Yankees Suck postsTuesday October 11, 2011
Quotes of the Day: The Fall of the 2011 New York Yankees and the New Curse of the Bambino
I'm disappointed that we didn't get better articles about the Yankees' quick postseason exit from stalwarts Rob Neyer or Joe Posnanski. But the Internet's a big place and good comments could be found. My favorite is listed last. Enjoy.
“It hurts. It hurts for the Yankees to lose in the playoffs and for their season to end. I once knew a therapist who said that sports were a leading cause of depression among men – trailing behind events like losing a loved one or being fired from one’s job. I take these losses seriously. I also know that the closer your team comes to winning it all, the harder it is to have them lose. I remember 2001. I know this might sound like self-entitled nonsense to fans of teams like the Cubs who haven’t sniffed a World Championship in eons. But every Yankee fan is also a fan of less successful teams. My California Golden Bears haven’t seen a Rose Bowl since Eisenhower was President, but it didn’t hurt that much when they gave up 29 unanswered points to Oregon last night.”
--ItsAboutTheMoney.Net, “A Rational Goodbye to the 2011 Season”
* * *
Dear Mr. Manners,
I'm really enjoying the fact that the Red Sox choked to miss the playoffs and that the Yankees lost in the first round. Is it poor manners to root against them and mock the teams and their fans?
-- United S. (of America)
Dear United Schadenfreude of America,
Normally it is poor manners to find joy in the failure of others, but rooting against the Yankees and Red Sox is as American as mom, apple pie and baseball teams trying to buy championships. I have no problem reveling in their defeat. However, I would encourage you to balance your ridicule with a positive comment to show that you are a person of refined manners.
Say: “Keep your chin up ... so you can see the scoreboard, which is the official record of you being a loser.”
Or: “Hey, no one wins them all. In fact, some teams only win one of them in 11 years, which is almost impossible if you think about it, considering they had the biggest payroll in every one of those years.”
--D.J. Gallo, “Mr. Manners' Etiquette for Sports World”
Keep your chin up...
* * *
“Not enough fans understand that the baseball playoffs are a crapshoot. Since 1990, you know how many teams with the best regular-season record have won the World Series? Three — the '98 Yankees, '07 Red Sox and '09 Yankees. If you make the playoffs, you essentially have a 1-in-4 chance of reaching the World Series. If you get to the World Series, you have 1-in-2 chance of winning. So if you make the playoffs every season you should win a World Series once every eight years. In their past eight trips to the postseason, the Yankees have reached two World Series and won one. Exactly what the odds would predict.”
-- David Schoenfield, “The Day After: Yankees Postscript”
* * *
And my favorite...
To the Sports Editor:
The Yankees’ postseason failure over the last two years suggests the possibility of another Curse of the Bambino. Its predecessor never made sense: why would the Babe have been anything but thrilled to be sent from Boston to the greatest sports stage of the era? Overshadowing Ruth’s monument with the huge tribute plaque to George Steinbrenner? Well, that just might be cause for vengeance. So here is the new curse: the Yankees will never win another World Series until the plaque is moved to a more appropriate site.
-- Charles E. Knapp, Scarsdale, N.Y., “At a Loss in the Bronx”
Magic, Maier, gone.
The Fall of the 2011 New York Yankees
For the second year in a row, the season ended for the New York Yankees with a strikeout from Alex Rodriguez. I should be happy, since I think the Yankees are bad for baseball, and since A-Rod exemplifies this with his $252 million contract and subsequent demands to be traded to a contender like the Yankees, but I can't help feeling sorry for the guy.
Earlier today, a friend sent me a link to a Sporting News article on the most disliked player (by the fans) for each franchise. A-Rod was most disliked in Texas. For the Mariners it was Bobby Ayala and for the Yankees it was Carl Pavano, but you could make the argument that it's A-Rod on all three teams. He still gets booed here in Seattle. And no one was ever booed like A-Rod was booed when he returned in April 2001 with the Texas Rangers. Man, we let him have it.
How sad is that? He's one of the best ever at what he does, a thing that almost every American boy would love to be able to do; he gets money, fame and women; and yet.. and yet... so disliked.
Posada had a helluva series, didn't he? Like he knew it was his last shot. Cano emerged as the scariest guy on the team. Granderson was unbelievable, Gardner kept getting basehits from the nine hole. Jeter ran out of magic.
Here's the honor roll:
- 2001: Arizona
- 2002: Anaheim
- 2003: Florida
- 2004: Boston
- 2005: Anaheim
- 2006: Detroit
- 2007: Cleveland
- 2008: UNNECESSARY
- 2009: n/a
- 2010: Texas
- 2011: Detroit
Go Tigers. Keep going, Tigers.
ADDENDUM: Nice piece on Game 5 by ESPN's David Schoenfield.
Yankees Suck Quote of the Day
“I was at a family function over the weekend and spent much of it talking baseball with my wife's uncle, a huge Yankees fan. The short version of his analysis: He's not too concerned about the state of the team because he's convinced the Yankees will make a few trades.
”You know ... like for Felix Hernandez. Everybody in New York still thinks the Yankees can just trade for Felix because ... well, I guess because they're the Yankees. Now, let's repeat something we've said several times:
“The Mariners aren't going to trade Felix Hernandez.
”Repeat: The Mariners aren't going to trade Felix Hernandez.
“Now, my wife's uncle says that's OK, because the Yankees will just acquire Mark Buehrle instead. Now, maybe the White Sox will eventually fall far enough out of the race that trading Buehrle will make sense. But it doesn't now.”
-- David Schoenfield, “Sweet Spot” column, ESPN.com
The Third Greatest Yankees Hater in the World
- Go to Google
- Type in “Yankees Suck”—with our without quotes
- Look at the results
If there's no “News” info, the first two results will be websites specific to baseball. Then ads, then videos. The fifth result, only the third website, will be this one. It'll be this page: “61* Reasons Why the Yankees Suck.” It'll be me.
I discovered this on Saturday and have been tickled ever since. I will wear the mantle proudly.
Jeter = To Throw Away
It’s always amused me that jeter in French means “to throw away,” although, to be fair, Derek Jeter's throwing arm has never been much of a problem. He's got a gun. It's his range that's been the problem (if you're a Yankees fan) or a secret joy (if you're not).
But I'm talking about another kind of throwing away. Of money.
What salary suits a legend most? Baseball fans have been wondering all year—particularly when Jeter's production went down and it became apparent it wasn't going back up.
In 2010, according to ESPN.com, Jeter made $22.6 million in the final year of a long-term deal, and, for all that money, this is what he gave the Yankees: career lows in batting (.270), on-base (.340) and slugging (.370). In the postseason, over 9 games, he posted a .289 on-base percentage from the lead-off position. In the last two games against Texas, as the Yankees went down and out, he never even hit the ball out of the infield.
And he's 36 going on 37.
But he's the Captain. Mr. November. Beloved in the Bronx. Most hits in Yankees history. So what do the Yankees do? And what does Jeter do?
Ben Shpigel of The New York Times wondered about this last week.
Most of what he writes is fine. One graf, though, stands out to anyone who doesn't live in New York:
If this were only about baseball and future production — and not about Jeter’s symbolic importance to the franchise — the Yankees could argue that Jeter, based on his statistics, age and veteran status, might be in line for a 2011 salary that would be half of the $21 million he earned in 2010.
Half $21 million? So $10.5 million? If he wasn't Jeter? That seems absurd. So I did some checking.
Out of the 149 major league players with the qualifying amount of plate appearances in 2010, Jeter ranked 115th in OPS, dead even with Orlando Hudson, the second baseman for Minnesota. Hudson made $5 million last year. And that salary was based on better numbers from the year before (.774 OPS). He might not make that now. And he's four years younger than Jeter.
So let's try the year before: 2009. The goal is to find a shortstop who hit about what Jeter hit in 2010, is about the same age, and became a free agent at the end of the season. And there is a guy. His batting average was higher (.284) but his OBP was lower (.316) but his slugging was higher (.389). Full-time player (656 at-bats). At the end of the season he turned 36. His name is Orlando Cabrera. He became a free agent and signed with the Cincinnati Reds in January 2010. For $2 million.
But that's unfair, too. Cabrera is a lifetime .715 OPS guy. Jeter is a lifetime .837 OPS guy. There's always the hope that Jeter's poor performance in 2010 was based upon some injury. There's the hope he can rebound in 2011.
So is there a guy with similar career numbers as Jeter who had a 2009 similar to Jeter's 2010 and then became a free agent?
Tall order. But Miguel Tejada is kind of close. His lifetime OPS is lower, .801, but he is a former A.L. MVP, a half-time shortstop, and currently only a month older than Jeter. In 2009, when he was 11 months younger than Jeter is now, he had a pretty good season with Houston. Hit .313, slugged .455, led the league in doubles with 46. An OPS of .795. Much higher than Jeter's .710 in 2010. And for all that, in January 2010, Tejada signed a one-year deal with Baltimore. For $6 million.
I have no idea what Jeter will ultimately get from the Yankees. But anyone thinking he'd get $11 million per if he had the stats of Jeter but not the cache of Jeter is in a New York state of mind.