Preparing Myself For The Playoffs

After a crazy final week, the baseball rests for a day before beginning the playoff season. October is an amazing time  the majors, when we shift from a conditioned, relaxed, marathon pace to a true sprint where every pitch matters. As the Yankees get ready to begin the sprint, I think some reflection is appropriate. And besides, no one wants to hear about the minor leagues right now.

The 2011 Yankees were easily the best team in the American League. A late-season meaningless losing streak notwithstanding, they are heading into the playoffs strong, confident, and mostly healthy. The rest of the guys here at TYA have every aspect of the Yankees and Tigers covered and compared coming for you in the next 48 hours, so I don’t feel the need to go into specifics.

What’s been on my mind lately is that despite all of this – that the Yankees are the best AL team, the 2nd best MLB team, and everything is going right for them at the moment – the Yankees are probably not going to win the World Series. They might have the best or second best chance at it compared with their opponents, but in all likelihood we will walk away disappointed a month from now (or sooner).

I watch commentators and Red Sox fans, the day after a terrible defeat, question whether their manager or general manager or both should be fired, or even if their team philosophy as a whole should be continued into the future. But the reality is that if Cory Wade managed to get one more strike last night, we wouldn’t even be thinking about those kinds of questions. The same goes for the Yankees. The Yankees could be heading for some kind of outcome ranging from embarrassing defeat to heroic, historic victory this month, but at this point that will mostly be determined by luck and fate. Regardless of the outcome, the Yankees have had an amazing season.

So, we’ll all start the circus tomorrow. I’ll try to contain my nervous pacing, cursing at the TV screen, and hate for all things FOX. Its October baseball time, and there’s nothing better in sports.

About EJ Fagan

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.

10 thoughts on “Preparing Myself For The Playoffs

  1. Haha Meowy, amen. EJ, I have the same sentiment in which I also believe the yanks won’t win the series, but that’s why they play the games!

    • The postseason is such a crap shoot; there’s not a whole lot of sense (in my opinion) of predicting whether a team will succeed or not. I wouldn’t bet on the Yanks to win the WS to the same extent I wouldn’t bet on them being eliminated in the ALDS.

      • Ah, you’re just afraid to be wrong.

        OK, I’m kidding. The postseason ratchets up the luck element. But this is baseball analysis, and I’ve got no game to watch tonight. I need something to read! Analyze!

        • I happily read this afternoon that Leyland is running out a 4 man rotation for this series, which means no Verlander again till game 5. Very similar to the phillies in ’09 refusing to use Lee until game 7 (thank god).

          • But, they gotta point when they respond that CC is willing, and able. We’ve seen in recent starts that CC has tuned in some on both his changeup and slider, and his fastball was where he wanted it, in the last one prettymuch. I suspect Verlander has a fight on his hands.

            Lister will whisper “changeup” and other offspeed, I presume, a challenge to our hitters. I don’t quite understand this tendency. We wait out erratic pitchers fine, even professionally. It’s like the tempo of a pure guessing game is too difficult. Mr. Garcia has been known to do this, too.

            Nova’s the wildcard. He pitches well, but he can flag under too much pressure…will he? Francesa points to all the righties, except Martinez, in the lineup.

            Francesca says AJ is on the roster to back up Nova, or be a long man. Didn’t release full roster, but Phil’s gonna be there, too, from his relief performance in the last few.

  2. I think that if Cory Wade had gotten one more strike, the conversation wouldn’t be much different from what it is now. The collapse was a huge fail, even if they still managed to sneak into the playoffs.

    Not that I necessarily think either Francona or Epstein should be fired, but I do think the questions would still be asked.

  3. **announcement** Joe G. is on YES and radio with Mike Francesca. He’s gonna talk about the roster.

  4. “…three guys finished in the top four in rbi’s. First time since ’66.” This is what I love. Several contributors, not to mention Swish, Arod or Jeter. Martin surprises, and then, how is that Gardner dynamic? So much healthier than last year.

    and Jorge has been known to hit it.