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The 2017 New York Yankees' Season Is Over, But It's Truly Just the Beginning

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Everything sucks. What is life? What just happened? I feel like I just lost a family member. I needed to take 24 hours to compile my thoughts because I was morbidly depressed. I didn’t watch a second of football yesterday. I honestly don’t even know what I did. I woke up in the city and just walked. I walked somewhere around 70 blocks. Didn’t even have headphones in. Just walked and all kinds of what-if thoughts race through my head. I’m serious, not going to the World Series after having that opportunity is fucking gut-wrenching. I literally sat at the bar after the final out just staring at the TV in disbelief. I watched the whole celebration in the locker room for absolutely no reason. I’m sick to my stomach eating McDonald’s as I’m typing this. This is why people who don’t watch sports are the worst. They cannot understand why a loss like this can affect a fan that much. They can’t understand the logic of being so emotionally invested in something. For me, being 23 years old, I’ve never really felt that attached to a Yankees team like this. I was too young during the dynasty run in the late 90s to have any sort of true fan attachment. My first real Yankees memories are from ’03 and on. The 2009 World Series team was a bunch of free agents and aging vets. They had no character to them. This Yankees team was different. They were special.

Game 7

The New York Yankees season is over. The worst six word sentence I could possibly say. The best sentence for a non-Yankees fan to say. The moment Gattis blasted his solo shot in the 4th, that was the game. Game 7 had a horribly similar feeling to the 2015 AL Wild Card where Dallas Keuchel shut out the Yanks while Tanaka blinked first. CC Sabathia didn’t have his show-stopping stuff from the get-go missing spots by wide-margins, leaving balls up in the zone. He wasn’t vintage CC. For a few innings he skated on by, stranding runners all over the place. But eventually Gattis beat him and that was all the Astros pitchers needed quite frankly.

Charlie Morton was brilliant in his five shutout innings.

The Yankees had a clear and obvious plan of attack to swing early in the count. All it resulted in were quick outs. Morton got through his five frames in just 54 pitches, pounding first pitch strikes in almost every at-bat. The Yankees only real threat came in the 5th with first and third and one out. Todd Frazier stepped to the dish with a golden opportunity.

Incredible play by Alex Bregman to nail Bird at home. I mean that throw was fucking perfect. If it’s a even just a little off Bird is safe. McCann didn’t have to move his glove the throw was so perfect. Would it have helped if Bird slid away from the tag a little to compensate for being one of the slowest people on the planet? Sure. But you have to tip your cap on a play like that. That sucked the life out of this team. Absolutely brutal.

An inning later the Astros put the game away with an Altuve homer to right and a Brian McCann two run double. Lance McCullers came in and dick slapped the Yankees offense. I mean look at this asshole throwing 24 straight breaking balls to end the game.

Such a cocksucker. Literally saying “Hey I know you guys can’t hit a curveball to save your lives so that’s literally all I’m going to throw.” That’s about as demoralizing as it gets folks. You get within one game of heading to the World Series and all of a sudden the bats disappear, plating just one run (a Judge solo shot) in the final two games. Unfuckingbelievable.

Tyler Clippard is going to the World Series. I’m gonna be sick.

So there went the season. I’ll tell you what though, it was a magical ride. This team exceeded all expectations put on them before the season. Their rotation was a huge question mark. Aaron Judge wasn’t a lock to make the team. Injuries piled up all over the place. They were too young to figure it out this quick. Just wait for Harper and Machado in a few years. Nope, this bunch wouldn’t listen to that nonsense. They became a unit that banded together and wouldn’t listen to the word “rebuild” from any bumbling idiot that would toss that around after any speed bump they hit. At the end of the day they ran into a great fucking team with probably the best lineup in baseball, along with one of the best 1-2 punches in terms of starting pitching you can find. The Yankees pushed that team to the brink of elimination just after defeating the “unstoppable” Cleveland Indians. This Yankees team had that “it” factor you crave to possess in October. Special. Magical. Inspirational.

They just ran out of gas.

I have a great feeling that we are going to look back at the 2017 Yankees in a few years and realize this was the starting point of a dynasty. With all the young guys they have that are just going to get better, along with players we haven’t been introduced to yet just waiting for their shot, also parlayed with the eventual free agent signings to come, I mean the Yankees are fucking back. It’s okay to be sad about what just happened. I know I am devastated still. But it’s not like this was a fluke. These guys are stars in the making. Whether it’s Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorious, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Masahiro Tanaka, or Starlin Castro. These guys are young and only going to up their game to new levels as the years progress. They got their taste of a deep run in October right away, so now the narrative coming into 2018 will be simple: Win The Whole Fucking Thing.

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What happens in the next few months will be interesting. The biggest question mark is Joe Girardi’s future. Does he want to come back? There’s been lots of talk about his family situation and if it’s the right move to keep managing. Do the Yankees want him back? He obviously had his fair share of fuck-ups this October that caused many to call for his head, but I like to look at how this team rallied behind him. When you’ve got your players having your back like they did in that Indians series, well for me that says a lot. If the players want him back then I want him back. Also, who are you replacing him with? The tough thing with baseball is you have to find a bench coach or an out-of-the-box guy to be your next manager. This isn’t the NBA or NFL where there are multiple prominent head coaches itching to get back in the game. To be completely honest, the only guy I’d want to replace him would be Alex Rodriguez. He’s great with the players and claims he talks to them all the time about the game. Alex loves the game and I think would have a great presence as a manager. This might be too young in his post-playing days to get back in a uniform, but we’ll have to see. It’s a super interesting idea and a content dream.

Gleyber 

Gleyber Torres is coming next year. He’s already taking swings off a tee and looks great in his rehab from his fluke Tommy John surgery. So where does he fit in the infield? Third base? So then what happens to Todd Frazier? He was the heart and soul of this second half run and into October. Todd is a great guy to have on your team and brings a Nick Swisher-esque vibe to the clubhouse. Maybe you bring him back as a bench player if Gleyber to third is the move?

Do you move Starlin Castro? Starlin is a fantastic hitter, one of the best at his age historically, but his defense was absolutely horrific down the stretch. Whether it was mis-timing line drives or simply letting balls go between your legs I mean that just can’t happen. I don’t care how well you hit. Trading him is probably not the right move, but it’ll be discussed.

Tanaka Future?

The ups and downs of Masahiro Tanaka have been an absolute roller-coaster. After starting the year with an ERA in the 6’s for majority of the first half, Tanaka really became the pitcher we paid him to be during the home stretch. In October, he was one of the best pitchers of any club. Tanaka compiled a blistering 0.90 ERA in three starts in October against some of the best lineups and really became an ever so important reliable starter in a postseason filled with aces crumbling under pressure. For most of the year Yankees fans hoped somehow he would opt out of his contract at the end of the season and look to pitch elsewhere. Now I hope he opts in for the next three years because what I saw down the stretch was a confident pitcher who knew the pressure was on him and thrived in the situation. Tanaka and Severino will be fantastic front of the line starters for this team moving forward if he stays.

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Thank You

So yeah this stings right now, but there’s a lot of hope in the future. The first goal next year will be to win the AL East, dethrone the Red Sox and take over this division. I had so much goddamn fun covering this team for you guys. It had been a dream of mine for years to have this job and write about this team in this way and I cannot believe it worked out so well. I cannot wait to do this all again in the Spring. I’ve got some good ideas for Spring Training and I absolutely want to have a weekly podcast for you guys. Thank you for the follows on Twitter, coming to the Barstool at the Ballparks, the playoff watch parties, and reading the blog. I’ll definitely have a bunch of offseason blogs cookin’ up so you’re not getting rid of me that quickly.

Thanks guys. Go Yanks.

P.S. Anyone using the word rebuild as an excuse for this playoff collapse is an asshole and should get hit by a car.

P.P.S. Congrats to Chaps and Tex. No better feeling than being in the World Series. The reaction from Tex here was true genuine happiness. Now normally I hate seeing other people happy, but not here. “I gotta call my dad” was an awesome, awesome end here. Enjoy the W.