Who’s disappointed?

The fact of the matter is that baseball just isn’t designed for this kind of attitude. The heart of baseball is the 162 game season, which is pretty much set up for failure. You know you’re going to lose at least 1/3 of your games. Heck, only losing 1/3 of your games translates to a 108-54 record, and there isn’t a fan in the world who wouldn’t be giddy about their team if they had that kind of season. And then you turn everything on its head once you get to the postseason, where literally anything can happen in a short series. For as much as it felt like the Yankees couldn’t lose yesterday, obviously that was never true. This is baseball, and there’s no telling how any single game is going to turn out. On literally any day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team, so a team like Detroit can definitely scratch one out against the Yankees, even if the Yankees were the better team.… Click here to read the rest

Break Up the Yankees?

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

Joe Girardi should be fired. Alex Rodriguez choked again. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher aren’t tough enough to perform in the postseason. The Yankees should just let CC Sabathia opt out. He can’t win in October anymore.

For Yankees' fans, an early playoff exit shouldn't have to mean total despair (Photo: AP).

Undoubtedly, many of the sentiments above will be expressed today by Yankees’ fans who are still angry over their team’s early dismissal from the 2011 postseason. Unfortunately, too many of those who follow the Bronx Bombers are of the opinion that if the season doesn’t end with champagne, it must be a failure. Of course, you really can’t blame them when that “all or nothing all” philosophy has also become an organizational mantra.

It might be blasphemous to say in Yankeeland, but winning the division is just as important as winning the World Series. Although most seem to view the 162 marathon as nothing more than a qualifying heat for an October sprint, common sense seems to dictate that these two formats be viewed separately.… Click here to read the rest

A Rational Goodbye to the 2011 Season

This is a Yankees team that exceeded expectations. Both Brien and Jason have given you some of the details. But to remind you, none of the 45 baseball experts polled by ESPN saw the Yankees winning the American League East. The best computer projections and the prevailing betting line both indicated that the Yankees would struggle for a wild card. Instead, the Yankees performed better than any of us predicted.

The Yanks also played a solid series against the Tigers. The Yanks outscored Detroit by 28 to 17, and outhit Detroit by 45 to 36. The Yanks drew more walks, had more extra-base hits, and even struck out slightly less often (25.8% of their plate appearances, versus 26.9% for the Tigers).  Yes, Alex Rodriguez hit only .111 in the series, and Mark Teixeira hit just .167, but this was a short series and not every starter is going to mash in a short series. The three Tigers hitters I personally feared the most – Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila – hit .200, .222 and .063, respectively.   … Click here to read the rest

Positive reflections on the 2011 season

Just wait till next year!

Shortly after a scheduling conflict prevented me from writing my typical Monday, 1pm post it dawned on me that my next scheduled post might be due just after the Yankees had been eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, I’ve had ample time to reflect on what I would write about if events didn’t break the team’s way. Imagine my surprise to discover that, in the end, I only had positive things to say about the 2011 season.

It is natural to be disappointed when a 97 win team finishes with home field advantage in its league only to lose in the first round of the playoffs, but the Yankees defied odds to finish in first place at all. Entering the season no one anticipated such a strong performance from the 2011 Yankees. The assumption was that the best the Yankees could do was win the Wild Card, and nothing more, while the Boston power house collided with the Philadelphia starting rotation in the World Series. … Click here to read the rest

Oh what a season!

Aside from the inevitable roster moves that will happen after the postseason ends, I think the two guys we’re going to spend the most time talking about this offseason are Alex Rodriguez and Phil Hughes. A-Rod will get tagged with choking in the playoffs again, but the big issue for him is going to be his ability to stay healthy. All things considered, it wasn’t a bad year at all for A-Rod at the plate, where he went .276/.362/.461, good for a wRC+ of 125, but a variety of injuries limited him to just 428 plate appearances in 99 games, and he didn’t even come close to being the 30 home run, 100 RBI player we all expect him to be. Hopefully he can heal up over the winter and have some better luck next season, because he can still get it done with the bat when he’s healthy.

As for Hughes, I think he’s just going to want to forget this season.… Click here to read the rest

The Immediately After

Not ten minutes ago, the Yankees 2011 season ended. Like 2010, it ended with a right handed closer for the opponent getting Alex Rodriguez to swing and miss to end the game. Like 2010, it ended earlier than we thought it should have.

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you. If you read this site every day, thank you. If you read it once in a blue moon, thank you. The fact that you stop by and read this whenever you do fills me with more joy than you could ever imagine. I’m sure that I speak for each and every TYA writer when I say this (again): Thank you.

Now on to the game…well, yeah. Considering how the first inning started, this could’ve been a lot worse. The bullpen did a great job of keeping it close the entire way, giving the offense the opportunity to come back. This one falls on the offense.… Click here to read the rest

A moment of thanks

So while my personal 2011 season was lost, it wasn’t without a great sense of enjoyment about what the team was doing on the field. Derek Jeter had us all wondering if the end was here, and then, suddenly, Derek Jeter returned. Jorge Posada was done all year, except once October rolled around. No one is happier for his successful post-season than I. Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano turned in MVP-caliber seasons and I’m thrilled that they represent the leadership of this team. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez turned in very bi-polar seasons. Teix put up power numbers but frustrated many, especially me, despite his great defense. ARod was hurt a lot and one can only wonder about his ability to remain productive as he enters the dangerous portion of that contract.  Brett Gardner is a stud and I can’t help but feel that Joe Girardi still views him as a “role player” rather than the player he really is, but that’s a post for another day.… Click here to read the rest

Requiem for a Season

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Tigers end Yanks’ season for second time in six years, win 2011 ALDS three games to two.

The 2011 Yankees were a great offensive team, posting the third-best wOBA in MLB (.346) and tying for the second-best wRC+ (113) in the league. In the most important game of the season, the team that averaged 5.35 runs per game — second in all of baseball — could only muster up two, as the Yankees lost the 2011 ALDS to the Tigers three games to two, losing Game 5 by a score of 3-2 (their second one-run loss of the series), marking the second time in the last six seasons that New York has been unable to get past Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.

This was a strange series loss. This wasn’t the 2010 ALCS, where the Yankees got absolutely bludgeoned by the Rangers — the Yankees both hit and pitched better than Detroit on the whole.… Click here to read the rest

ALDS Game Five: Tigers 3, Yankees 2

Nova looked shaky during the first two innings of the game, and Girardi sent Phil Hughes out to start the third.  Later in the game he said it was because Nova had “tightened up.”  Meanwhile, the Yankees struggled to find their offense against Doug Fister.  In the bottom of the third, Brett Gardner lined a single to center, giving the Yankees some life.  Curtis Granderson worked a walk and Robinson Cano battled through a long at bat, fouling off four pitches before flying out to center to end the inning.

Hughes got Martinez to pop out to start the fourth, but gave up a single to Magglio Ordonez.  Girardi once again went to the bullpen, calling on Boone Logan who promptly gave up a single to Alex Avila, who had been 0-12.  Logan came back to get Jhonny Peralta to fly out and struck out Ramon Santiago to end the inning with the Tigers still holding a 2-0 lead.… Click here to read the rest