A few weeks ago, the inimitable Shane Ryan wrote at length about the change in the weather surrounding the New York Yankees. Once the MLB's "Evil Empire"—the team people with no creativity, no stomach for losing, and a closet full of pink Gucci "NY" caps would always root for—Ryan called these new Yankees "the gritty, gumption-y, big-heart boys of baseball," saying of their resilience in the face of a MAYDAY, MAYDAY injury situation:
With a quarter of the season in the books, haters have to accept a bitter truth: the Yankees have shown more toughness in the face of adversity than any team in baseball. Embrace the pluck, America. Embrace the pinstripes.
Now we don't expect you to toss and turn in the dead of the night wracked with sympathy for a team that has a Giancarlo Stanton and an Aaron Judge to lose to the IL. That is the very definition of a champagne problem, which most Yankees "fans" are sipping at the Met instead of watching the game anyway. But on Tuesday night, yet another cosmic die was cast and, shockingly to anybody who grew up watching the bloodsucking CEOs of baseball waltz their way to four World Series titles between 1996 and 2000, it once again did not land on their number. Ladies, gentlemen, doubters, haters, and skeptics, just look at this:
Wooooooof. If that isn't one of the single worst calls you've ever seen at the plate, then you'll need to provide some visual proof. A clear, dead-center strike, umpire Angel Hernandez—known for, um, how should we say this, not being very good at his job—declines to do anything but stand there and draw breath, and the very obvious strike is called a ball. To make matters for the new Tiny Tims of baseball, the Jays homered on the very next pitch, scoring all four of their runs in the inning, which included a few more questionable-to-outright-wrong interpretations of the strike zone, to win the game 4-3.
True to form, Yankees fans threw their toys around the crib on Wednesday morning, calling for Hernandez's badge and gun, but if they truly want to earn (a foreign concept, I know) the right to be called "the gritty, gumption-y, big-heart boys of baseball," this is the kind of thing they're not only going to have to live with, but live for.