We’ve all had to sit through stunning Yankees losses for the better part of a year, and yet … we still can’t believe Sunday happened.
Even knowing the final score, it feels like most permutations of the bullpen would’ve managed to secure a five-run lead against the bottom of the Astros’ lineup. Luis Cessa with a clean inning. Lucas Luetge with a clean inning. Aroldis Chapman with a clean inning?
Instead of a narrative-flipping win, though, Jose Altuve was provided another chance to stick it to the Bombers before the end of a series, just as he did against the very same Chad Green on his birthday at Yankee Stadium.
Altuve once again got to redeem himself and his team for something that … they participated in, whether he received the “fewest bangs” or not. Unwittingly, during the Astros’ postgame celebration, the second baseman proved he lied in quick succession about his behavior at the end of the 2019 ALCS.
Unless Altuve was prouder of this home run than his season-ender against Aroldis Chapman (and, knowing how much Houston values trolling, it’s possible), this raucous celebration showed once and for all what he looks like with a bare chest.
He wasn’t afraid to show it off. He was gleeful. We could barely see the “bad tattoo” we heard so much about last year. Clearly, no matter what the explanation for his bizarre behavior at the end of that series, Altuve’s triumvirate of excuses were all untrue.
So what else ya got?
Jose Altuve trolled the Yankees and proved his 2019 ALCS excuses were all lies.
Regardless of whether he was wearing a buzzer or not at the tail end of the 2019 playoffs (sure, he probably wasn’t), the sequence of explanations we’ve heard for the tight jersey tug and the odd behavior from the All-Star second baseman got increasingly convoluted in the moment’s aftermath.
Of course, inadvertently and under the guise of a troll on Sunday evening, Altuve and his teammates proved each one to be a complete crock.
“I’m shy”? Sure. Perhaps Altuve overcame extreme shyness this weekend, and decided he was finally ready for the world to see his shirtless frame after the biggest home run of his career (if you consider the regular season to be bigger than Game 6 of the damned ALCS). But we also saw Altuve’s torso last spring when he was walking around the clubhouse trying to show off his tattoo, so that off-the-cuff excuse was already proven to be a lie.
“My wife hates it when I strip.” But again, during the 2021 regular season, your wife will understand? Her heartache will be subdued because you salvaged the third game of a set against the Yankees, but she wouldn’t have been able to handle seeing your midriff as your team went to the World Series? You had to sprint to the locker room before your Ken Rosenthal interview. Why?
And, again, the awful tattoo. You mean that thumbprint? You mean that barely-visible printer ink stain? If you’re so ashamed of that as to craft your entire post-win celebration around protecting it from the Houston air, we have hundreds of other questions.
Oh, and wait, a fourth lie! He’s too banged up to play in the All-Star Game, right? Right.
This Sunday loss was awful. Dreadful. Would’ve been unprecedented if it didn’t involve the Yankees, who did this a week and a half ago. The Houston Astros came and got it, avoiding a series sweep in infuriating style. But if your brain didn’t immediately drift to the hypocrisy of the shirtless ‘Stros as a distraction tactic, then congratulations. You’re healthier than us. Showing your chests now does nothing to assuage us from thinking something bizarre was going on in 2019. It only emboldens the possibility, given the disparity in import between that game and this one.
We don’t know what was going on at the tail end of the ALCS, and because Major League Baseball doesn’t care, we never will.
What we do know? Jose Altuve came up with three different explanations for his behavior, then proved once and for all they were all lies on Sunday afternoon because — once again — this team would rather be successful trolls than a respected baseball team.
“We don’t celebrate wins in July” … until we do.