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Watch a Yankees fan have his heart broken in real time

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The late baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote that baseball “. . . breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.” That bit, which is widely quoted, came in his essay “The Green Fields of the Mind.” People tend not to quote much of the rest of that piece, but almost everyone knows the stuff about baseball breaking your heart.

That essay was inspired by the final day of the 1977 season when Giamatti’s Red Sox saw their summer end as the Yankees sat at home, once again preparing for the playoffs and eventual World Series glory. It’s a testament, then, to once ubiquitous Red Sox failure in the shadow of once ubiquitous Yankees glory.

That script has changed over the years, of course, as Boston has won three World Series and the Yankees have scuffled and tried to rebuild on the fly of late. This year the Yankees have been surprisingly successful, however, with that rebuild bearing earlier-than-expected fruit. The Yankees hosted the Red Sox this weekend, trailing Boston in the standings, but hopeful.

Last night New York had a chance to win the rubber match of the series. They took a 2-1 lead on a Todd Frazier sac fly in the eighth and, in the ninth, brought in fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman struck out Hanley Ramirez on three pitches when in stepped rookie Rafael Devers, who himself went down 1-2 to Chapman. The excitement in Yankee Stadium was palpable. Chapman was about to strike out Devers for out number two and then he’d no doubt get out number three to secure the Yankees victory.

Let’s watch how excited the fans were as Chapman prepared to put away Devers:

Oops. Devers homered, sending the games to extra innings where the Sox would eventually win.

This poor man, whoever he is, now knows that “. . . it breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.” Even Yankees fans’ hearts.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.