An Astros-Yankees ALCS was a worst-case scenario for me. I don't like either franchise for a multitude of reasons (antiquated facial hair rules, elitist nature of the franchise; cheating, etc.), but if there's one positive to take away from this short series that sent the Yankees home without a World Series for the 13th straight year, it's the play of Providence's own Jeremy Peña.
Peña's father, Gerónimo, played in the big leagues from 1990-96 with the Cardinals and Indians and settled back in the Dominican Republic after his career ended. Jeremy was born the following year, and the family lived in the DR until moving to Providence in the mid-2000s
Houston drafted the 2015 Classical High School grad in the 3rd round in 2018 after playing college ball at the University of Maine (good job recruiting URI!!!!).
Jeremy was such a promising prospect that the Astros let Carlos Correa leave in free agency to open up a spot for him at SS.
As a rookie, Peña hit .253 with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs. I know counting stats aren't in anymore, so his WAR was 4.8, which is pretty good. In October, he's been a star. Jeremy hit the ALDS-winning HR in the 18th inning vs. the Mariners.
Then followed that up with an outstanding ALCS, hitting .353 with 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 4 RBIs in the four-game sweep.
Things are looking up for little ole Rhody on the national scale. Hocus Pocus 2 was filmed in Newport (as well as HBO's The Gilded Age). Hendricken produced an MLB Manager (at least for now) in Rocco Baldelli and current Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla (how many high schools can currently say that?). Kwity Paye became the first Rhode Islander drafted in the NFL's 1st round since 1939.
Now Classical's own Jeremy Peña is MVP of the American League Championship Series. It's still fuck the Astros, but this is objectively wicked cool for the Ocean State. Congratulations, Jeremy! Good luck in the World Series. I hope you bat 1.000 in a Phillies sweep.
I actually wanted the Yankees to make it a competitive series. It's sad see them falter like this after such a historically hot start to the year. This isn't even sarcasm...at least you've got the Giants and Jets. That being said, I love their fans. I wish the Yankees won games 4 and 5 so Rafael had to deal with this for a little longer. This is the passion you love to see!!!
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