When we last left Yankee Stadium, the prevailing media narrative surrounding these Yankees was that they were about to dissolve.
After all, during a disastrous ALCS loss to the Astros, they were booed off the field by a cadre of angry, rain-flecked drunkards. Yes, even Aaron Judge, in the wake of a 62-homer masterclass. Who would want to return to that?
Apparently, Judge. And Rizzo. And everyone else. And they managed to add Carlos Rodón. Because, as unenjoyable as that week was, these players get it. They're proud to wear the pinstripes. They understand the dissatisfaction. And maybe they like to get a little bothered every once in a while to get hot around the collar and go out the next year seeking vengeance.
At the time of the booing, Judge was diplomatic, stating simply, "I gotta play better." Now, four months later and with a long-term tether to the Bronx and $360 million addition in his pocket?
"Honestly, I had no problem with getting booed. That’s what happens when you don’t come through. It wasn’t the first time I’d been booed in New York, probably not the last, so it didn’t come as a great shock. The fans were disappointed at how the season finished. I would’ve booed too. So, no, I didn’t take it personally. Not at all."- Aaron Judge
Like Derek Jeter said last fall, Yankees fans boo because they want to cheer. Also because MLB kept them prisoner a few days prior during an ALDS rain delay before cancelling the game and leaving them in the lurch trying to find their way home.
And also because ... losing to the Astros really sucks! Judge would rather be cheered, and he'll have plenty more chances to hear that adulation. This fan base has a resonant relationship with their forever captain, and the sonic waves of his Opening Day ovation -- his first as a Guaranteed Eternal Yankee -- should more than counteract some aggrieved grunts from last October.