Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees fans were disappointed that reliever Keynan Middleton was the team’s only meaningful trade deadline addition, but the veteran righty was ecstatic to leave the Chicago White Sox.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Middleton ripped his former team and what he called its “no rules” culture.

“We came in with no rules,” Middleton said. “I don’t know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing. Like, how do you say anything about it because there are no rules?”

Middleton expanded on just how bad things are on the South Side. Everything from simple missed meetings to “rookies sleeping in the bullpen,” and all with “no consequences.”

The White Sox haven’t commented, but are 45-68 under first-year manager Pedro Grifol. Furthermore, per the story, Middleton’s story has been corroborated by unnamed sources. Quite a step back, even compared to Tony La Russa’s disastrous second tenure in Chicago.

Buckle up, fans, because Keynan Middleton is fully in the right. So much that—surprise surprise—we’re going to use his words to defend the infamous “Yankee Way.”

Say what you want about how the New York Yankees “tradition” is old, dated, everything. No beards or long hair. Forget any celebratory props in the dugout after a home run. All business, all the time, and only winning a World Series spices things up, right?

Oddly enough, wrong.

For all of the Yankees’ faults from top to bottom, what Middleton describes happening in Chicago would never fly in the Bronx. It just wouldn’t. The moment Brian Cashman got wind of players sleeping during games, they wouldn’t be long for the pinstripes.

Not to mention that despite playing for a boring operation, Yankees players genuinely enjoy each other. Last year, Nestor Cortes waxed poetic in The Players Tribune about how much the team spends time together on the road, even if it’s just cramming into one hotel room for some TV time.

This is what makes a successful baseball team. Trust. Respect. Knowing your teammates and buying into a common goal for the season.

Yet, this seems to be exactly what Keynan Middleton wanted. He wants to win and so do these Yankees, despite currently being out of the playoff picture.

“The second I found out I was traded, I shaved my face,” Middleton said. “I was ready to play by their rules because all I want to do is win games.”

In an ironic twist, the Yankees open a three-game set with the White Sox in Chicago on Monday night at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.