My thoughts just after the Yankees season ended:
Well. That was not how the season was supposed to end, was it? Definitely disappointing. Right now, fans are going in two directions: either screaming that the Yankees should’ve won, or saying that we should be happy with the ALCS.
No. I say no to both. We shouldn’t be happy with the ALCS. I do expect a World Series every year, but I understand that’s not a realistic proposition. I I am emotionally crushed. When Guerrero’s double hit the ground, when Cruz’s homerun came back from orbit, my heart stopped. I was numb.
A very brief analysis:
For everyone saying this series came down to Cliff Lee vs CC Sabathia; or Cano vs Hamilton, they’re wrong. Basketball is a game of stars. If your star is good enough, and is playing well enough, you will win. Simple. When Jordan had sufficient motivation and was playing at his height, the Bulls would have won with 4 scrubs. In hockey, a hot goalie can carry a team through the playoffs. It’s no surprise that the dominant Devils had Martin Brodeur at his peak, the dominant Red Wings had Dominik Hasek at his peak, the Avalanche had Patrick Roy.
Baseball isn’t like that. Baseball comes down to the 2nd tier guys. It comes down to the 3rd starters. It comes down to the 7-8-9 hitters. This series, the 2nd tier guys for the Texas Rangers completely and utterly outplayed the Yankees’ counterparts. I won’t list stats because I am too lazy and too disappointed to look at statistics, but Mitch Moreland, David Murphy, Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor not only outplayed the Yankee 2nd tier players, but outside of Robinson Cano, the Yankees offensive stars. Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada simply disappeared. Outside a few hits here and there, they simply failed.
Similarly, Cliff Lee didn’t win this series for the Rangers. If you told me this series went 6 games, and Cliff Lee dominated the Yankees in game 3, I would say the Yankees win in 6. But Tommy Hunter and especially Colby Lewis pitched the games’ of their lives, while CC was underwhelming at best, and Phil Hughes was horrible. Plain and simple. We were outpitched and outhit.
Now, I want to address something my brother asked me. He asked why bandwagon fans are so bad.
I am emotionally tied in the Yankees, for better or worse. When they win, I am in a good mood. When they lose, especially in upset or heart-breaking fashion, I am miserable. I feel a visceral pain when they lose. I can’t explain it or define it. It just is. I know I am not alone in this. Fans I have met on Twitter are the same way. But there is a difference between fans who casually watch, or only watch in the playoffs and fans like me. I can’t just skip a game. I am emotionally connected to my team.
It was a tremendous season. A lot of highs, a lot of lows. Some things didn’t pan out (Javy, Nick Johnson) and some did (Granderson, Gardner). Robinson Cano was an absolute joy to watch. His blossoming from a very good to a great hitter was amazing. He is now the legitimate number one threat on this team and should bat #3 next year. Mariano was heaven on earth; still dominant and stoic. I hope, and am sure, that he will be back next year. Andy was his usual self, and I hope he will return. Jeter probably had his worst year in the majors, and was still better than most SS. I bet he jumps back up next year; he’s too good, too hard-working, and too determined not to. CC was an ace in every sense of the word and will pitch Opening Day next year regardless of free agent signings or trades. Phil Hughes developed in to a legitimate #2/#3 starter in this league, and was amazing to watch. I bet he comes back next year and is dominant. And he’ll be 25 folks.
We will be back next year. We will retool and rearm and come back. And the media will hate on us, and say that we are buying a title. Pardon my French, but fuck them. We are the Yankees and we will be back.
See you in 2011, New York Yankees. Bring your CC and Jeters, your Robbies and Mos. And sure, add in a Cliff Lee too. 113 til pitchers and catchers report. Be ready people, the quest for 28 continues then.