WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR…AGAIN…
Another year, another first round play-off exit.
This series loss was NOT Alex Rodriguez’ fault. If A-Rod hadn’t had the year he had, the Yankees wouldn’t have even made the play-offs under the sissy-fied Wild Card format.
The problems with this under-achieving, under-performing team is systemic. The problems run deep. It is time for very difficult decisions, changes and thinking that is outside of the normal Yankees’ box. If I was a veteran on this team, I think I’d realize how tentative my future is with the club.
Joe Torre, I DO appreciate what you’ve done here in New York, but a change MUST be made. The time is ripe. I wish you the best in whatever endeavor you undertake in the future.
That being said, a great part of this flop is on YOUR hands. Your handling of your veterans with baby gloves, your not pushing the team at the end of the season when it was all but wrapped up; these questionable decisions have come home to roost.
For the rest of the team, the thing that irks me the most is that I’m sure that you will all sleep well tonight, even though you disappointed the fans that bought the tickets, the caps, the pennants, the hot dogs, the cokes, the peanuts, the yearbooks, the score-books, the MLB Radio, the MLBTV, the blogs, the satellites and otherwise lived and died on every pitch during this rotten season. There is NO shame in losing, but there IS shame in not trying, and I certainly got that feeling a whole lot this year.
The season ends with a Jorge Posada whiff.
What a terrible way to finish a season.
NO CHAMPAGNE IN CLEVELAND TONIGHT!
All weekend long I’ve had to endure the cat-calls and derisive chatter from the not-so-much baseball fans at my shop here in good ol’ Louisville, Kentucky. As a proud Yankee fan, I’m an easy target. These guys, not meaning any real harm, just love to chide me when the beloved Bombers lose. I just grin and take it, knowing that the Yankees will be competitive every year, unlike their Cincinnati Reds or… New York Mets. (wink, wink)
Even my Red Sox friends admit readily that they’d much rather face the Indians than the Yankees. New York and Boston were built to play against each other, so they match up exceedingly well.
The Yankees finally stood up tonight. They finally played well enough to win, even though it wasn’t a perfect performance by any means. Johnny Damon stole the show with the go-ahead, game-winning 3-run tater, while Alex Rodriguez started hitting. It gives us hope for tomorrow and beyond, in a weird kind of quasi-religious, spiritually cathartic way.
The baseball talking heads can say what they want about the George Steinbrenner-Joe Torre thing, but do ANY of us faithful Yankee fans think that Torre will be back next year, regardless of whether they win or not? To me, it’s been pretty much a foregone conclusion all season that this is it for The Yankee Skipper.
Why else would Joe Girardi be lurking in The Stadium shadows, all the while refusing offers to manage other ball-clubs? I guess I could be wrong, but to me, it just makes sense.
Still, tonight, we might have seen the "changing-of-the-guard" in another sense: the replacement of the old with the new, under the most adverse of all conditions; down 0-3 in the game and 0-2 in the series while facing elimination. This is the stuff legends are made of…
Who does Joe go to?
A seasoned veteran? Nope…
A high-priced free agent? Nope…
He rightly goes to rookies Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, and then finishes it off, for good measure, with the greatest closer in the history of the sport.
Well… you can’t change EVERYTHING…
It wasn’t meant to be…
The Yankees couldn’t survive a Biblical Plague of insects, 2 wild pitches, a passed ball, 3 hits, a Phantom Hit-By-Pitch and Luis Vizcaino.
The impotent Yankee batters continued to crush diamonds between their butt-cheeks as the futility continued.
This one SHOULD have been in the books in the "W" column.
The Yankees aren’t supposed to lose games like these…
This is the ONE time that the Yankees get to call for a do-over.
If they win tomorrow, this one doesn’t count.
…All across Yankee-land tonight.
How sweet it is!
Now, let’s get ready for the play-offs!
And we didn’t have to eat 247 jalapenos to get it, either.
Professional eater Christopher Huang sums it all up:
"…there’s nothing like putting yourself through a lot of pain for no reason."
I’m ready for 2007.