The New York Yankees completed their ALDS comeback and beat the Indians in Game 5 ( ) on Wednesday night to advance to the ALCS, where they will take on the Houston Astros. That series begins Friday night in Houston. .
If you watched the ALDS at all — and I hope you did, it was a very exciting series — chances are you saw the Yankees giving each other the thumbs down after a base hit. For example, here is Starlin Castro following a hit in Game 4 of the ALDS on Monday:
Teams around the league have come up with extravagant hand signals after a base hit for years now. Remember the 2010-11 Rangers and their antlers? That kind of started the whole fad. Now it’s widespread and pretty much every team in MLB does it. It’s fun. It’s harmless.
But a thumbs down? That’s a little usual. A thumbs up is good, a thumbs down is bad. This all dates back to a home run by Todd Frazier on Sept. 11, during a neutral site game at Citi Field against the Rays. The game was a Rays home game moved there because of Hurricane Irma. Here’s the home run:
During the YES Network broadcast, the cameras found a Mets fan in the stands giving Frazier a big ol’ thumbs down for the home run. Someone showed Frazier the clip on social media, and he decided to adopt it as his own way to celebrate a base hit. He first did it two days later:
Since then, the thumbs down has taken on a life of its own. It has spread throughout the team and now every Yankee, after a base hit, turns around and gives the dugout a thumbs down. And the dugout gives the thumbs down right back:
The Yankees had a big September and qualified for the postseason, and the thumbs down kept coming. They have shirts and everything now. Check it out:
And of course fans have bought in as well. Thumbs down is officially A Thing:
Cheesy? Yeah, maybe. Don’t like it? Too bad. The Yankees are very good and there are a lot of thumbs down going around. Their fans are eating it up. This is the rallying cry of the 2017 Yankees. A thumbs down started by a Mets fan not happy Frazier hit a home run in their ballpark. Inspiration comes from the weirdest places.