Today out of habit, I went to the New York Yankees pitching probables; nothing was there. It’s still sinking in that the Yankees 2021 baseball season is over. What seemed like a season that would last forever because it was a 162 game season, not a 60 game one, now is over too quickly. Yankee fans yearned to be the postseason, beat the Tampa Bay Rays, go on to a Championship series and win it all for our 28th World Championship now, face disappointment and a long offseason of discontent. Yet, Yankee faithful are still hopeful we can win it all next year.
If you’re a true Yankee fan, that’s what you do; you put it all behind you and yearn for baseball to start again in the spring with new hopes, dreams, and aspirations. After the loss to the Red Sox in the wild card, slugger Aaron Judge said it best: “We didn’t complete our mission.” The somber Judge said he rests a lot of that on his shoulders, examining what he could have done better and why the season didn’t go as expected. Several other players like Brett Gardner echoed the same.
Judge, for his part, is accepting too much of the blame; he and fellow slugger Giancarlo Stanton both carried this team on their shoulders for much of the season and are the only reason they got to the winner take all wild card game in the first place. But even they failed to get the Yankees into the divisional series and beyond.
Many things went wrong this past season, some from lack of player and pitching performance, yet others caused by injuries and the ugly Covid virus. How much blame to attribute to each of those situations is hard to quantify. However, we can all agree that the 2021 New York Yankees had no consistency to the season, with playing really well at times, but more than often, not playing well.
The Yankees now have until spring training to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. There will be many questions to be answered as detailed here. For true fans, the season may be over, but there will be much to discuss over the next several months, including a new MLB/MLBPA collective bargaining agreement, which surely will be a bunch of fun unless it delays the new season or there is a strike.
Meanwhile, this sportswriter will cover all the essential upcoming games in the remainder of the postseason, but folks, it isn’t fun for a lifelong New York Yankee fan. Last night was a reminder of how long and tedious baseball is when you have no team to root for. Thanks for following me this season and every season. Thanks for the compliments, and even the disagreements, I take them all to heart. It’s undoubtedly been a roller coaster ride. Worth it? Of course, I’m a Yankee fan just like you.
EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.