When you really take a look at it, 2017 was very weird for the New York Yankees.
There was no more Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees were just coming off of what most people deemed to be a rebuild. Many of the experts predicted the Yankees to finish under .500 for the first time in over two decades.
Want to hear something even weirder? Aaron Judge, the unanimous American League Rookie of the Year the runner-up for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, yeah, that Aaron Judge, entered Spring Training as a question mark to win the starting right fielder’s job.
This might be even weirder than that – the Yankees were actually loved universally by many baseball fans – up until they got Giancarlo Stanton, but more on that later.
But seriously, the Evil Empire was actually liked and respected!
With all of the expectations in Spring Training, the Yankees just kept winning – without Didi Gregorius an Gary Sanchez for most of the first six weeks of the season.
And they won even more. And then all of a sudden, it went downhill.
The Yankees had a 26-game stretch where they went 7-19 after completely dominating the league. Aaron Judge went from potential unanimous MVP to arguably the worst baseball player on the face of the earth.
But then they won again. And they traded for Todd Frazier, Tommy Khanle, David Robertson, and Sonny Gray.
And they kept winning, and winning, and winning. And Aaron Judge became the Aaron Judge all of baseball fell in love with in the first half of the season.
Now comes October, and things get even weirded. Luis Severino gets just one out in the Wild Card game, but the Yankees came back just as quickly as they trailed, and won.
And then they came back from down 2-0 to defeat the Cleveland Indians – the same team that won a record 22 games in a row, to beat them 3-2 in the American League Division Series.
And then they came back again, but ultimately lost the American League Championship Series in seven to the eventual World Series Champions.
And then the Yankees announced they would not have Joe Girardi return after completely surpassing mostly everyone’s expectations.
And then they hired Aaron Boone to be their next manager, who has zero coaching experience. He is the third Yankee’s manager since 1995.
But come late 2017, all seemed normal. The Yankees are now hated. The Yankees are the Evil Empire. The Yankees are feared.
They have Giancarlo Stanton. And Aaron Judge. And Gary Sanchez. And Didi Gregorius, who hit the most home runs by a Yankee shortstop in a season ever. And Greg Bird.
2017 was full of surprises, ups and downs, and, when you really take a look, just weird occurrences for the New York Yankees. But 2018 might be the year where things go back to normal in Yankee land.
Yankee fans are now fully back in the 1990s George Steinbrenner “World Series or bust” attitude.
All is right with Yankee world.