The New York Yankees are 2-5 against the Houston Astros in 2022, and at no point in those seven games did they step into the batter’s box with the lead. The two wins they secured were of the walk-off variety. Very cool! But not dominant whatsoever. Houston’s had their number.
Some fans might reference the 2021 Yankees going 4-2 against the Astros … but did it really matter? Houston went to the World Series and New York sputtered out in the AL Wild Card Game in Boston. The narrative still stands: the Astros have the upper hand over the Bombers and have been the more clutch/battle-tested team for the past five years.
Thankfully, this isn’t the 2021 Yankees anymore. The discourse around the team is much more honest, genuine and candid. So when manager Aaron Boone was asked about “the narrative,” it was refreshing to hear his up front response.
“The narrative’s not gonna change until you beat them in the playoffs, if that day comes. We beat them four out of six last year and they didn’t hold leads. Where did that get us?”
Some down-to-earth messaging never hurt anybody. And if there’s one thing that’s clear to the 2022 Yankees, it’s they’ve yet to prove anything. A scorching hot first half is awesome … but it means nothing if you faceplant in October.
Aaron Boone’s responds to Yankees’ struggles vs Astors in awesome manner
How many times in 2021 did Boone and the rest of the players dance around tough questions with vague, general answers? It was a whole lot of “ya know…” and “we’ll turn things around” and “we’re better than we’re playing right now.”
Fans — especially New York fans — don’t like the cookie-cutter, diplomatic responses to situations that merit more transparency. If that type of messaging from 2020 and 2021 spilled over into 2022, many would venture to guess the Yankees wouldn’t be where they are right now … or they’d be that much further away from getting over the Houston hump at some point.
Some might view Yankees fans as obnoxious, but they’re not delusional. A majority of them know the Astros certifiably own them, and there’s no reversing it until there’s a postseason series win against them or a World Series triumph.
That’s why players like Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton are held accountable in sometimes uncomfortable ways. They’re the highest paid and among the most fearsome in the game. They — along with Aaron Judge — need to be the leaders when it comes to finally sending the Astros packing.
A little edge from Boone will go a long way, too.