2011 New York Yankees Overrated and Out of the MLB Playoffs

October 7, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The 2011 New York Yankees appeared powerful on paper, but they were always mostly mirage.

Last night, when the Yanks blew the decisive Game 5 of the American League Division Series to the Detroit Tigers, the deception became clear.

Indeed, the Bronx Bombers turned the contest into early Halloween for them, as they guilelessly, gutlessly and all too ghoulishly squandered two huge bases loaded opportunities, losing to the largely lunch-bucket squad from the Midwest, 3-2.

The vaunted Yankees are not supposed to make their own bed of defeat, beat themselves, but they did.

In the fourth, the New Yorkers loaded the bases with one out, but the mechanically-minded Yankee skipper Joe Girardi inexplicably did not pinch-hit for his weak-hitting catcher Russell Martin.

Martin faltered and popped out. So did the following batter, Brett Gardner. Threat ended. Yanks already on the brink.

In the seventh, the legendary Yankees loaded the bags again, but A-Rod struck out. Mark Teixeira walked to force in a run, but Nick Swisher struck out to undermine the final real Yankee opportunity of the ballgame.

Positively bizarre Yankee baseball behavior.

Nevertheless, you could see it all evening: Detroit were the warriors; New York were the worriers.

The Yankees were at home in “The House That Ruth Built” but they seemed unsure, uncomfortable, until they finally flinched for good.

Yankee uncertainty showed itself in the third inning when bungling manager Girardi took out starting pitcher Ivan Nova, winner of Game 2, simply because the score was 2-0 Detroit’s way (indeed, Nova had been the Yankees’ best rotation pitcher over the last 82 games).

Girardi’s quick hook was a blatant case of overreacting; panic on the big stage.

Girard’s bungling continued in the fifth inning of Game 5, when he brought in a languid-looking and long-faced CC Sabathia—who was the big-time loser of Game 3—in relief.

Sabathia, “The Big Hoss,” proceeded to negatively case-close the Yankee night. He allowed the game’s determinative run to score.

Yes, Sabathia entered the game looking tentative. Unready for the challenge. A good manager has to have a feel for the preparedness of his combatants.

On this night, Joe Girardi, as he did in Game 3, went by the stats instead of the state of Sabathia, his “ace” pitcher.

CC Sabathia has done much for the Yankees in his few years’ tenure, but in 2011, like most of the team, he was a bit of an illusion.

A team known to create its own breaks under pressure. The Yankees manifested just two chances to win in Game 5. In neither case did they effectively execute.

For the Yankees, Game 5 was replete with an eerie air.

It was as if the team and its fans were waiting for the ghosts of Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neil and Tino Martinez to materialize and stop the impending nightmare.

That just wasn’t going to happen.

Truth be testamentary told, Game 5 highlighted a plethora of Yankee team deficiencies.

For one thing, this version of the Bronx Bombers is feast or famine one-dimensional. It is too dependent on the big burst, the big inning. To wit: Unless you are the 1927 or 1961 New York Yankees, this strategy doesn’t work.

Then there are the countless other defects: This Yankees team strikes out far too much. It takes far too many good pitches. Its pitchers constantly pitch from behind in the count. It fails to take the extra base on hits. And its outfield play could be significantly upgraded.

In 2011, only two Yankee everyday starters, Robinson Cano (their best all-around player) and Curtis Granderson (their best slugger), played up to potential.

The Yankees’ two most outstanding pitchers are relievers: Dave Robertson (a budding star) and Mariano Rivera (the everlasting star).

Combine these facts with the Yankees’ mediocre in-game strategizing and their about-average scouting of the opposition (they had no idea how to pitch Detroit’s Delmon Young, who hit three home runs in the ALDS), and you have a team with too many insufficiencies to win a championship.

Remedy 1: The Yankees should definitely consider trading Mark Teixeira for a “Type-A” starter. Teixeira has done well, but he can be replaced with free agent Prince Fielder.

Remedy 2: Eat Joe Girardi’s contract. He’s much too conservative and unsophisticated a field general.

He’s a hard hat manager in a “Vogue” town. It’s a mismatch.

Further, Girardi’s got a quirky fixation with pudgy, anemic-swinging catchers who he thinks are the spitting image of himself when he played.

Remedy 3: Make A-Rod take a pay cut. Alex Rodriguez is the most stylish-looking unproductive, non-clutch player in history. Make him pay for his lack of production.

Remedy 4: Get an everyday superior outfielder who can also hit.

Remedy 5: Obtain someone who has some fire inside his uniform, someone with a Pete Rose or Jackie Robinson disposition.

Derek Jeter is no longer the Yankees’ X-factor. He can’t transcend a ballgame like he once could.

The Yankees need someone in the lineup who is a take-charge leader, an immovable force, one who refuses to lose, like they once had with Yogi, Reggie or Billy (Martin).

For sure the current Yankees are overrated. They couldn’t even get out of the first round.

The Detroit Tigers turned Muhammad Ali and made the Yankees into Sonny Liston.

In their respective histories, the Detroit Tigers have won four titles, the New York Yankees have won 27. Big difference.

But in the last decade, the Yankees themselves have only one title (2009). For them, that’s an “Off Off Broadway” show—not what their luxury-box smart set come to see.  

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