"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Silence of the Lambs

It was already 1-0 when I got on the train to come home this evening. It was 2-0 when I went out of cell service deep beneath Harlem. I held my breath as the train climbed up from 191st St to Dyckman, 6-0 and the season was over before I even got to my stop.

The Yankees completed their crash out of the ALCS with a loss to the Tigers, 8-1. Swept for the first time since 1980. They had only two hits to finish the series batting .157 as a team. If justice prevails, this will not be remembered as Arod’s Waterloo but rather as lineup-wide systemic failure.

The roots of this sweep are buried in Game 4 of the ALDS when the Yankees failed to finish the Orioles. They could have started CC Sabathia in Game 1 of the ALCS and then who knows? Some will say it doesn’t matter, that the Yankees didn’t hit enough this series to bother entertaining “What If” scenarios, but for three games out of four, they were one hit, or one call from an umpire, away from winning.

CC Sabathia pitched a whale of a game in Game 5 of the ALDS, but he didn’t have anything left for this one. For the first time in nine games, the Yankee starter didn’t give the lineup a chance to win. CC came up small, no way to sugarcoat that. I think his two games against the Orioles probably speak louder than this stinkifesto, but we’ll see how the fans react.

I know Alex Rodriguez was bad in this postseason. He looked incapable of hitting a right handed pitcher and I don’t fault Joe Girardi for seeking other options. Eric Chavez pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez in Game 4 of the ALDS. He replaced Alex for 12 at bats in total in the Postseason and went 0 for 12 with six strikeouts.

As disappointing as this series was, from Jeter’s injury to the Alex-drama to today’s drubbing, I refuse to be crushed about this outcome. The Yankees played a very gutsy series with Orioles, and won even while hitting like shit. They played three tough games with the Tigers and lost, while hitting even worse. They have been playing playoff-tension-level baseball since early September and have answered every must-win game with a win until the ALCS. They have earned a lot of respect.

I refuse to be crushed because I am part of a household that is just learning about baseball and if you can’t take losing, you can’t enjoy this game. I am part of a household, that for reasons that will never be entirely clear, cares as much about the Pittsburgh Pirates as the New York Yankees. In this environment, disappointment is allowed but rending of garments is exposed as self-centered silliness.

I rarely felt like I was watching a World Champion when the Yankees played this year, but they were the best team in the American League for 162 games and they own as much claim to the “best team in baseball” as anybody. Admittedly, 2012 didn’t feature a truly great team, but hey, maybe that means 2013 is wide open, too. The Yanks don’t have that much to do to be right back in it again next year.


Photo via Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images



Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Playoffs  Yankees

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1 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 18, 2012 8:22 pm

Wow, you hit several nails soundly on the head here (for me anyway).

Curious to see what 2013 brings.

2 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 18, 2012 8:44 pm

I am, as is my want, a grumpy bastard during ballgames and game threads. This particular iteration of the Bronx Bombers has provoked me to an unfortunate amount of pure, seething, insensate rage this post-season.

That said they also gave moments of sudden, shocking, spontaneous, spectacular, unbridled joy and that should never be forgotten.

I've got more to say as a post-mortem, in posts later and farther, but I'll start here by saying, before things get lost in the negativity and scapegoating and finger-pointing that is sure to follow: Thank You.

Sincerely, thank you for the 2012 season. For all its warts, maddenings, failings and infuriations, for this team to overcome age and time and the Injury Reaper's cold, merciless scythe and *still* win 95 games and the AL East is a accomplishment that deserves far more respect than it will get in the coming days of slanders and knives.

Pat yourselves on the back for that at least, and put on your booties, the bullshit's going to get rather deep this offseason ...

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 18, 2012 8:59 pm

Very nice Jon, and spot on.
The "lineup-wide systemic failure" was so extreme, it's almost hard to believe.

Cano, he of MLB's second best WAR (8.2), .929 OPS, and SCALDING last week,
had a PS line of: .075 / .098 / .125 / .223.
Someone posted that his OBP was the WORST in PS HISTORY (30+ AB).

Grandersons solo HR skyrocketed his numbers to: .100 /.182 /.200 /.382.

Add in ARod and Swisher (and Chavez too) and it seems statistically impossible.

I guess this is just one of those "you just can't predict baseball" thingies.

I'm almost not upset.
Something in the Cosmos had it in for 1/2 our lineup.
(capped off by TWO misplays by Teix in ONE inning).

4 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 18, 2012 9:16 pm

And just for a little comic relief, let me post a comment from Lohud:
NYY_Girl_Penny October 18th, 2012 at 9:03 pm
MoRings42 October 18th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
Nick Swisher
Curtis Granderson
Russell Martin
Jayson Nix
Eric Chaves
Raul Ibanez
Andruw Jones
Chris Stewart
Eduardo Nunez
Freddy Garcia
Ivan Nova
Derek Lowe
A lot to add to that list.

Hal Steinbrenner
Hank Steinbrenner
Joba Chamberlain
Phil Hughes

for starters

For starters? I'm still trying to figure out who's left.
And yes... I believe this girl is serious, and a true Yankees fan.

5 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 18, 2012 9:21 pm

Anyone else kind of relieved?

6 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 18, 2012 9:24 pm

It was an impressive season that ended with a whimper. But they were great against the Orioles, winning that series. And despite all of the injuries they still had the league's best record. Would you rather have been the Rangers? Fading and them losing the wild card game? Or the Nats? Sure, the lack of hitting was painful to watch but it was still a resilient year in many ways.

Great following along with you guys, too. The 10th season we'e covered in this space. And we'll be back tomorrow and around each and every day during the off season, cause that's how we do.

7 Ara Just Fair   ~  Oct 18, 2012 9:58 pm

[5] I am more relieved than pissed off or angry. That's usually how I feel after the Yankees lose. Since the beginning of September it's been a daily dog fight. The last few weeks plus the O's series sucked the life out of me. Once Jeter went down the Detroit series seemed dead. The awful hitting let down a pretty damn good run of starting pitching. Cano? Next to Jeter your the one I pull for most. WTF! He had to be hurt. Or so I tell myself. So I am disappointed but thems the breaks. Cheers to an entertaining season! : )

8 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 18, 2012 10:21 pm

How many playoff series does Arod have to look bad in before we can agree he's not a postseason performer? When does the sample get big enough? He's 37 and in steep decline. Is it fair to scapegoat him? Maybe not. But he's not earning the salary so he'll have to pay for this failure regardless.

9 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 18, 2012 10:23 pm

Alex I wasn't around much this year in posts as I've been adjusting to single life but I kept up with tasters cherce and ny minute. Best site around.

10 monkeypants   ~  Oct 18, 2012 10:49 pm

[8] ARod career postseason:


Jeez, it's not that bad.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 18, 2012 11:52 pm

[5] Quite. But I'm not ready to give up on Alex, especially since the loudmouths and Pulitzers in the media want to run him out of town to prove how right they are about Everything. Not that anything I have to say will make a difference, but trading him at this point will not only make the real problem worse now and beyond; it will make it that much harder to both convince potential game-changers to come to the Yanks, but also drive that price tag far beyond its worth to make that player or players confident in the organization. Let's not forget that a lot of GMs are savvy to player aptitudes and can drive real hard bargains when left to their own devices or are supported (as opposed to dictated to) by ownership. The Yanks are leaking a lot of blood right now, so it doesn't look good in any perspective at the present moment.

And if you move Alex, you gotta take out some folks who pushed for re-signing him in 2007 for political balance if nothing else; lesson from reading about Abe Lincoln again (and again and again...)

12 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 18, 2012 11:57 pm

[8],[10] He's older now, so he needs a cane, and a good one too... a cano, in fact. Would have made a world of difference if had one.

13 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2012 12:17 am

Have you folk seen the ARod interview on the YES site? Man, the media, even when polite, are tough on him. But he handled himself very well.

Maybe it's the Dad in me, but I'm proud of the growth I've seen in ARod. In his first years, I was almost afraid to hear him talk. He was always 'trying' to do the right thing, but he always had to 'try'. Now it seems it's just ARod. Maybe being around Jeter has rubbed off on him, but the guy now actually gives good interview.

He said in no uncertain terms that he wants to stay in NY, wants to stays on the Yankees, and wants to work to help the team. He blamed himself for not playing well, said he had plenty of opportunities to come through, but just didn't. Staight talk. No innuendo.

I really hope he bounces back next year. I think he's earned some good Karma.

And Girardi's interview. In the last 5 seconds he breaks down while thanking the media for respecting his privacy about his Dad. I think this has been a real tough couple of weeks for Joe.

14 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2012 12:32 am

A nice read.

"... the New York Yankees lost the most player-days to the disabled list in the American League in 2012. Michael Pineda, Brett Gardner, Mariano Rivera and Pedro Feliciano all missed essentially the entire season. Austin Romine’s spring training back injury sidelined him for most of the year, forcing the Yankees to trade a valuable arm for Chris Stewart. Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte spend considerable amounts of time on the disabled list. Even CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and David Robertson missed time.

But unlike the 2nd and 3rd most injured American League teams – the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays – the Yankees didn’t let up. Without making a single major trade (Ichiro doesn’t count), the players that remained persevered and won a very competitive AL East."

15 Boatzilla   ~  Oct 19, 2012 2:09 am

Thanks for all the analysis and content guys. You all made the journey a lot more fun.

I really believe we have lot to look forward to in 2013. We've got the same infield loaded with potential, one of the best bullpens in baseball and at least 3 quality starters. And who knows, the Pineda deal may pay off yet.

16 knuckles   ~  Oct 19, 2012 6:08 am

Well said. It's funny how much the Bronx Banter viewpoint has aligned with (or influenced) my own. Great series with the O's.
The entire lineup going into the tank is just one of those WTF kinda things that happens.

This was a frustrating season that had some real high points from towards the end of the regular right up to a week ago.

Heal up Jetes, Mo, Pineda. Get em next year.

I guess it's football season now. Go G-men.

17 monkeypants   ~  Oct 19, 2012 6:47 am

[15} And who knows, the Pineda deal may pay off yet.


Thanks. I needed that.

18 ms october   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:19 am

this whole season was weird. from losing mo in the way that he was lost; andy coming out of retirement; jeter's resurgence (even though i loved it and it was the most enjoyable year long thread for me); gardner's injury; soriano filling in admirably; cano having a really solid year but it not seeming like it; another bad luck injury for arod; granderson fully becoming a two true outcome player; martin's few big hits but nothing else from him with the bat; cc being off his game a bit but still putting together a good season; kuroda's quick adjustment to the al (whihh i was pleasantly surprised about); more freak injuries for joab. i'm sure there was other stuff.
losing a huge lead mostly because of injuries, cooling off a bit, and the orioles stringing together a nice run. then holding on at the end and then beating the orioles in tough fashion in 5. the bats going so so cold in the alcs is still a bit baffling.

19 The Mick536   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:44 am

Been a fan for sixty years. I have lived through losses and wins. Happy to have had my team last into late October. Nonetheless, I am not giving them any slack or excusing their abject failure by counting injuries. Leaving out the home runs, they didn't look much better at the plate during the season than they did in the playoffs. I think they got to where they got to by piling up on the bad teams. They not only look and act old, but they are old.

20 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:55 am

What a weak finish to the season. Pathetic from a fan's perspective.
But there's no sense wallowing in it.
Best thing about this season for me was getting to watch Ichiro. I've always thought he was a very cool player, but I'm glad to have had the chance to watch him more, and appreciate his game.

21 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:55 am

"ARod career postseason: .265/.372/.467/.838"

1. What's his career postseason numbers as a mariner?

2. What's his career postseason numbers as a yankee?

3. Do 37 year olds typically start improving as they age?

4. What are the numbers since 2004?

5. Since 2006?

6. Since 2009?

I think those numbers are getting a bump from Seattle and the 2004 ALDS. I think the Arod from the 2012 regular and postseason is the Arod we get going forward. An overpaid, declining player.

22 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:56 am

[19] ". . . they are old."

Yes, and so now my question is - has the day of reckoning finally arrived? I thought it was here in 2004, 2005, and 2006 - but no.

Will the farm system bring some guys up that will be useful? Will Cashman pull of a ninja trade? If change comes, that's where it will be from, because if you look at the list of 2013 free agents, its not appealing:


But there's offseason enough for that. [0] Thanks for a great recap to the ALCS and the year, Jon. It was a hell of a ride, and I enjoyed a lot of it.

23 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:56 am

I am relieved too. It's been a confounding season, finishingntop of the AL East in spite of fielding a flawed offense ands streaky pitching. One thing I can take away from this season was Kuroda who I thought was such an intelligent, nuanced pitcher who the boys gave no run support to Soriano filling in admirably.

As ever, baseball is here to entertain, good, bad, right or wrong. I can feel satisfied and I can feel frustration. It can influence my mood one way or the other. So, it fulfilled the entertainment directive and we got to communicate at the Banter.

And while I don't think the Yanks will be as un recognizable as the team the Saux were fielding in the end of the season, I expect changes. It will be interesting how they handle the Alex thing. For businessmen, they seem to misplay more often than not. I'm not talking about Cashman so much, more the Randy Levine types. I will always wonder if someone within the organization planted the A-Rod flirtgate. His contract is a financial noose and we will foot the bill, should he leave.

That said, Imwill always follow the boys, always have and always will, butnInwill grumble sometimes and cheer others.....mostly here at this blog. To the hot stove we go!

24 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 19, 2012 7:59 am

Sorry about the typos. Effin I Pad. I concur about Ichiro. Loved him.

25 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Oct 19, 2012 8:02 am

My Red Sox fan buddy here in Tokyo texted me today, said Game 4 was the highlight of his baseball season. Made me feel much better, actually.

Only 20 weeks till Opening Day! So..how about those Knicks, then?

26 The Hawk   ~  Oct 19, 2012 8:46 am

Martin swinging out of his frigging shoes with Ichiro on 2nd was the signature moment of the series, for me.

27 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2012 9:06 am

I think the team is younger then many of the teams between 2005 and now. But let's fix this anyway. First off, our closer is 42. He can't possible help the team, so dump him. Next is that Texan... that LH Pitcher, who I think is 40. Let's dump him. Lastly, that 38 year old SS has to go. Dump him too.
There. Now we are younger.

All things being equal, young is better then old.
But of course, all things are never equal.
We are tring to collect talent.
So did 41 year old Mo display more talent then another 28 year old Closer?
Did 40 year old Andy display more talent then another 28 year old Pitcher?
Did 38 year old Jeter display more talent then another 28 year old SS?

Yes, going forward we want to get younger. But it's not like Mo, Andy and Jeter are bringing this team down.

The Yankees will always be an older team. Elite players usually get long contracts which often includes unproductive years. We have ARod, and get to see how Pujols ultimately works out. That is the cost of doing business. We're keeping ARod until he's 107 because the Yankees wanted records to fall.

Plus, the Yankees are a family. We gave Jorge an extra year or 2 because it was Jorge (and the market at the time worked in his favor). We're keeping Jeter until he's 40 because he's Derek Jeter.

It's not necessarily 'good baseball', but aren't we lucky as fans?

28 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 9:28 am

[8][10][21] Arod's post season numbers

2004 ALDS .421 .476 .737 (fantastic)
2004 ALCS .258 .378 .516 (Pretty good)
2005 ALDS .133 .435 .200 (Good OBP, bad slugging)
2006 ALDS .071 .133 .071 (Fucking terrible)
2007 ALDS .267 .353 .467 (a hair better than average)
2009 ALDS .455 .500 1.000 (beyond fantastic)
2009 ALCS .429 .567 .952 (beyond fantastic)
2009 WS .250 .423 .550 (Excellent)
2010 ALDS .273 .308 .273 (below average)
2010 ALCS .190 .320 .286 (Fucking terrible)
2011 ALDS .111 .261 .111 (Fucking terrible)
2012 ALDS .125 .222 .125 (Fucking terrible)
2012 ALCS .111 .111 .111 (Fucking terrible)

Look, he's going to be 37 this year. If you think he's worth keeping at this price then that's fine with me. I just see a guy who performed great in 2004, amazingly in 2009, and has been fucking terrible over 5 playoff series covering 4 different seasons. And, he's been fucking terrible in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

You can average all of his seasons and conclude, "hey, he's not bad at all", but my question is: (1) Is not bad worth what he's paid to do; and (2) do you think he'll be anything better than "fucking terrible" in 2013 and 2014 given his age?

The point I'm driving at is that it's a tad misleading to conclude that the Yankees should make any decisions based on 2004 and 2009 being considered on equal footing with 2010-2011-2012.

29 rbj   ~  Oct 19, 2012 9:30 am

[4] Jeter, Mo, and CC. That said, you can't fire ownership and we've got to start thinking about a post Mo & Derek team. It's no longer 1998 folks.

It's not A-Rod's fault.

30 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 9:47 am

[29] I think the numbers [28] suggest that Arod's not been pulling his weight relative to what he's being paid. I agree that it's not Arod's fault that the Yanks made a completely irrational decision to bring him back after he opted out. Let's say we don't win the 2009 WS without Arod (though that's speculative). Is that one title worth being saddled with this contract for 5 more years? Maybe, maybe not.

I just want to get rid of him now since I don't see him getting better over the next 5 years.

31 rbj   ~  Oct 19, 2012 10:37 am

[30] No question that he's not worth what he's being paid. Yankees are saddled with the contract no matter where he plays, unless he retires. Trade or cut him, Yankees are on the hook for a huge sunk cost. Coulda, woulda, shoulda is pointless now.

Alex can still be a decent regular season player who helps get you to the postseason. I don't count on him for the postseason though. He still fields well. Trade him, and what the Yankees are paying will still count against the salary cap plus you've still got to pay a third baseman. And who's out there? Chavez/Nunez isn't the answer.

Part of the problem is that sports reporters need topics to talk/write about. Alex is a nice crutch to have.

32 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 11:50 am

[31] a lot of it depends on what they get in return. Do the Yanks have to pay 100% of Arod's salary to move him to Miami? I doubt it. I'd take 50/50 just to be rid of him.

The Angels will be playing this game with Pujols in a few years too, mark my words.

33 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 19, 2012 11:56 am

the good news is: if the Yankees don't trade ARod this winter we'll have have 5 more months to argue about him until baseball starts again, and then 5 more years to keep doing it! Weeeee!

34 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2012 12:46 pm

[32] I think that would be a mistake.
Obviously, he is overpaid. But at 50% he would be a good deal. So, it's not a good idea to get rid of him for 50% of his salary.

Unless you think the Yankees would get a good player in return? (I think there is no chance of that.)

Also, think about who would play third base for the Yankees in the absence of A-Rod. Not a fun thought.

35 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 4:30 pm

Getting him as a player for 50% is a good deal for the Marlins but the Yanks won't be able to keep him and get someone to pay half. This is the bed they made in 2007. Just because it helps the marlins is no reason not to do it. 50% would save $14 million in payroll.

The yanks don't have to replace Arod the 40+ homer guy. They have to replace Arod the 16 homer guy. So maybe they get a Brosius type to platoon with chavez.

There are always possibilities. And I'd like to end the distraaction that arod presents. Good grief it seems like we never won a WS ring without arod.

Personally I want to see the Yanks hit the reset button. Unload arod, swish, curtis and get young. If we must lose then so be it because we'll be back in a few years.

36 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2012 5:01 pm

I think that's not right.
If the Yankees pay the Marlins half A-Rod's salary and the Marlins take him, then the Yankees have to get a 3rd baseman. Well, they could take A-Rod back. The extra payroll would be just half of his actual salary, since they're paying him the other half anyway. And they would get his services. So that would be a smart thing to do.

That means it's better to keep him at full salary than to dump him on the Marlins at half salary.

37 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 5:10 pm

Why get a $14 million dollar third baseman? Get izturis for $5 million and platoon him.

38 Evil Empire   ~  Oct 19, 2012 5:24 pm

We're never going to reach an accord. I'm just tired of the arod drama and want to start over no matter what. No one can convince me he's anything but fucking terrible in the postseasons to come.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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