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Monday, December 18, 2017

0-Fer 'til the Bitter End

by Jeff Weisinger (writer), New York, NY, October 19, 2012

Credit: Ron Antonelli/ NYDN
Robinson Cano carried the weight of a postseason record 29 at-bat hitless streak this October.

This recent sweep of the New York Yankees by the Detroit Tigers may possibly go down as the worst in the franchise's history, leaving the question of, how and what now?

Remember when the Yankees completely missed the playoffs in 2008 in the last year at old Yankee Stadium? (Ironically resulting in Tampa Bay going to the World Series.) Well, this is actually worst than that.

Thursday night, the Yanks found themselves on the zero-end of a 4-0 sweep by the Detroit Tigers. And somewhere tonight, George Steinbrenner is screaming at the club he owned and built to win seven World Series titles during his time as the principle owner.

However, it's not the fact that they lost, but how bad they looked while losing night, after night, after night... after postponement due to rain, and after another night. (That's four nights, right?)

(In fact, the Yankees lack of hitting may have influenced Major League Baseball's postponement of game four on Wednesday night, since it actually rained about two hours after the game was called to rain, so, safe to say that MLB swung and missed at that as well.)

The Bronx Bombers were anything but their nickname, batting a meager .157 during the American League Championship Series while also never holding a lead in any inning throughout the four games. The only time any of the games were tied was during the Yanks crazy ninth-inning rally in game one in the Bronx, and when each game started at zero-all. They also scored at least one run in three innings (four in game one, one in game three and one in game four), leading to the first time they've been swept in the playoffs since 1980.

To add more dust to be swept, C.C. Sabathia, the ace of the Yankee pitching staff that has been the bright spot for New York during the playoffs, was blasted for six runs on 11 hits, including two two-run homers by both the Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta to open the game through the fourth.

Meanwhile the meager Yankee lineup produced all of two hits and one run, while giving Tigers starter Max Scherzer a no-hitter through the first six innings.

But there's a bigger, somewhat more unspoken story about the Yankees recent playoff disappointment.

Sure, they look worse than the Yankees of the disappointing, struggling years of 1982-95, but at least those Yankees tried and fought. This Yankee squad just didn't have that same desire as those who've worn the pinstripes in the past have. This Yankee squad was the one that just seemed too relaxed, without a sense of urgency in this postseason, let alone the ALCS, while every other team played as if something was on the line. Simply because, there was. Teams like the S.F. Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, the Tigers, and even both the Oakland A's and Baltimore Orioles all fought hard, despite the A's and O's losing in game 5 of their respective ALDS series.

The Yanks just didn't seem to have that kind of fight, despite moments of "magic", mainly thanks to Raul Ibanez.

You can say that it was a Bronx Zoo of a worst kind this ALCS.

From the "Flirting-ball" from A-Rod to an Australian bikini model in game one, then A-Rod being booed, then benched twice in favor of Eric Chavez, to Cano's 29 at-bat hitless streak, to the lack of a bat from 40+ home run hitter Curtis Granderson in the postseason, to Nick Swisher getting booed by the Yankee fans, then calling out the Yankee fans, to possible trade talks about the Yanks sending A-Rod to Miami, while the Yankees are trying to win game four of the ALCS, to as far as the effort, or lack thereof of Robinson Cano, the last week about has been one episode to another.

And that ALCS drama now leads us to the offseason mini-series of the New York Yankees.

The team is getting older, and owe a few players a lot of money, most notably, Alex Rodriguez.

Don't expect the Yanks to trade A-Rod during the offseason, as they possibly can't afford to eat between $80-$100 million of his contract while getting next to nothing in return. Although anything is possible with the Yankees still.

Meanwhile both Cano and Granderson have options for 2013, both of which will cost the Yanks $15 million, while you also have Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera returning from injury for the 2013 season, another year older. Ichiro Suzuki, the soon-to-be hall-of-fame outfielder, will be 38 next year and a free-agent going into next year.

The team needs to get younger, obviously. But if history says anything, the Yanks will have to make big moves in the offseason, whether it's a big signing or trade at that.

One thing that has to be said however, the Yankee fans deserve so much better than what they got this postseason.



About the Writer

Jeff Weisinger is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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