The 2017 New York Yankees were a feel-good story.
Yes, it's strange to think so, but when a team announces they are embracing the daunting task of a rebuild, they have no business coming within one win from a trip to the World Series. And yet that's exactly what they did, riding a momentum provided by young, charismatic talent that dismantled the stoic, business-first Yankees of yesteryear.
It has been the Yankees' mantra year in and year out that anything short of a championship is considered a failed season. But to sit there and say 2017 was a "failed" season for the most prestigious franchise in North America would be an egregious fallacy because, for the first time in almost a decade, there has been pure, unadulterated excitement in the Bronx.
As Opening Day 2018 approaches, there's one thing that's for certain: the feel-good Yankees are dead. We have the Yankees of old, metamorphosed into the Evil Empire that drew the ire and loathing from all across the country. Unlike last year, the expectations for this ball club are higher than ever: World Series or bust.
For this Yankees team, that goal is well within reach.