The Yankees: a postseason analysis
It was a good postseason. I can say that comfortably. It had its bumps and potholes, but generally was entertaining and ended OK. And that’s a difficult thing for me to write, because I’m a Yankee fan.
Yeah, screw you too, pal.
Things didn’t go quite as well as the Yankees had hoped. There are a lot of things that went wrong. And to prove to all you people out there that get some kind of sadistic pleasure out of hating the Bronx Bombers just for the sake of doing so (talk about un-American activities), I’m going to point out those things that added up to a 4-2 loss to the Marlins.
First of all, Jose “Niagara Falls” Contreras looked way too nervous every time he was on the mound. It showed in that he’d kill the first two batters of every inning and then allow one, two and even three or more runs on a single out.
That’s not October pitching.
And as for the profuse sweating, throwing a baseball 90-some miles per hour is a tiring thing, granted, but even the fatties like David Wells and Brad Penny don’t gush sweat like Contreras.
And speaking of Wells, what the fuck happened in game five? His back problems came back? Just a day after he poked fun at the likes of Roger Clemens and other pitchers who preach the gospel of conditioning? Ha, ha, ha. That’s what you get, David.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Wells. So much that I damn near shot through the ceiling of the room I was standing in when I heard he was back in pinstripes.
The guy is Yankee in every sense of the word. But when Wells left the game and Fox showed the clip of him in the press conference the day before the game saying he’d write the book about how to stay in baseball through the powers of beer and potato chips, you just had to laugh.
There were these skinny-looking white arms against a huge backdrop of Yankee blue (or his poncho covered keg-gut), and he was so confident about his (lack of) training that he was snickering. Snickering! Well, way to go, Davy, you sure screwed the pooch on that one.
Too bad. If only he weren’t so big in the tummy, maybe his lower back wouldn’t have caused him to leave the game, and subsequently the Yankees (that’s right, he’s filed for free agency). In fact, word ’round the campfire is that the situation is so bad that he may have to retire.
But it wasn’t all pitching. The bats sure as hell weren’t around at all in the series. Well, they did show up in games two and three, but left for vacation after that.
Funny though. Pretty much the same thing happened in the last World Series loss for the Yanks. They scored only 14 runs against Arizona in 2001, and after the Diamondbacks won game seven, Yankee hitting coach Gary Denbo was dismissed.
After Denbo departed from the Bombers, he was replaced by Rick Down. And you guessed it: He’s gone now, too, serving as just the first casualty in what is to be one major Steinbrenner temper tantrum this off-season. Joe Torre and GM Brian Cashman have already answered Steinbrenner’s summons to Florida, where they’re getting things figured out (and no doubt getting paddled by King George). But before I launch into a tirade about Georgie, lets finish up with the bats …
BECAUSE THEY JUST WEREN’T THERE! The Yanks are called the Bronx Bombers for a reason. But maybe somebody forgot to remind them of that.
I guess some of the blame can be laid on Torre. I sure disagreed with some of his moves, but perhaps none more so then the lineup he made for game five.
Despite all the juggling throughout the postseason, the only complaint I have is against the clean-up spot in game five. Hideki Matsui, being the god that he is, isn’t a clean-up hitter in the major leagues.
He may have been in Japan. But when you hit 50 home runs there and only 16 here, you have no business being in the clean-up spot. He would have served better in the three-spot, or five or higher to liven up the bottom.
So who would I have put in the clean-up spot? Jorge Posada. He hit .281 on the year for 30 homers and 101 RBIs. But the real reason I would have put him there is this: Since the beginning of the 2000 season, he’s hit five grand slams.
I’m not sure if he hit one this year, but he might have. Regardless, when the Yanks had a chance in the second inning to score some runs, I would have much rather had him at the plate than Matsui. Instead, he just watched form the on-deck circle. But there’s no use crying about it now.
I think the King himself realized that there was little use getting into a twist after that ominous first inning of game five. Before it was even official that Wells was having problems, the cameras flashed to him eating ice cream. You could tell he was obviously frustrated. He is, after all, George Steinbrenner.
And though I could complain about Aaron Boone’s 92 career errors at third base (opposed to his total of six at second and short), I won’t. I’ll complain about King George’s overbearing personality putting to much pressure on his staff and players.
Cashman has less hair every post-season, Torre’s trademark stoic countenance seems to be fading into frustration, and “Fighting” Don Zimmer has all but spit on the Yankee organization.
Before the last game of the World Series, he told reporters he would leave the Yankees and placed all the blame on Steinbrenner. Then, after the Series was over and everyone came back to Yankee stadium to pick up their stuff, Zimmer told reporters this:
“When I say I won’t be back, I won’t be back. They could have a day for me. The answer would be no, and only because of him.”
Too bad. So sad.