefully while leaning back to appreciate his job. He then shushed thrice while holding his right index finger to his lips.
Ford was thought to be pointing at the Yankees’ dugout at first.
Was it an amicable gesture toward some of his former teammates and coaches, or did it have a spiteful motive for a team that had just released him?
After the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was questioned about that particular play, which proved to be a crucial blow in the team’s third straight 4-3 defeat.
Boone expressed his hope that he was looking in another place, which wasn’t the case. “I would be annoyed if he did, yes. I’m not so certain that was the case, though.”
Boone emphasized that his squad didn’t complete the task within the lines and that he wasn’t searching for “something to get annoyed over.”
We won’t ever know with certainty what the slugger’s motivation was, regardless of whether Ford speaks up about the incident or not. Boone, however, has a valid point. This squad has to pay attention to the reality that they’ve lost three straight games to inferior opponents, failing once more to mount more than a few runs on offence, rather than the contentious celebration from an old friend.