PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Jameson Taillon is about to find out what it’s like to be hated.
Not necessarily from anything of his doing, of course. Taillon was widely regarded as a fan favorite in Pittsburgh throughout his time with the Pirates. His easy-going, down to earth personality along with the perseverance he showed in battling cancer during his career allowed him to connect rather easily with the fan base.
But now Taillon finds himself in those iconic New York Yankees pinstripes after being traded there for a package of prospects the other way. It’s certainly a new world.
“Yeah, I mean I’ve already felt it on social media. Shoot, I’ve even felt it just from friend’s texting me. I knew the Yankees were the evil empire but the amount of people that have reached out and been like, ‘I freaking hate the Yankees but I’ll root for you,’ or people that say, ‘This will be the first time in my life I’ve ever rooted for the Yankees.’ So, I’ve already felt it from that,” said Taillon with a laugh when he joined The Fan Morning Show on Tuesday.
“Having already known a guy like Gerrit (Cole) and some guys on the team, I like part of being a guy like Gerrit when you’re signed to that kind of contract and you have those types of expectations, he’s a guy who has to deal with a lot of that. He’s the one that will deal with a lot of the media, deal with a lot of the fans, all of that.”
Big names. Big money. Big city. Despite all of those things, and because there are plenty of other players to take the spotlight, Taillon feels like he can make a smooth transition.
“I feel like maybe I’ll be able to just slide in. Obviously, there’s still great expectations and you still have to go out there and do your job and win and there’s a lot of bright lights and eyes on you. But, I also feel like maybe I’ll be able to slide in there and I don’t want to say hide in Gerrit’s shadows but having already known him, I think he’ll definitely help take a lot of that pressure off of me.”
Taillon will be entering into this new chapter in his baseball life with a different approach, too. After having his second Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2020 season, Taillon took a long look under the hood and decided that things needed to change in order for him to stay healthy.
“When I got hurt this second time I decided to tear it down.
Tear the delivery down. Everything that I thought I knew, that felt comfortable and right, I said, ‘This isn’t working. Something’s got to change if I want to touch a big league mound again.’
So he did just that. He got in touch with specialists at the Florida Baseball Ranch who helped him reconstruct his delivery, all geared toward his long term health.
“It feels like I’m building something that’s actually sustainable.
I’m not just trying to survive until my next start or survive until my next bullpen.
It’s the first time in a while where I’ve actually enjoyed playing catch, I’ve enjoyed throwing. I’ve actually lock into my bullpens and not have to worry about like, ‘Does anyone else around here know that I’m hurt?’ So that’s been really refreshing for me, both physically and mentally.”
So, will you become a Yankees fans for Jamo, too?