- The moments in and around the game that are bigger than the game itself.
- The speeches to teammates and fans that are larger even than the game itself.
- The moments when sports is used as a platform for bigger social conversations.
- The thrilling moments from your childhood that you never forget.
- The tender moments among teammates.
It’s why we watch. It’s why we play. It’s the stuff that rises up out of sports and settles down into us.
This week’s Heart of Sports comes from the post-game Yankees locker room after the Astros dramatic walk-off win Game 6 of the ALCS. The Yankees had improbably tied the game with a 2-out 2-run HR off of Astros closer, Roberto Osuna, in the 9th inning. It looked like they could push the Astros to a deciding Game 7. Instead, after Yankees closer, Aroldis Chapman, easily disposed of the first two batters, he walked the next one, and then Astros All-World second baseman, Jose Altuve, launched a no-doubt home run to win the game and the series.
For Yankee fans, the emotional rollercoaster of the ALCS ended with a thud. The suddenness of the end of their season made it particularly difficult for the Yankees. YES Network cameras captured some truly touching moments in the locker room after the game.
‘He has great affection for them, he squeezed every once out of this team, and they gave him everything that they have…but saying goodbye you can see there is a lot of love there between manager and players.’
God damn this is tough. pic.twitter.com/rzPZo5eGZ0Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free
— Evan Daniel (@mrevandaniel) October 20, 2019
Boone’s statement that “his guys were savages…savages in the box” – overheard earlier this season on a hot mic when he was jawing at an umpire over balls and strikes calls – became the Yankees calling card this season.
They absolutely wore down opposing pitchers.
They were hit with an historic amount of injuries, and every “next man up” performed and added to a feel-good team dynamic and a 100+ win season.
That all ended in Houston on Saturday night. And Astros, shortstop, Carlos Correa, who played an incredible offensive and defensive series, came at them with this quote after the game:
“It’s a great series. We knew they had a great team. Like they call themselves, they’re savages. But in this jungle called the American League, we’re the apex predator.”
The truth of the matter is, whether you’re savages or the apex predator, a lot of that is fueled by the strong bonds of love that teammates share. And – despite the pain of losing – we can all stop to see that’s a beautiful thing.
Photo Credit: Twitter/@YESNetwork (screen cap)