Running Towards Destiny
The Yankees, meanwhile, are still playing and planning to face another win-now team, the Astros. The series finds the Yanks caught between their past and future.
In an effort to get younger, allow their young talent to develop, and compete in 2018, the Yankees spent the last two seasons shedding veterans.
In an effort to capitalize on their already-developed young talent, and best pitcher (Dallas Keuchel) before he fades, Houston has been adding veterans in order to compete in 2017.
That’s why recent Bronx Bombers Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann will line-up against the Yankees in this series, instead of for them. And while Justin Verlander was never a Yankee, his inclusion on the Astros roster shows the subtle difference between the two teams.
Verlander could have been traded to the Yankees. They had better prospects. But Cash did not want to add an aging star, and more importantly his contract, while still shedding salaries. Verlander will be 35 in about a month, while Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are each 31; Alex Cobb is 30.
And that signing is the difference between a win-now team and one that hopes to win soon. That is one of the most interesting factors that could make the difference in this series.
But, Since They’re Already Here…
With that as just one important subplot, the two teams meet tonight and start a series to see who gets to try to win it all, now. Either team can win, although, the Astros are deservedly favored.
One note of interest to fans of both teams, and baseball itself. One big PR problem baseball has under other sports is that their best players do not often show up in its postseason.
Mike Trout has spent the last four years as the best player in the game. And the last four October’s on the couch.
Not this year. The top two players in the AL will spend at least four games sharing the same stage: Jose Altuve and Aaron… somebody. The one of them who performs best might be the difference in the series. And that’s exciting for everyone.