It felt, somehow, both wistful and hopeful in the visitors’ corner at Minute Maid Park, late on the night of Oct. 21, 2017. The Yankees’ magical ride through the playoffs had crashed into a wall and ended at the hands of the mighty Astros, yet man, had this group of Baby Bombers fired up its long-spoiled fan base, posting a 6-0 postseason record at Yankee Stadium and putting a scare into the definitive favorites from Houston.
Just minutes after Greg Bird flew out to George Springer to seal Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, a Yankees executive smiled and offered a lamentation:
“We just ran out of home games.”
Those words exploded with age, didn’t they? On Monday, commissioner Rob Manfred handed down one-year suspensions to Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, the general manager and manager of that 2017 Astros club, for the team’s illegal, electronic sign-stealing — including, a Major League Baseball investigation confirmed, during that postseason. Then Houston owner Jim Crane, who received a $5 million fine, quadrupled down on that verdict by firing both men. Luhnow’s successor, furthermore, will move forward without first- and second-round draft…