ALCS-bound Astros are probably laughing at Yankees for blowing shot at payback (2024)

Who knew that the Tampa Bay Rays were like the smart little pig that built a house of bricks to deny the big, bad wolf Yankees, whose huff and puff blew themselves out of the playoffs?

The Yanks blew another great chance to win a first pennant since 2009 losing 2-1 on Friday night in Game 5 of their best-of-five American League Division Series.

Another thing the Yanks blew was a shot at getting even with the Houston Astros, who were waiting and gift-wrapped in bubble city San Diego.

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There would be no better way for the Yankees finally to get back to the World Series than by beating the hated Astros. This time, the Yanks presumably would have received a fair shake during their third American League Championship Series showdown in four seasons.

This could have been really been fun because the Yanks know for sure that they were cheated in 2017 and think that they were again last October by the cheating Astros, who were busted last winter for stealing signs illegally during home games.

All the Yanks had to do was finish off the small-market Rays, who don’t have a lineup full of stars, a Gerrit Cole in their rotation, or a Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman in their bullpen.

If, if, if ...

Besides hitting a lot of home runs when it doesn’t matter the most, the Yankees also are really good at whiffing on chances to go to win pennants or even though they seem to believe with all their hearts that they are the best team every year, or as manager Aaron Boone likes to say, “built to win.”

Not true.

The Yankees from 1996 to 2003 were built to win, and darned if they didn’t add six pennants and four championships to the franchise’s history of excellence in those eight seasons. They won again in 2009 when they loaded up for one of the Core Four’s last great seasons together.

Ever since, the Yankees stopped being the Yankees. Mr. October Reggie Jackson can’t be happy seeing his old team – one that still employs him as a special advisor – watching Aaron Judge and Co., talk the talk about good they are, then not walk the walk, or as Reg would put it, stir the drink.

That’s why there doesn’t deserve to be a Yankees-Astros III, which would have looked like a mismatch on paper.

The Astros weren’t expected to be back in the ALCS after backing into the expanded postseason as a second-place team with a 29-31 record. But they got their mojo back during a playoff run that so far has included a two-game sweep of the AL Central champion Minnesota Twins in a Wild Card Series and then an ousting of the AL West champion Oakland Athletics in a best-of-five ALDS that was over in four.

How come Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve can rise to the occasion when all outsiders despise them?

How come they’re piling up runs to win playoff games with no garbage-can lids banging or buzzers tape to their chest?

How come they keep winning with a bad rotation that used to be great before it lost Cole to the Yankees and Justin Verlander to Tommy John surgery?

With or lose in the ALCS, the Astros showed the Yankees what they’re made of just getting there. They’re probably getting a real kick out of the demise of the Yanks, who considered the Astros frauds.

Turns out that’s an area that the Yanks got the Astros beat.

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ALCS-bound Astros are probably laughing at Yankees for blowing shot at payback (2024)


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