When manager Aaron Boone kicked reliever Aroldis Chapman off the New York Yankees postseason roster, it signaled a change many fans were hoping would’ve come years earlier. Better late than never, though, because if Chapman was trying to help the 2022 Yanks win a World Series, it would’ve been the greatest disaster of all.
On Sunday, the news dropped, which was surprising yet expected all at once. Chapman’s been awful this year (and pretty much dating back to 2020 in a bigger picture), but the Yankees are thin on bullpen help. Injuries and regressions have had them limping for the second half of the year.
Another twist was the manner in which Chapman was kicked to the curb. Many figured he’d be out because of his performance, but general manager Brian Cashman told the media on Monday that the left-hander ditched a mandatory workout on Friday.
Apparently, Chapman tried to tie stipulations into the live batting practice session, telling Boone that he would attend only if there was a guarantee if he’d make the ALDS roster, but the Yankees wouldn’t do that.
As a result, Chapman didn’t attend and Boone/the team told him that would be his fate for the remainder of the 2022 season. Enjoy Miami.
The Yankees should’ve kicked Aroldis Chapman off the roster years ago
Does this sound like a team player to you? On what planet is somebody with a 4.46 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 4.57 FIP guaranteed a postseason roster spot while trying to control the narrative with undeserving demands?
What’s even crazier is that he would’ve made the postseason roster because we learned on Tuesday that Scott Effross needs Tommy John surgery and will be out until 2024! Unbelievable.
It’s hard to believe Chapman wasn’t always like this, too. Dating back to his domestic violence suspension, this was the “tone” the Yankees set by giving him exactly what he wanted when he didn’t deserve it, and presenting him with opportunity after opportunity to rehabilitate his image. Trading for him amid the DV allegations and helping him escape Cincinnati. Giving him a five-year, $86 million contract after trading him to the Cubs and getting him a World Series win.
But the worst of all? Extending him through 2022 after his 2019 postseason failure against the Astros instead of letting him opt out of his contract. Yup, the Yankees feared he would opt out and leave despite a weak market for relievers heading into free agency that year. This guy just gave up the season-ending home run in the ALCS and you’re going to let him run the room?
He smiled on the mound after giving up that home run to Jose Altuve as he watched the Astros celebrate. He couldn’t handle split-inning duty against the Rays in 2020 and got beat by Mike Brosseau, who spent time in the minor leagues this year. He followed that up with his two career-worst seasons in 2021 and 2022. Don’t think we forgot about 2017, when he lost Game 2 of the ALCS in Houston and pitched in just 1.1 innings that entire series.
Once again, the Yankees waited too long to pull the plug. It could’ve maybe saved them embarrassment a few times over the last three years. Though we’re glad it’s over, fans are once again validated because Chapman’s behavior in this instance proves he never should’ve been a Yankee for as long as he was.