Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Inevitable

The Good

In the eighth, with two outs, Cano hit a ground ball that he could have made it to first on, but mercifully trotted too slowly out of the box to make it there before Fielder, Prince Fielder, could beat him with his mind-blowing speed. That lazy play ended the inning and avoided an unnecessary delay of the inevitable.

The Bad

You could tell most of our hitters had given up in this series, but more than anything you could tell that this team is not the Yankees we like to remember. There's still talk of patience at the plate, and dangerous hitters throughout the line-up, but we must know in our hearts that isn't true anymore. It was true. A long time ago. The only player about whom that is still true played on a frayed ankle until it broke and somehow managed to be one of the most consistent hitters on the team. This is not a fight 'til you die, October is the only thing that matters team anymore. All the players know the mantra, but they lack any sense of the will or desire that makes it anymore than a platitude.

I realize they may have played well past their prime, but I miss guys like Bernie and Posada. Players so proud one of them hasn't even bothered to retire. Players that didn't swing meakly at balls out of the strike zone and then walk to the dugout like failure had been a foregone conclusion. We have good players on our team, but hardly any real gamers. Jeter, Ibanez, and late season rental Ichiro. That's it. Teixeira is the next closest player, but there are too many holes in that swing.

The Ugly

There was a rumor recently that the Yankees were in talks with the Marlins to trade A-Rod. It's not just that the Marlins showed this season that an attempt to spend like a big market team can't work for them, making such a trade highly implausible, it's that A-Rod is untradeable. Not without eating so much of the contract that you might as well DFA him outright and avoid the headache of trying to argue to another GM that they should be willing to take on more of that contract because of all A-Rod has to offer. Read that sentence again. Isn't the lie so profound it makes your soul die a little? You're welcome.

How Did We Even Score That Run

Not with a home run. Too bad we weren't donating based on the number of futile at-bats. There would be no childhood illnesses left had that been the case.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14


Rich Mahogany said...

I can't figure out what happened.

You would think most of the team would be highly motivated for financial reasons alone. Swisher is going into free agency with the reputation of being totally useless in the playoffs. It's actually a question whether the Yankees will exercise Granderson's $15 million option despite his 43 HR, because he is a strikeout machine against good pitching. Cano will be seeking a $200 million contract after he hits FA, which no one will give him if there are doubts about his dedication.

I think the 2012 Yankees played hard. They just didn't play well in the playoffs (it was a minor miracle that they won the ALDS) and didn't understand why. They looked lost on the field because nothing they were doing worked. Chavez got playing time over ARod, went 0 for 17 and made a crucial error. Gardner got playing time over Granderson and went 0 for 8. Something was wrong with just about the entire team.

As for ARod, I've defended him for years and have now surrendered to ARod Fatigue. He flirted with fans after being benched in game 1 and is signed to a farce of a contract that was premised on him someday becoming the clean HR leader. After the Angels took on $80 million of Wells' contract, and the Dodgers took on $140 million of Beckett's and Crawford's contracts, I believe trading ARod is possible. And while he is still a useful player, I will be glad to see him gone.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

I've thought about the fact that a number of these guys were playing for contracts too, and it does surprise me. At the end of the day, we have a team that is great in the regular season, and lethargic in the post. It's not age, because some of our oldest players were our best in this postseason. It's something else.

I do think A-Rod's contract is just too big when coupled with his injury history. I just don't think he can catch up to right handed pitching anymore and I don't think that's going to change. Frankly, I think this is the steroids catching up to him, his body breaking down earlier than it should have due to the strain of packing on muscle and strength it was never supposed to have (and that it probably didn't need as far as being a successful baseball player is concerned).

The one thing ARod has going for him is that I do think he's a good teammate, especially to younger players, and I do think that in any other town, he wouldn't be as much of a distraction. The way he gets covered in NY makes that a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. That won't happen in most other places.

We'll see. If Cashman pulls it off, I'll be impressed and grateful.

cs said...

First of all, I'm a NY transplant living in Miami for work, so no please on A Rod coming here. Just no.

Secondly, on your Cano comment, is it just me or does he always seem to jog out ground balls? Maybe it's his baggier uniform that gives him that deceptive look of laziness, I don't know.

Then again, does anyone else, when Cano makes a play and rifles a strike to 1st, thank the lord that Knoblauch is a distant, distant memory (though belonging to the Golden era)? Honestly, 90 perent of his plays I think of Chuck, it's weird. Some form of PTSD I suppose.

I'm really torn on Cano. I shouldn't be, according to all media pundits, but I can't shake it.

Rich Mahogany said...

Cano has occasionally been tagged with the dreaded "lazy" descriptor, which only seems to be directed toward Latin players. He is an MVP-caliber player and I have to believe that no one plays that well without putting in 100% effort. But it's the Yankees who are supposed to know more about his work ethic than anyone else. They have next year to decide whether he is one of the few players that is worth the kind of contract he will demand. The level of scrutiny on him will be extraordinary.

Team dynamics are hard to figure. The Yankees got a lot of good pitching performances that no one will remember because the offense was so bad. Why were so many of the pitchers up to the task and so many of the hitters not? Going back to Cano, what could make him go 2 for 35 in the playoffs right after going 24 for 39 in the last two weeks of the season?

Roberto, you're probably right about ARod. I don't see why any team would take him on without the Yankees paying far too much of his salary. So let's hope he has a miraculous resurgence and learns not to make passes at fans during the ALCS.

Rich Mahogany said...

An interesting analysis of each player's contributions in the playoffs. Note that of the top ten contributors by RE24, eight are pitchers and the other two are Ibanez and Nunez. Also note that ARod had the worst overall performance by far, which is remarkable considering that some of the players ahead of him had NO HITS.