Friday, October 7, 2011

Who is to blame for Yankees loss?

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Anyone reading this will have already read or heard countless accounts concerning the Yankees disappointing 3-2 loss in game five of the ALDS.  Yankee fans all over are baffled.  How could this happen?  How is it that the best team in the American League lost in the first round?  How could that incredible game four start by A.J. Burnett be squandered away?

At 12:38 PM, I am writing this more than twelve hours after that fateful game.  At this point, while I am still in a foul mood, and will probably be a bother for those around me for at least a week, my anger and surprise have subsided.  If I were to write a post last night, I would have undoubtedly spoken in an entirely irrational matter.

If I were to have written last night, I would have ripped Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to shreds.  I would have called out Nick Swisher for his past horrible postseason performance.  I would have wondered where the real CC Sabathia has been for the entire season.  And I would have berated manager Joe Girardi for every move or non-move that I, with my wealth of baseball experience (sarcasm) would have done differently.

But instead, I decided to keep myself off the blog.  I knew, even then, that whatever I wrote last night, I would have looked back on with disgust a month from now.  Instead of ranting and raging on the blog, I did so on the phone to a fellow Yankee fan, saving myself from having to reread the irrational diatribe I was spewing.

So I slept it off, and today, decided to read around and listen to others' reactions.  In many places, I read much of the same that I was thinking last night.  And this is such a reactionary response.  No, this team did not win the world series.  But that does not mean that it was not a good team.  No, the 4, 5, 6 hitters did not show up, and no, the Yankees' undisputed Ace did not pitch as we would all have liked, but that does not mean they are bad players that should be sent away.

But this always happens in the postseason.  Mistakes are overblown.  A mere two hits may be the difference between an entire fanbase's approval or distrust.  Reading a lot of what has been written over the past few days, you may think that if given a choice, many fans would trust A.J. Burnett over CC going into next season.  You may also think that Jorge Posada should be resigned to hit fourth over Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira next season, or that Nick Swisher is one of the worst outfielders in the game.

Now, take a step back.  How ridiculous does that sound.  It's fortunate that Brian Cashman is the Yankees GM and not us fans, or else we would be witnessing some atrocious reactionary moves in the coming months.  Just think, this is still just about the same team that won the 2009 world series, minus Andy Pettitte and plus Curtis Granderson.  Have all the players regressed that much in two years?  Of course not.

In the end, what can be blamed most is the fact that the series lasted five games, not 162.  The Yankees as a team did play better than the Tigers.  In fact, they outscored the Tigers by 11 runs.  Replay this series ten times, and you can bet that the Yankees will win more than half.

Sure, we can look at some of the moves that Joe Girardi made.  Sure, there is something to be said of Nick Swisher's constant playoff disappointments.  And you can bet that I will do so for both in the coming days.  But overall, we must keep our reactions in check.  The 2011 Yankees were a great team that fell victim to the short series, just as six other teams do every single year.
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  1. Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are 'It might have been.'

  2. Excellent quote. I think I'll use that as the basis for an upcoming post