The Likability of Isiah Kiner-Falefa

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Isiah Kiner-Falefa had the attention of the Yankees in years previous to 2022. Yankee fans might recall him as the 2022 Gold Glove 3rd baseman who beat our own Gio Urshela. Speaking of Gio, Brian Cashman has a recent habit of picking up productive and contributing role players who fans developed a liking towards (Urshela, Gregorius, Maybin) and so far, Kiner-Falefa is quick to fall into that category.

If you are not following Kiner-Falefa’s Twitter, you absolutely should be. His first tweet as a Yankee read ”Always wanted to be like #2!!” In the days following, he spoke an instantly memorable quote during an interview: “If you shave every day, it’s like making your bed. Winners make their bed.”

This guy gets it!

First of all, he is from Honolulu. Has anything unlikable ever come from Hawaii?

Second, Kiner-Falefa wants to be here, and it does not appear like he is just saying the right words because a PR guy told him. I fully believe that in his heart and soul, he is ecstatic to be in the Bronx. When considering all of the potential solutions to the Yankees’ flaws, maybe this is the antidote that we need to most.

I am not saying that the Yankees do not care. Players like Judge and Stanton have a killer instinct in their eyes, however, they are introverted to the public eye. Kiner-Falefa has quickly cemented his role on the team as an outspoken soul of the team with whom fans can connect on a personal level. Fans can look at his pictures at Yankee Stadium with his dad and say ”That was me too!” Fans hear him claim his adoration from Jeter and say ”he was my favorite too!” So often athletes feel like they are galaxies away from regular people, but IKF feels like one of our friends who finally made the dream come true. This unique aspect is electric, magnetic, and hopefully contagious.

Welcome home Isiah Kiner-Falefa, we have been waiting for you!

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