First thought: HAHAHAHAHAH YANKEES FANS YOU SUCK GET WORSE HAHAHA LOSERS I HATE YOU!
Other thoughts: I happen to think Joe Girardi is a really bad manager, and yet even I don’t think the Yankees’ colossal failure in the American League Championship Series was Girardi’s fault. To wit: The Yankees team batting average over the four games was .157. The team’s batting average for the postseason was .188, “the lowest in a single postseason in major league history.” Think about that. Not since 1974 has a team combined to hit less than .200 in the postseason (in a minimum of seven games). Your New York Yankees, however, did it with style: The team was two-hit by Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers bullpen on Thursday night to lock down that record of futility. Disgrace is too kind a term for the 2012 New York Yankees. This team quit and sucked; it was a lethal combination.
Alex Rodriguez is a whipping boy for good reason, but he was only the tip of the Yankees’ problems. Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Russell Martin, Brett Gardner: none of them deserved to play in this postseason. Short of literally benching the entire starting lineup and forfeiting the games, Girardi had his hands tied.
Yankees apologists might talk about Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera being injured during the playoffs, as if that’s the reason the Yankees lost. It wasn’t. Having Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez as infield depth, and relying on Granderson (a career .262 hitter who hasn’t hit over .262 in four years), Swisher (a career .256 hitter) and Teixeira (.251 over his last 1,641 at bats in the regular season) to produce runs in the postseason was simply unsustainable. Throughout the year, people joked how the Yankees only won if they hit home runs, but it was true. This was a regular season team if there ever was one: The Yankees were reliant on home runs (a league-leading and team record total of 245), a forgiving ballpark and the decided lack of solid competition in the American League. (True; none of these teams are that good.) The team was never going to work in the postseason, and — shocker — it didn’t. If it wasn’t for Raul Ibanez, the Yankees would have lost to the Orioles.
I’ve been a Yankees hater for a long time; watching the team’s cocky fan base choke on losing is one of the greatest pleasures that life has to offer. (HAHHAHAHAHAAH YANKEES FANS I AM LAUGHING IN YOUR FACE!) Yet this 2012 team was so bad — so inferior to the past Yankees squads — that Elimination Day wasn’t as special as usual. (Usual is the operative word: The Yankees have won one World Series since 2000, as many as the Chicago White Sox.) What is going on here? Where do the Yankees actually go now?
Well, the glue factory. Cano — who is, and has always been, a totally lazy dog — is the Yankees’ “young stud” and he’s 30; Jeter will turn 39 next season and is now coming off major ankle surgery; Granderson will be 32 in 2013; Teixeira, 33; even CC Sabathia turns 33 next year. This team is too old for the Earth. Amazingly, it could only get worse from here.
This is to say nothing of A-Rod, who turns 38 in July of 2013 and was so thoroughly awful-slash-embarrassed in the postseason that it’s hard to imagine him ever playing for the Yankees again — this despite five years left on his contract. The only team stupid enough to trade for A-Rod at this point would be the Yankees. Maybe they can figure out some “Looper” shit to make it work. (For his part, A-Rod said he would play for the Yankees in 2013; the guy just knows how to engender goodwill amongst fans!)
Short of that, it’ll be another offseason of the Yankees throwing good money after bad. Another regular season of success and cockiness. Another ouster in the postseason. This is Yankees baseball now. Pride, power, pinstripes, pathetic.