The 2012 postseason has come to an end for the New York Yankees. My team can start booking tee times as they were unceremoniously swept in dazzling fashion by the Detroit Tigers.
You can say whatever you like about the series. The end result was a butt-whipping that they have not seen since being swept by the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS in 1980. New York came into the playoffs with the best record in the American League, on the strength of the long ball. Unfortunately, in the playoffs you need to find other avenues of run production. You simply cannot wait for the 3-run homer to get you the lead or win you the game. These are the playoffs. You are facing #1’s and #2’s from the opposing staff all the time. If they are pitching “lights out”, your chances of moving on go from good to slim in a hurry. This series proved just that. The Tigers starters posted a paltry ERA of 0.66, holding the Yanks to just 1 run before the 8th inning in all 4 games. That was the second lowest in MLB postseason history.
The Yankees helped out those numbers as they never lead at any point of this entire series. Everyone wants to jump on A-rod as the reason, but it was the futility of the entire collective that did them in. Their team batting average of .188 was the worst of any team, in a single postseason, in the history of the playoffs (Min. 7 games). Who can underestimate what was lost when the captain, Derek Jeter, was almost carried off the field by his manager in the 12th inning after fracturing his left ankle in Game #1. Knowing their leader was not to return to help them in battle, some would say this is the type of event that could galvanize a team to get the job done. That sounds nice, in theory, but the reality was not. Robinson Cano finished the regular season on a tear. He batted 24-39 (.615) the final nine games of the season. That translated into a 2 for 40 performance in the postseason, how is this possible? Curtis Granderson led the team with 43 homers this year. That translated into more than half of his at-bats ending in strikeouts, What!!
After the sweep was complete, the New York Times ran with the headline, “Dear Yankees, We do not date losers, New Yorkers”. Considering the Yankees led the majors in payroll for the umpteenth time, I guess $198 million does not buy you what it used to. I’m not saying you have to win the Series every year, but to be embarrassed like this is unforgivable.