Yankees almost got help from the scoreboard with Astros loss
We traditionally consider the art of scorecard watching a regular season activity. For years – before scores were stripped to the bottom of your TV, before 20-20 radio updates, before you could follow matches on your phone in real time – this is how races were played pennants, always in two places.
One: whatever stage you were at.
Two: in the room where the Western Union wire would deliberately relay a score from St. Louis or Detroit or Cleveland or Philadelphia.
“I’ve been watching scorecards since I was a kid,” an old Giants fan named Joe Torre once told me, during one of those seasons when the Yankees and Red Sox were Alydar and Affirmed, doing neck-to-neck and nose-to-nose racing. -to-nose with each other. “I’ve heard guys say they don’t do that, or they can’t. But I don’t think you’re human if you don’t take a look at the out-of-town dashboard once in a while. That’s part of the fun.
Well, the Red Sox may still hold a special place of enmity in the hearts of Yankees fans, but their season ended before August, even though they kept playing until the early days of october. And more: while the Red Sox will always be the Red Sox, they are no longer the biggest source of fury among Yankees fans.
That distinction belongs to the Houston Astros.
And so it was on the first day of the Yankees’ fall playoff season, with a game waiting for the night with the Cleveland Guardians, Game 1 of the AL Division Series, Yankees fans – and no doubt a important team of real Yankees – stole the casual look at what was happening at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.
And, no doubt, shivering with pleasure.
Well… at the beginning, anyway.
Looking old-fashioned, the first number that appeared on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard was a “4” — that’s what the Mariners snagged on Justin Verlander and the Astros in the top of the first inning.
(Hmmm… an aging ace getting beaten early in a playoff game… where did I read that before…)
Maybe that early joy was tempered when the Astros cut the lead in half, 4-2, and maybe that joy was multiplied when the lead came back to 6-2, then 7- 3…
Well, if you watched, you saw how it ended. You saw Yordy Alvarez cap a Houston comeback for the ages with a three-point, two-in-the-ninth outburst. Hey: No one ever said looking at the dashboard was fun.
Look, nobody in the Yankees’ employ would ever dare to say – officially or 100 miles away – that they’d rather play the Mariners than the Astros, because that’s the time of year when people who are inclined to believe en the mystical powers of the baseball gods are really starting to lose their minds with this stuff. Plus… you know, the Mariners are good. Be careful what you wish for.
(And, yes, there’s the small matter of winning three against the Guardians before the Guardians win three against the Yankees…)
But one thing is undeniable:
In Yankees Nation right now, there’s no greater feeling than watching the Astros lose right now. That’s true in May against the White Sox, so it’s even more true in Game 1 of a short series. The Yankees have publicly stated that they were wronged by Houston, cheated by the Astros, and their fans certainly did not hesitate to endorse that view.
And of course: It might be the sweetest thing of all to take a personal hand in chasing the Astros out of the playoffs, which could happen if both teams survive. It would be sweet baseball revenge to turn the tables on the team that has ousted the Yankees three times since 2015, the last two under clouds of suspicion darker and angrier than the clouds. of rain heading for New York that could jeopardize Game 2 of the Cleveland Series.
Still: No one would argue if the Mariners got them first.
So there were a lot of eyes looking west Tuesday night. You can actually watch all of these games now, so that was an option. There are hundreds of apps that let you do this on your phone. Or maybe the old school among them just liked to watch the scores as they flashed to Yankee Stadium in search of good news. And when the news is, indeed, good… well, that’s really part of the fun.
And when the news is bad? Be honest. You will start again on Thursday.
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