Yankees fans have longed to hear it. The Aroldis Chapman Era is officially over in the Bronx, and it didn’t even take another playoff meltdown in 2022 to exile him into free agency.
In fact, Chapman prevented postseason fireworks by taking matters into his own hands and taking himself out of consideration with a beyond inconsiderate move.
In a wild turn of events depicted on Sunday, manager Aaron Boone told reporters that Chapman’s playoff roster spot — which has been up for grabs for weeks, if not months — is officially going to be handed to someone else, thanks to the former closer’s bad behavior.
Per Boone, Chapman is off the playoff roster after skipping Friday’s workout and delivering the manager some mealy-mouthed excuse in response to his absence. Good riddance to bad command.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is off playoff roster after skipping workouts
Chapman’s season nearly ended in August when he was placed on the IL after a tattoo infection laid him up. He returned in mid-September with every bit of his trademark inconsistency, going two scoreless and clean innings before walking two Red Sox and retiring one in a home disasterclass. He then plowed through the Blue Jays and Orioles before walking the world against the O’s to complete another trio of two good, one dreadful.
In other words, same old, same old. Chapman would only have made the playoff roster due to a plethora of injuries and the one in a million chance that he’d be able to harness his upside one more time in a crucial situation.
Instead, the Yankees won’t have to ride the roller coaster anymore. Chapman just made management’s job much easier with his petty negligence. And, according to Brian Cashman, doubts have existed about his motivation all year long, presumably after having the closer role non-guaranteed. Chapman has been fined by the team, and more punishment could potentially be en route.
A few weeks back, rumors indicated the Yankees might DFA Chapman as the season wrapped, many moons after they had a midsummer roster crunch and really could’ve helped themselves out.
It seemed unnecessary and almost ceremonial. Perhaps there was more discontent in the building than had initially been reported, though.
Chapman’s pitching under pressure has been a problem for years. If his attitude in the locker room matched his on-field regression all along, one wonders why the Yankees bent over backwards to bring him back following the 2019 ALCS, allowing him to blow next season’s playoff run against the Rays, too.
Lots of harm, lots of fouls. And now, with free agency ahead, this pairing has mercifully ended.