The Five Stages of Grief for Yankee Fans

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during the first inning in Game 5 of a baseball AL Division Series, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The New York Yankees have failed to win a World Series for the 11th straight season. And after signing starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to a record-setting $324 million contract, expectations have never been higher in the Aaron Judge era. Now that they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Rays after entering the season as the presumptive favorite to win the American League, Yankee fans are grieving their team’s disappointing performance. Here are the five stages of grief that Yankee fans are likely going through:  

Denial:  

I can’t believe it happened again. Aroldis Chapman is supposed to be the best closer in the league and he’s allowed a series ending home run in back-to-back seasons. The Yankees just had a six-game series against the Astros, stole Cole away from that team, then lost to the Rays with Cole on the roster. That can’t be right.  

New York Yankees closing pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning in Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, in San Diego. The Yankees won 5-1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Anger:  

What on Earth were Aaron Boone and his staff thinking? In Game 2 against the Rays, they tried to pull a fast one on the smartest organization in the majors. Boone said they would start rookie Deivi Garcia. Instead, they let Garcia pitch one inning and then threw in JA Happ. The pair combined to allow five runs in less than four innings and forced Boone to unload his already thin bullpen. Many would argue that was the turning point in the series. Boone’s staff forced two of the team’s top five starting pitchers out of their comfort zone and as a result, got poor results from both. That can’t happen.  

Bargaining:  

Maybe next year if the Yankees have some better injury luck and better pitching they can finally get over the hump. You know what, the Yankees have plenty of trade chips too. We can trade some of the good young hitters for some help in other areas of the roster. Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar might be able to be packaged together for some pitching support. Maybe if that happens then everything will be alright. Yeah, that could work.  

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino hits a two-run home run to score Joey Wendle as New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez looks on during the second inning in Game 2 of a baseball American League Division Series Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Depression:  

This team is hopeless. The American League has never been more wide open and the Yankees couldn’t even escape the Division Series with the Rays. The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts and fell off a cliff. The Astros lost Cole (to the Yankees!) and Justin Verlander was out for the year. If it hasn’t happened yet with this core, will it ever?  

Acceptance: 

You know what, it’s not such a big deal. After all, the 2020 MLB season was only 60 games with expanded playoffs. If there was ever going to be a year to struggle, this would be it. And it’s not like it really means anything that the Yankees lost without their second and third best starting pitchers in Luis Severino and James Paxton. Cole’s just entering his prime, Aaron Judge is only 28 and Gleyber Torres is only 23. I’m not worried about this team.  

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