Yankee post mortem
Can we not totally agree that the Yankees were hit by so many injuries consecutively, or all at once, such that where they DID finish was something miraculous in itself ‽
(For you academics, that punctuation mark is known as "interrobang" - interrogative with a bang, combining question mark and exclamation point, like ?!?)
And it all started in the Spring, when we lost M. Pineda in March. then came Gardner and most devastating of all, HoF to be Mariano Rivera.
I will not tell you about great Yankee relievers of the past were, like Joe Page, Luis Arroyo, Sparky Lyle, or even World Series record holder of his own John Wetteland - each made fine contributions to the Yankees' pile of World Series rings, but MO is the BEST OF ALL TIME! Remember and tell you progeny - you saw the best!
Then there were the numerous nicks and scrapes and pulled this or strained that ... that all teams use to explain why they didn't deliver. But the way this offense shut down is beyond comprehension ... almost.
Starting with that ... HOMERITIS might be a succinct term for lovers of the popular "Simpsons" sad sack, but it is a medically sounding term for any team that gets carried away with the long ball, like this bunch has done for the last three years, coming off the wildly successful 2009 campaign.
But what has it gotten the team? Texeira's, ARod's, and to a lesser degree Swisher's OPS's have plummeted like an anvil. (That Swisher had a slight uptick this season is coincidental with it being his "walk" year. Look at Posada's last walk year in 2007 - it was literally his career season! When he fell off the map, the Yankees vowed to let him just fade away when his contract was up ... and they did!)
But of course, Swisher an been beyond "suck" for his entire post season career, and despite the BS claims from the TV booth, his major flaws were exposed this season numerous times. Falling over balls like a beached whale or failing to get to balls that almost any other fielder has in his back pocket.
All that sideways bobble headed, drawl (what is that - a West Virginia tick?) and spew about chicks loving the long ball... NO! Chicks like a winner, and Nick, you've done more than your part to make it difficult. Yes, you have a ring, but Jete, Mo, CC, Hidecki and yes, even ARod earned that ring for you. And now we read you want 13-15m per multi year? (I'd rather be dipped in shit than pay you that money!)
So why did Jete and Ichiro perform when the rest of the team shut down? THEY DON'T GUN FOR HOMERS. They might pick and choose a perfect opportunity, but they hit em where they ain't, as the saying goes.
But the rest of the team has been taking massive cuts at the ball all year (I even predicted this demise back in May, on my Twitter).
(Trivia time - In 1961, Roger Maris set the A.L. record for fewest strikeouts in the 50+ HR club, and now it's the MLB record for fewest in the 60 HR club. What NL player had fewer Ks than Maris when they hit 50 or more - there are two‽ Answer, next week.)
2013 scouting report -
Gardner makes full recovery but who knows how it will affect his hitting? He must stop taking pitches right down the middle to start ABs. He must learn to anticipate the pitchers better to get the jumps necessary to steal on the first or second pitch.
Jete - we all pray that you don't develop "injured player syndrome" of confidence that seems to be enveloping A-Rod currently.
Ichiro - give us another chance ... to give you that ring you so covet.
ARod - two things. Get the hell forward in the box so as to be able to hit breaking pitches better (if you can't reach them from there, then they are not strikes, except when that mokes (Larry Vanover) is umping ... or is it humping?
Tex - we know you hate hitting to the opposite field when hitting lefty, but that's just BS - you were fine with it until Yankee Stadium beckoned. Work it out.
Robby Cano - Your crap started when you won that friggin' HR derby in 2011. Put it behind you and resume the great career you had going.
Swish - despite being Joe's "boy", either you deliver 100% and take your turns on the bench, or don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!
Grandy - You broke our hearts! You now have the Yankee record for striking out in a single season, and despite your livable regular season OPS, in the post season, .100 in two series doesn't cut it. You must learn to pick up the spin on the breaking pitch or management will be breaking balls of a different kind! There is only 2013 to rescue your pinstripe career.
Russel (Martin) - Because you hustle on defense and can get out base stealers, you are allowed to struggle slightly at bat, but the Mendoza line isn't the place to be hovering. Work on things, if you sign back on for another season.
Gardy - I covered you earlier in the article, so just don't overdo yourself into another injury.
The real reason why the Yankee cut loose Cervelli - he rubs people (teams) the wrong way, which gets Yankee hitters drilled in return. He is vilified in Boston, and even though Joba continues to drill players, many feel Cervelli called a lot of those!
My take on that is - Yankee pitchers NEED to drill more hitters, if only in retaliation.
Lastly Joe Girardi - The interviews he had as a player and as a manger are in stark contrast! From forthright, in depth answers as a player, Joe has become so ... politically correct in guarding his responses that I don't know how much of his spiel he even believes. It's unsettling.
Joe, you are good with pitching staffs, but (like you did AS a hitter) you suck with hitting. I'm fairly certain that management will not carry Kevin Long any farther than 2013 unless the team's hitting dramatically improves in the clutch.
Final thoughts - Since the entire league had hitting woes in the post season, and since TBS and Fox have shown approximate batting zones to America whereby the umpiring has proven to be quite pitcher friendly, it is likely not to be repeated ... because of umpire rotation - and we know on what they should rotate!
With a potential plethora of pitchers fighting for those coveted slots, and a manager capable of whittling down the chaff, barring enormous losses to injury (CC is being examined right now), the Yankees are in position to put 2012 behind them and prayerfully (with up to three remaining core players) win one for the gipper, who just turned over in his grave!