Aroldis Chapman arrives at Yankees spring training dressed as a hot dog, pointing furiously in an attempt to locate the perpetrator.
Aroldis Chapman has witnessed an extraordinary Yankees surge followed by an equally remarkable stagnation since joining the team after the 2015 season — it didn’t work out, and he was moved to the Cubs a half-year later.
Following his domestic violence incident (and prior to his ban), Chapman was bought at a bargain, a move that was chastised by fans but tolerated in the sordid world of Major League Baseball. Midway through a drab 2016 season, he was dealt to Chicago, where he helped the Cubs end a 108-year World Series drought while acquiring Gleyber Torres from the Yankees.
The re-signing took place in the autumn of that year. The cashman’s takeover is complete! Gary Sánchez‘s bat helped the squad gel in late 2016! The dry spell was ended, and the Bombers could resume their ring collection! Except…
Chapman spoke the quiet bit out loud in an interview released on Wednesday, admitting he imagined adding a ring to his ledger with the Yankees would be much, much easier.
We concur. And, well, if it hadn’t been for some Astros shenanigans, chilly bats at inopportune moments, and Chapman getting hammered by Carlos Correa in 2017, then surrendering series-ending bombs in 2019 and 2020, it might’ve already occurred.
“I thought winning a World Series would be easier with the Yankees” 😬 https://t.co/bCcTSLjsR7
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) March 30, 2022
Aroldis Chapman thought it would be simpler to win a World Series with the Yankees.
Aroldis, we felt the same way. We felt the same way. But, raise your hand if you’re an All-Star closer with the ability to make that World Series road much easier to follow.
Chapman is far from the only Yankee who has made things difficult, but he hasn’t exactly been a shining light in October, having nearly blown the Cubs’ chances in Game 7 before a miraculous rain delay saved him.
Because Yankee fans have been spoiled by two decades of Mariano Rivera, Chapman doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his 2.40 postseason ERA. Mariano, on the other hand, was portrayed as an out-of-nowhere warrior who came from modest beginnings. Chapman was supposed to be the best thing since the splitter, and he’s only come close to living up to the hype.
In the 2017 ALCS, Chapman took the loss after retiring the first hitter of the ninth inning before being hit by a Jose Altuve/Correa double play. In 2019, he hit the Altuve series-ending home run that sent the entire globe (and his jersey) into a frenzy. In both Astros series, those two smacks combined for a 6.75 ERA.
Did we have a poop pants situation on the mound today with Aroldis Chapman???pic.twitter.com/IrpdqTB5aq
— Yanks Go Yard (@YanksGoYardFS) September 12, 2020
The aggregate figures in 2020 were considerably better, but you won’t believe this… Mike Brosseau, of all people, battled Chapman down to his core before hitting a game-winning bomb to left in Game 5. What about in 2021? The Yankees were one win away from hosting the American League Wild Card Game. Instead, they were defeated at Fenway Park, thanks in part to 80 Chapman meltdowns.
Chapman’s final season in the Bronx will be in 2022, unless New York strangely extends him again. Perhaps in retirement, when he can close his eyes and picture recording the final out of anything other than the ALDS, things will be simpler.
We’d say he’ll have a grin on his face, but we all know that happens only when he loses.