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The Houston Astros Are Going Back To The World Series, And The Savages Are Going Home

League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six

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It was a tough night for closers with a history of domestic abuse. Just a real tough night.

But hey, the right team won. Coming into this season, the Houston Astros were built to return to the World Series. The New York Yankees were built to win the AL East and get to the American League Championship Series. That’s simply how it played out.

While the Bronx Bombers loaded up on offense and kept their elite bullpen strong, they whiffed on signing Patrick Corbin in the offseason, they failed to make any moves at the trade deadline and the cards fell the way that they did. Meanwhile, the Astros Vince McMahon strutted from start to finish with one of the best lineups, one of the best bullpens, and one of the best rotations in the game. They deserve to be where they’re at.

And the craziest part about the ALCS? The Astros didn’t even really hit. Outside of Jose Altuve, who hit the AL pennant-winning walk-off homer off of Aroldis Chapman in Game 6, none of the Astros were hot. I do, however, expect that to change in the World Series, despite going up against a monster rotation in DC. I’m looking at you, Yordan Alvarez.

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Now, with the Astros taking care of business in Game 6, Gerrit Cole is ready to take the ball in Game 1 of the World Series. It must feel good to know that you have a 1-0 series lead in the World Series while you’re still drenched in champagne from the ALCS. We’ll see where the series goes from there, as I’m expecting that to be at least six games again.

But the question I’ve got on my mind at 4:57 in the morning is where do the Yankees go from here? Edwin Encarnacion is a free agent, Aroldis Chapman can opt out, Didi Gregorius is a free agent, as is Brett Gardner who’s coming off a career year at the age of 35, Dellin Betances is a free agent, so too is Austin Romine, and of course CC Sabathia is retiring. I think Chapman likely re-signs for more money after opting out, Gardner is a Yankee for life so he’ll probably re-sign, but after that? I’m not so sure. Encarnacion will probably move on, as he was a hired gun and the Yankees are stuck paying Giancarlo Stanton, and it’s going to be interesting to see what becomes of Gregorius.

The Yankees, in theory, could move Gleyber Torres to short, DJ LeMahieu returns to second base and then you’ve got Luke Voit at first. I wouldn’t rule out Didi returning, but the Yankees will be okay if he doesn’t. You also have to factor in the return of Miguel Andujar at third base alongside the huge breakout year that Gio Urshela had. I don’t know where Didi fits in unless they trade an infielder to make room. After watching this season and the postseason, I’m not sure I’d want to make room for him.

However, those moves are just what the Yankees need to do to get back to what they were in 2019, a team that wasn’t good enough to get past the ALCS again. Do they back up the money truck for Gerrit Cole? I’m sure they’ll try. Will adding one starting pitcher be enough? I mean, he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now, but it’s going to take a shit ton of money and it’ll require signing him into his mid-30’s. Not everybody ages like Max Scherzer. Certainly worth the gamble for the front end of that deal with the core New York has in place to win right now.

It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Bronx Bombers, but I couldn’t put their season to rest without giving a tip of the cap to Aaron Boone. For all the injuries that the Yankees sustained in 2019, they never let their foot off the gas. It was next man up all year, and that next man always delivered. I mean, the Yankees were so deep this year that they had All Star-worthy talent left off the postseason roster. If I had a vote for Manager of the Year, it would go to Boone, who made sure that he spoke individually to every single player in his clubhouse after that Game 6 loss before the team went their separate ways for the final time this year. That’s the type of guy you want to go to war for.

It’s not about the Yankees tonight, though. It’s about the Astros. They’re about to play in their second World Series in three years, and that’s with a 103-win team sandwiched in between. Any fan base that wants to use the “World Series hangover” excuse for their team underperforming after a championship, I want you to look at what AJ Hinch’s Astros have done since the start of 2017. They’re a force. They are the standard in this league. They’re the blueprint that every team will try and fail to duplicate. And on Tuesday night, they’re coming for ring number two.