Yankees Suck postsTuesday November 27, 2012
Jackie Robinson: Yankees 'Got No Class"
“The Yankees always managed to emit an image of refinement but up close they could be nasty, and during the  Series they'd been hurling some of the foulest racial epithets [Jackie] Robinson had heard all year. 'They got no class,' Robinson told one black reporter. 'They hide in the dugout and shout at me. If they weren't yellow, they'd come out in the open and saying something. What are they hollering? All kinds of filth. And race remarks. I wish I knew who they are. Nobody says anything when they get on base or out on the field. If they think they can upset my playing, they're crazy.'”
-- from Jonathan Eig's book, “Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season,” pg. 254.
What the Yankees Look Like Without Derek Jeter
Here's how Joe Posnanski ended his post about Derek Jeter's injury the other day:
To see him on the ground Saturday night, stretched out, not writhing in pain but instead barely moving at all, it was as if a box of memories opened up, and at the same time that the announcers wondered aloud how the Yankees might go on without Jeter, I tried to imagine how a Yankees team would even LOOK without Derek Jeter at shortstop. It's been so long, I cannot even remember.
Obviously too much attention gets paid to the Yankees because they're the Yankees, so both successes and failures are exaggerated, but this is what the Yankees looked like without Derek Jeter in the lineup:
|Game 1, 12th||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||0
They averaged a hit about every third inning. They only got four extra-base hits: Teixeira's double in the first inning of Game 2, Nunez's homerun in the 9th inning of Game 3, and Nunez's triple and Swisher's double in the 6th inning of Game 4. They scored two runs: both Nunez, Jeter's replacement, who drove himself in and then put himself on third with no one out. They never had a lead.
Meanwhile, Yankees fans, those spoiled shits, are getting screwed over by Yankees management in the new stadium. Here's a snippet from Jonathan Mahler's excellent piece in Bloomberg News:
For years, I shared a package of season tickets with a group of friends. I eventually bailed out, but they still had their tickets when the new stadium opened. In order to keep the same seats — which went from $45 a ticket to $100, in large part because they gave ticket holders access to a cheesy stadium bar called the Jim Beam Suite Lounge — they had to sign a two- year contract. My friends initially balked, but eventually relented after being assured they would have no trouble reselling tickets on the secondary market.
As it turned out, the Jim Beam Suite Lounge wasn’t such a big draw. People weren’t willing to pay a premium for the tickets, and my friends had to sell their extras at a discount. At the end of the season they informed the Yankees that they wanted to move to cheaper seats. They were told they couldn’t, and the Yankees threatened them with litigation if they didn’t pay up...The Yankees can buy all of the players they want, but they can’t make them hit. If they don’t hit, the team will lose, and Yankees fans — having emptied their wallets to see a winning team — will lash out, or simply stop buying tickets and merchandise altogether.
Last weekend, we witnessed the first rumblings of a mutiny. If things continue at this rate, the new Yankee Stadium may ultimately become just another symbol of an empire in decline.
I'd love to visit that ruin someday.
“Five more years! Five more years!”
Sad Yankees Fan of the Day
Since the fourth and final game of the ALCS was in Detroit, there weren't a lot of options for our “Sad Yankees Fan of the Day” award. But near the end of the game, as it became apparent that the Yankees would be swept for the first time in a best-of-7 series since 1976, and not even lead in a postseason series for the first time since 1963 (when they were also swept), the TBS cameras did keep finding this guy, on the right, who was apparently with his friend, on the left. At the least, they were wearing jackets that matched save for the team stitched on the front. At this moment, there's one out to go.
Final out can be seen here.
The Fall of the 2012 New York Yankees
In 1922, the upstart New York Yankees played in only their second World Series, once again against John McGraw's New York Giants, and got swept in four. The next year they'd finally beat the Giants for their first World Series title.
In 1963, the Yankees played in their 12th World Series in 14 years, once again against the Dodgers, previously hapless of Brooklyn, now of Los Angeles and led by “the Jewish Kid,” Sandy Koufax, and got swept in four.
In 1976, the Yankees, newly owned by George Steinbrenner after falling into decline under CBS ownership, made it back to their first World Series in 12 years and faced the powerhouse Cincinnati Reds. They got swept them in four.
In 1980, the “Bronx Zoo” Yanks, which won it all in 1977 and '78, during which they used George Brett's Royals as a stepping stone to the title, were not only finally defeated by the Royals; they got swept by them.
That's the last time the New York Yankees have been swept in a postseason. Until today, when the Detroit Tigers knocked them off, 8-1.
During the last few days I've witnessed, at least online, a lot of teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling from Yankees fans.
One friend, or a friend of a friend, a die-hard Yankee fan posted this short-term-memory lament during today's game:
What would George Steinbrenner have done after watching this totally disinterested Yankee lineup?
Here are some of the answers he got:
- Kicked some a** and gotten out the checkbook
- Flirted with a bikini model in the stands?
- Probably would have fired Billy Martin
Ian O'Connor of ESPN New York has told A-Rod to hit the road, jack. He said the 2012 Yankees had no business playing for the title and asked Detroit to end their (or his) misery.
It has. For the second year in a row.
So who was the last team to do that to the Yankees? Beat them two years in a row in the post-season? That would be John McGraw's New York Giants in 1921 and 1922.
We've come full circle. Start spreading the news.
No Tears for Jeter
At first it seemed like postseason baseball as usual.
The Yankees were losing 4-0 in the 9th inning at Yankee Stadium when two recent hires, two ex-Mariners in fact, Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez, both hit 2-run homeruns to tie the game and send it into extra innings. I was actually kind of rooting for Ichiro when he came to the plate with one out and a man on, because it's hard to turn that shit off. C'mon, it's Ichiro. And when Raul came up with two outs and a man on? I didn't assume homerun like everyone else. I wasn't worried. Sure, lightning strikes twice. But three times? Get out of town. When he did it, when Ibanez sent the ball over the right-field wall, I actually laughed out loud. It was so absurd. Has anyone had this kind of postseason? Ever?
It was also depressing. I assumed the game and the series were over right then. You don't give it up in the 9th inning in the postseason at Yankee Stadium and expect to win in extras. So Patricia and I began watching something less depressing, “Delicacy,” a 2011 French film about a young woman (Audrey Tautou) whose husband is killed in a car accident.
But it's a DVD so you pause, and in the pauses I'd check the score. Just to see. It was 4-4 for a while but I was sure, sooner or later, one of those pinstriped bastards would pull a Leyritz or a Jeter or a Boone. They always do.
They didn't. First, Tigers scored two. Second, Derek Jeter, Yankees captain, was helped off the field. Third, Detroit won it in 12. Wow.
It's a broken ankle for Jeter, which means the Yankees, the longest-running prime time soap opera this side of “Law & Order,” are now without their closer (Mo) and their captain (Jeter).
I'll spare the tears. You know how I feel. Jeter's had a good run. He's had a better run than any baseball player deserves. Here are the records he holds in career postseason categories:
- Games played: 158 (33 more than No. 2, Bernie Williams)
- At-Bats: 650 (185 more than Bernie)
- Hits: 200 (72 more than Bernie)
- Runs: 111 (28 over Bernie)
- Total Bases: 302 (79 more than Bernie and Manny Ramirez)
- Doubles: 32 (3 more than Bernie)
- Triples: 5 (tied with Rafael Furcal and George Brett)
- Strikeouts: 135 (26 more than Jorge Posada)
He's also third in homeruns (20), fourth in RBI (61), sixth in stolen bases (18), and first in FOX-Sports slow-motion shots of celebratory prancing and gamboling after the final out.
He's played in 38 World Series games, which isn't even top 10 (those '90s Yanks can't compete with those '50s Yanks), but it's 38 more World Series games than Ernie Banks or Frank Thomas or Ken Griffey, Jr. ever played in.
So no tears.
Here's Tyler Kepner's encomium/hand-wringing in the Times. Meanwhile, in The Detroit Free-Press, Mitch Albom reminds us that it ain't over as long as the fat man pitches.
Then there's, as always, Joey P., who gave me my first big laugh of the morning when the talked up all the big stories in the game last night—the public humiliation of Alex Rodriguez, the misplaced loyalty of Jim Leyland, the Hollywood heroics of Raul Ibanez, and, yes, Derek Jeter and his ankle—and then recounted the conversation he heard post-game on TBS:
“So what's the story of the night?” the question went.
“Delmon Young,” panelist and former pitcher David Wells said.
Exactly, see the … I'm sorry, wait a minute, what? Delmon Young? Because he hit a home run? Because he hit the ball that Nick Swisher misplayed? Delmon Young? That's like saying Johnny Two-Times was the star of “Goodfellas.”
Posnanski's ending is also true and poignant.
Is there a next gen for the Yankees? Or even a voyager?
Jayson Nix will replace Jeter at short but he's a career .214 hitter as well as a recent hire. The core of that '90s Yankees squad was home-grown and organic. This one is made up of Robinson Cano and middle-aged dudes from elsewhere: Teixeira, A-Rod, Granderson, Swisher, Sabathia.
Game 2 at 1 pm PST today. No mercy, Tigers. Derek Jeter would understand.
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard