DiDi Gregorius And Joe Girardi Emerge From Looming Shadows In ALDS Win

People will point to the Cleveland Indians extensive catalogue of postseason failure as the reason why the Yankees beat 12 percent odds, won three games in a row including a decisive Game 5, shocked the baseball world and advanced to the American League Championship Series against Houston with a 5-2 road win over the defending American League champs on Wednesday night.

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StartSpreadingTheNews, WE’RE ALCS BOUND! Final: Yankees 5, Cleveland 2.

Actually, history had a lot to do with this series. Thirty-seven year-old CC Sabathia has been the consummate professional, a timely ace and leader since signing with the Yankees in 2008. The transition out of the Derek Jeter era was almost seamless as CC assumed leadership of the club and not only schooled the players on the “Yankees Way” he knows so well, but displayed the tremendous quality of his character when he caught himself slipping, admitted to a drinking problem and sought help, then returned to pitch marvelously and it continued into this game.

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CC Sabathia gave Yankees just enough in do-or-die Game 5 https://t.co/1nLdTn6mNL

Joe Girardi has a championship under his belt and he has guided the post-dynasty Yankees to more success, dealing with the inevitable letdowns and hangovers from a glorious run that saw the Yankees win four World Series in five years between 1996-2000.

Joe Torre was a beloved, legendary manager and when people think of him, they think of the most glorious years in recent Yankees history.

Joe Torre Interview: The Yankees’ No. 6 Looks Back | The New York Times

On Saturday, Aug. 23, the Yankees will retire Joe Torre’s number in a ceremony at Yankee Stadium. The New York Times’s Tyler Kepner recently interviewed Torre about his long baseball career.

It was a golden age that wont be duplicated any time soon. Girardi had to be a talented manager to handle all of the pressures of managing the club, and the media and fan criticisms as he walked into an impossible situation. Despite his success with this overachieving team, Girardi was booed by Yankees fans before Game 3 and it just wasn’t right.

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The crowd reaction for Joe Girardi’s introduction. Mostly boos . Lol. Yankee fans are as brutal as they come. https://t.co/AZnDuxlt4H

His players dedicated the win to their manager.

“This one is for Joe,” Todd Frazier said. “He got a lot of criticism after that second game, and we talked a lot, me and him. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Following in the footsteps of Joe Torre is akin to following in the footsteps of Derek Jeter ,and shortstop DiDi Gregorius has steadily become a better player in New York City, having endured the early criticisms and demands to be traded to become an All-star caliber shortstop with the same clutch gene that The Captain had. DiDis two homers were the catalyst for this Yankees win.

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Watch: Didi Gregorius Hits Two Homers for Yankees in ALDS Game 5 https://t.co/RL9xZ9wbBY #MLB

After toiling with Cincinnati and Arizona, he came to the Yankees in 2015 as a 25-year-old with the impossible task of replacing an icon. He hit .265 with just nine homers. Then everything started to kick in.

He hit 20 homers in 2016 and this year he broke out with a career-high 25 bombs, .287 average, 87 RBIs and .478 slugging percentage. He is now a permanent part of Yankees lore and his carving out a place for himself among the celebrated Yankees shortstops of all time.

Aaron Judge now gets some more games to break out of his slump, and its going to happen eventually. The beauty of it is that when he does so, it will be in the middle of a playoff run, providing more ammo for the Yankees to continue their journey back to glory.

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