Let me start by saying congratulations to the Detroit Tigers on their ALCS victory, as they were the team I picked in the beginning of the season to win the whole damn thing. Now for the topic at hand. The New York Yankees not only lost in the ALCS to the Detroit Tigers, but they absolutely got obliterated and they had more dysfunction in their dugout and front office then I have ever seen a team have in the playoffs EVER. After a hard fought ALDS against their division rival Baltimore Orioles in 5 games, no one in the world expected to see what happened to the Yankees in the Championship Series. From losing their captain, Derek Jeter, to a season ending injury, all the way to the worst hitting performance in playoff history, everything that could go wrong for the Yankees did and now there are tons of questions around where they should go from here.
While I wasn’t rooting against the Yankees, I can’t say that it doesn’t feel a little good that the always successful Yankees got a little dose of what it feels like to walk in the Mets cleats. The Yankees are the most successful and the most hated team in all of baseball so outside of the Yankees fans the baseball world is thrilled with this collapse. What the Yanks did in the ALCS was the single most pathetic offensive performance in PLAYOFF HISTORY! It’s pretty remarkable because after the historic 4-game comeback in the 2004 ALCS against their biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox, no one ever thought that the Yankees would be able to have a worse playoff series. Guess again people because this series against the Tigers was a hell of a lot worse. My fellow Sports Debater, NYBobby, stated in his ALCS preview (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/10/13/american-league-championship-series-preview-and-prediction/) that the Yankees would definitely lose if they continued to struggle at the plate. I guess he was right. This was the first time that the Yankees were swept in a playoff series since 1980. They had played in 36 playoff series since then which is a MLB record for most consecutive series without being swept.
We all saw signs of anemic hitting for the Yankees during their series against the Orioles, but not many people thought it would carry over to the ALCS. The Yankees had the highest payroll in all of baseball this season ($222 million), which isn’t a big surprise, but their playoff batting average sure was. The Yankees set a Major League Baseball playoff record with a microscopic .188 postseason BA. Even more pathetic then that was the fact that they only batted .157 in the ALCS, meaning that their hitting actually got worse from the Orioles series to the Tigers. The Yanks only scored an abysmal 6 runs throughout the ALCS and they never had a lead in any game. What is really bothering me about these disgusting hitting numbers is that analysts and fans are trying to place all the blame on the easy scapegoat, Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was benched in 3 different games in the playoffs and seemed to be getting all of the heat for the Yankees struggles. Luckily for ARod (.111 BA in ALCS) , he was at least able to get some digits from some hotties in the crowd while being benched. While ARod is an easy person to point the finger at, he wasn’t close to being the only problem for the men wearing pinstripes.
The Yankees scored in just 3 of the 39 innings in the ALCS, which seems really hard to beleive but it’s true. The “savior,” or ARod’s replacement, Eric Chavez, hit for a big doughnut 0-16 with 8 strikeouts, which I think ARod could have probably managed to hit if he tried really hard. Robinson Cano (.056 BA in ALCS) and Curtis Granderson (.000 BA in ALCS) were destroying the ball all regular season long but once they entered the playoffs neither of them seemed to be able to make contact. Mark Teixeira (.200 BA in ALCS) seemed to be blind at the plate and the Yankees regular season role players, Nick Swisher (.250 BA in ALCS), Russel Martin (.143 BA in ALCS) and Brett Gardner (.000 BA in ALCS) all seemed like glorified minor league ball players. Ichiro Suzuki (.353 BA in ALCS) and Eduardo Nunez (.333 BA in ALCS) were the only breathes of fresh air for the polluted Yankees during this demolition that the Tigers performed on them. The only bad thing about that is Eduardo Nunez wouldn’t even have been playing if Jeter didn’t get injured, so as a consolation prize it kind of sucks.
While the overall numbers of the series surprises me, the end result does not. I said it for the entire season that the Yankees will not be successful come playoff time if they didn’t find more ways to score runs outside of the long ball. The regular season and the playoffs are two totally different animals. Ask the Texas Rangers who lost in two straight World Series entering this year and couldn’t even get past the one game playoff against the Oakland Athletics. This epic failure for the New York Yankees comes with a lot of questions for the upcoming season and unfortunately for Yankee fans, it doesn’t look too good.
George Steinbrenner must be rolling over in his grave as his “Evil Empire,” that he has built for over three decades is slowly unraveling. From the beginning of the season for the Yankees something felt off. The season was bookended with injuries to two of the greatest Yankees of all time, Mariano Rivera went down really early with a freak like season ending injury and Jeter went down at the beginning of the end during the ALCS. Pitching was never a problem during the sluggish playoff run, but the sweep against Detroit was finalized with the Yankees Ace, CC Sabathia, getting absolutely manhandled by the Tigers power lineup. I think that’s what they call a cherry on the top of the shit sundae the Yankees served their fans this postseason.
For pretty much any other team in all of baseball, a trip to the Championship Series would be considered a successful season, but the Yankees and their fans know that this season will go down as an epic failure. The Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager, Brian Cashman, has a lot of issues to focus on during the offseason and non of it will be easy. Do the Yankees try and dump some of these outlandish salaries like Granderson and ARod? Do we place some of the blame on Joe Girardi and try get him replaced? If they return, how much time does Jeter and Rivera still have left? Was this series an indication of where Robinson Cano’s career is heading? What pitchers do the Yanks need to resign and or go after? The questions are honestly endless, but there is a lot of fixing that needs to be done and it needs to be done fast.