Mancuso: Chapman Back in the Bronx and Everyone Is Content

There are opinions about Aroldis Chapman and it extends to a minority of Yankees fans that won’t forgive the  issue of domestic violence abuse. That issue is in the past and the Yankees took their chance with the Cuban flame thrower and traded him away to the Cubs as the Yankees got younger.

Chapman, though became that often and overused closer for manager Joe Maddon and got redemption after almost blowing it. Ah, the price you pay for having that healthy and one-of-a kind 100-mile fastball in the late innings and out of the pen, what the Joe Girardi  managed  New York Yankees will see again in April.

The chapter continues in the Bronx and everyone is content because the Yankees got younger, in the process regained a closer and came up winners in the deal with Chapman back in town.  Baseball economics again and Chapman, as he said on a conference call Friday looked to the future.

The Yankees have that future, and those in baseball say they are the team to reckon with in the years to come due to the trades GM Brian Cashman swinged in the past few months.

“We make mistakes and we move forward,” Chapman said.  “I’ve done therapy over the years and it has helped me to be a better person and it pushes me to be a better person every day. Like I said before, nobody is perfect.”

Exactly, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and are granted that second chance that is seen numerous times in all aspects of life, and for a gifted athlete such as Chapman. Let’s just say, and it is simple, that Chaman paid his dues and now moves on after a brief suspension of violating the Major League Baseball domestic violence policy.

The Yankees now move on and realized they had to bring Aroldis Chapman back to New York.

The Marlins reportedly made a similar offer of five-years with an opt out after the 2019 season, but Chapman is expected to remain in pinstripes and be a part of this Yankees run to another dynasty. A youth movement, so reminiscent of that “Core Four” era of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera gives them that opportunity.

And Chapman, barring any setbacks, is the closer and that is all the Yankees ask for. Because Dellin Betances is more suited for a setup role, Girardi has two thirds of the formula that was the plan before the trading deadline of this past July. Then of course, it was Andrew Miller that gave the Yankees that Three-Headed-Monster out of the pen.

This is not to say that Cashman is done with some wheeling and dealing.  A strength of the Yankees this coming season will be testing these youngsters again as they they try to contend, and there is a need for the Yankees to add a starter to what is still a questionable pitching rotation.

“With Chaman out of the pen in the late innings with a few runs, the Yankees will get more wins,” said a veteran AL scout who believes the Chapman fastball will continue to have that velocity.

Let’s face it, and there should be no debate, that Chapman out of the pen does warrant some attention. No more A-Rod in the Bronx to stir excitement in the seats at Yankee Stadium, and with a game on the line in the Bronx, Aroldis Chapman will keep those fans standing and cheering by their seats.

And the YES Network will be vindicated for showing empty fannies in their seats.  Instead of making for the exits, or spending cash at another fancy eatery and  in the billion dollar empire that sits off River Avenue in the Bronx, they come to see Aroldis Chapman and a fastball that at times can be clocked at 105.

You know, Cashman and the Yankees hierarchy had this all planned.  Chapman was the borrowed player for the Cubs and he always wanted to return. It was just a matter of dollars and cents and the Yankees always seem to get what they need with a salary threshold also in play.

Chapman has one World Series ring and a chance for more with this Yankees youth movement of prospects that could amount to many more.

Girardi will go to Chapman often but the Yankees will be cautious because this is different than the Joe Maddon cinch to clinch that long awaited World Series championship.  The Yankees want to build on this return and Chapman said during the conference call that he did not agree with the way Maddon used him in Game 6.

That was the ninth inning and the Cubs holding a seven-run lead against the indians. Girardi will go to his re-acquired closer again, and often. You can bet that all the way from now to October.

“The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors,” Chapman said.  “Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me there to pitch. I’m going to go out there and pitch. If i’m healthy I’m going to go out there and pitch. If I’m tired, I;m going to put that aside and just get through it. “

Chapman made reference to being a warrior. He said there will be that mentality to pitch everyday and, if the arm cooperates, indeed there will be that mentality and the conclusion is winning close games in the Bronx and, on the road.

But the deciding factor is what Chapman said about the Yankees and in this era of baseball economics worth more than the $86 million dollar contract and ring earned in his brief tenure with the Cubs.

“Biggest difference, the Yankees are known worldwide and their fans are watching all over the world.”
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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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