The New York Yankees got nowhere close to this year’s World Series — or, at least, they were as far away as any ALCS participant could possibly be.
That doesn’t mean the fan base is devoid of a rooting interest, though. The fewer Astros titles, the better, especially if one of the stoppers standing in Houston’s way is beloved ex-Yankee David Robertson, who came up clutch in Game 1.
D-Rob weathered an offensive assault from the middle of the Astros’ order, as well as the crook of Aledmys Diaz’s elbow, and helped the Phillies steal the opener on the road and turn this underdog story into a real series.
And before he ever took the mound, the Yankees veteran (2008-2014, 2017-2018) made it clear he was fighting for something beyond 2022’s World Series ring.
As Robertson’s career draws nearer to a close, the 37-year-old has become reflective about his past triumphs and traumas. He battled back (ironically landing with Philly this summer) from Tommy John surgery that began his free agent deal in Philadelphia back in 2019. He’s earned one World Series ring (2009), and has finally returned to that arena, too, giving himself the chance to avenge one that got away with the Yankees in 2017.
Just because he has a shot to replace that ring, though, doesn’t mean the sting of how and why the ’17 Yankees fell short has ever really gone away.
Yankees reliever David Robertson will never forgive the 2017 Astros for taking a World Series berth from him
No, D-Rob, you will never get 2017 back, but at least you’re in the midst of a second chance to fight and reclaim the territory for yourself.
The rest of the Yankees — who will also never get 2017 back — haven’t been able to fight their way over the precipice in the five years since. Conversely, they’ve mostly slid further away from their ultimate goal of redemption, rather than avenging what was taken from them at the start of the Baby Bombers Era.
That’s why fans have been so frustrated recently, displaying their apparent now-trademark toxicity. Whether the Astros stopped cheating after 2017 is another matter entirely. Whether the 2017 Yankees would’ve had a chance against the 2017 Dodgers is also not an important hypothetical. All fans know for sure is that they weren’t competing on a level playing field five years ago, and have been unable to get any closer to glory in the years since, when things were supposedly set up better for them.
There’s no “deserve” in baseball, but Yankee fans deserve better, as do as many active 2017 Yankees as possible. Fandom is finite; every season that ends without a title is a checked box on life’s calendar. You will not get it back. You lost your chance. You just have to hope the right buttons are pressed and the right breaks are experienced moving forward. ’17 was there for the taking, until it was taken by someone else’s scheme.
That’s why we’re all in Robertson’s corner, as he fights to right a personal wrong.