This is the way the World Series chase ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
The 2012 ALCS saw the Detroit Tigers sweep the Chernobyl – sorry, New York – Yankees, who submitted one of the most pathetic postseason performances in major league baseball history.
For those of you keeping score at home:
The numbers are just devastating, as this New York Times piece details:
DETROIT — When it mattered most, $200 million could barely buy a hit.
The Yankees, the richest and most accomplished team in baseball, were swept from the postseason on Thursday, embarrassed and undone by a staggering and costly display of ineptitude at the plate.
Alex Rodriguez, with 647 career home runs and a $29 million salary for the 2012 season, managed a single hit against Detroit, and then was unceremoniously benched as the Tigers ran off four straight victories. Robinson Cano, widely regarded as one of the most talented players in baseball, endured an 0-for-29 streak that now stands as a major league record for postseason failure, and batted just .075 in the playoffs.
The Yankees, who led the major leagues in home runs during the regular season with 245, failed to score a single run in 20 straight innings against Detroit, scored in just 3 of 39 innings over all and never had a lead in any of the four games. The same offense that produced the second-most runs (804) in baseball during the regular season could barely manage a bloop single as the Yankees suffered their first postseason sweep since 1980 and only the fifth in their mostly glorious 27-championship history.
But entirely inglorious this year.
Exhibit Umpteen: Their .157 batting average
in Game 4 for the series.
That’s not even anemic. It’s just pathetic.
Hot Stove must-read: Brian Costa’s clever piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is campaigning on a five-point plan to fix the U.S. economy. But the plan leaves one all-important question unanswered: How to fix the New York Yankees?
Three years ago, I know that many Yankees fans felt a fresh excitement about the possibility of a new dynasty. When that hard-fought postseason was over, Yankees fans were eager to go back to work. They were ready to live their lives the way they always have: self-assured, superior to others, confident in their future.
This, we were told, was change we could believe in. But today, we know better. The hope created by winning the 2009 World Series has been lost. For the first time, the majority of Yankees fans doubt their children will celebrate as many championships as they did.
Just the other day, I was at a factory in Ohio, and I met a fellow working two jobs to afford a visit to Yankee Stadium. And do you know what his young boy wants for Christmas? A Baltimore Orioles hat!
Yankees fans have been patient. They have supported their team in good faith. But today, the time has come to turn the page. Now is the time to restore the promise of the Yankees, and I have a five-point plan to do it.
Check it out.
It . . . just . . . might . . . work!