The Houston Astros are not going to the World Series. They will not have the opportunity to repeat as champions and be the first team to do so since the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. Houston lost all four of their home games in the ALCS. We're not clowning the Astros because we have no right to do so, but it feels good that we no longer have to watch them. They've dominated the postseason since 2017. We're sick of it.
That said ... the Texas Rangers triumphing over Houston in seven games to reach their first World Series since 2011 doesn't entirely sit right with Yankees fans. And to be honest, any lengthy run from the Rangers would've left New Yorkers with conflicting feelings.
Why? Because former Yankees players Jordan Montgomery, Aroldis Chapman, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney have all played a role in helping Texas get to the mountaintop. And guys like Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, who should've been Yankees free agent targets two years ago, are also on this roster.
The right collection of these names -- Montgomery, Eovaldi and Seager -- are players the Yankees should've kept or pursued, and the trio is proving exactly why as they've risen to the occasion and have proven everybody wrong in the process.
This was so close to being the Yankees. Dissenters might suggest such commentary is a result of entitled Yankees fan delusions, but Monty and Eovaldi were here. The Yankees utilized them incorrectly. Seager? He had ties to the Yankees and there was a vacancy at shortstop after the 2021 season (and Anthony Volpe's standing in the organization shouldn't have mattered).
Astros' elimination was still somehow bittersweet for Yankees fans
By no means do we wish Aroldis Chapman was still a Yankee, but is the guy kidding us with one earned run over his 6.1 postseason innings, including 3.2 against the Astros in the ALCS? The guy made a living of getting embarrassed and tattooed by Houston during his Yankees career.
The Brian Cashman commentary about Montgomery after the left-hander was booted out the door gets more cringeworthy by the hour. The two misses on Eovaldi, including this past offseason when the Yankees prioritized Carlos Rodón instead of signing the two of them, are especially regrettable because the Yankees have needed a fearless presence anywhere on this roster. The way he just handled the Astros is what New York has been missing for seven years.
Seager? Do we have to once more talk about how he was the perfect lefty bat missing from a lineup of too many swing-and-miss righties? He's handled shortstop quite well (he's a Gold Glove finalist) and in the worst possible world, Volpe could've started his MLB career at second base and Gleyber Torres could've been traded (like most fans want, anyway).
But the Yankees lack creativity and couldn't even fathom the thought. They lack aggression, and couldn't dream of adding another $300 million contract to the payroll, even though it could've very well saved this current window featuring the primes of Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole.
And here we have Chapman playing some sort of enforcer? Not that we're approving beaning somebody with a 104 MPH fastball, but would it have killed him to brush back one of the insufferable Astros players that continuously beat our heads in for years a few times?
Oh yeah, and don't get us started with Heandog Bumpday. Can't have this.