We warned you, Texas Rangers fans. You all pranced around your living rooms when your team got ahead of the trade deadline and acquired Aroldis Chapman in late June in the middle of his hot stretch of play with the Kansas City Royals. But New York Yankees fans knew all along how this would turn out.
Chapman might've kicked off his Rangers career in enviable fashion, but it was only a matter of time before he melted down spectacularly in what would be a never-ending snowball effect.
It's now September and Chapman has failed to grab the closer spot in the Rangers' bullpen and has contributed to their slide that has seen them fall into the Wild Card race. They've now see-sawed back and forth with the Seattle Mariners (who managed to grab a lead in the AL West) and Houston Astros (who hold the second Wild Card spot).
Hmmm. If only the Rangers could've saved more games over the past month ... or even the last week or so! Chapman's blown three saves in his last five games, including a truly embarrassing loss against the Mets on Wednesday night when he walked the bases loaded and plunked a batter to bring in the game-winning run in extras.
Ignore his 2.57 ERA, 3.07 FIP and 1.10 WHIP with 38 strikeouts in 21 innings. He's logged more outings in the eighth inning, and when he's stepping on the mound for the ninth or in extras, it's usually going to be that classic rollercoaster ride Yankees fans were subject to from 2020-2022.
Rangers-Aroldis Chapman trade now somehow bittersweet for Yankees fans
Yankees fans should be enjoying this, right? They should be having fun watching someone who was responsible for derailing three separate postseason runs and who quit on his team last year completely fall apart on the national stage.
Except ... Chapman's leaving the door wide open for the Astros to win the AL West, which would put them in a much more favorable postseason position. Except ... he's giving the Boston Red Sox an outside chance to claim that third Wild Card spot if the Rangers' freefall continues (they recently posted a 5-11 and the Red Sox are more likely to catch them than anyone else in the race, with a series still looming in Texas). It's unlikely, but we've seen crazier things happen.
Can't Yankees fans enjoy one thing this season without another canceling it out or interrupting the proceedings? A standalone Chapman self-destruction should be free of conflicting feelings. It should be among the few fulfilling developments of a disastrous, lost Yankees season. Let us have this one.
Shame on us for thinking the left-hander's mechanical adjustment had the Yankees regretting anything. Deep down, we always knew this was the only outcome for one of the most disliked players in Yankees history.