Yankees Suck postsWednesday October 10, 2018
Cry Me a River, Tyler Kepner
There may be no greater sense of schadenfreude than following the social-media paroxysms of Yankee fans rending their garments and pointing their fingers after their team has been blissfully eliminated from yet another baseball season. As happened last night in the Bronx, 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox.
No one points fingers like Yankee fans. The title was meant to be theirs, and now it's not, and someone has to take the blame. The main scapegoat this year is 2003 ALCS hero and first-time manager Aaron Boone, who waited obscenely long, like until the 4th inning, to pull starting pitchers; and then, particularly in Game 3—the 16-1 debaccle—didn't go to his top-notch relievers. Also getting the brunt: first-timer Giancarlo Stanton, who hit .222 (with a .444 OPS) over the four Boston games.
But of course there are others. Here's an eloquent Yankee fan on the subject:
100 wins, third-best record in baseball, ALDS: What else could describe that but disgrace? It's shit. Fans deserve an apology.
The mainstream press in New York doesn't exactly try to tamp down these emotions, either.
Shame? Wow. I‘ll remember that in April. I’ll channel Batman ‘66: “Come back, Shame.”
Over at the Times, Tyler Kepner’s think piece seems more circumspect (“Against the Red Sox, the Yankees Simply Don't Measure Up”), but don't kid yourself. Here's the end of Tyler's second paragraph:
“That makes nine seasons in a row without a championship.”
That sentence just drips with a sense of entitlement. He's not even talking about a pennant—something two teams (Nats, M‘s) have never even seen. He’s talking championships. He's talking rings. Because to the Yankee mentality, that's all there is.
As a reminder—to me if not Tyler—here's the championship/title drought for every MLB team, and where the Yankees place on it:
* Have never won World Series championship
** Have never been to World Series
So 23 of the 30 MLB teams are in worse shape. And they don't have those oft-mentioned 27 rings and 40 pennants to keep them warm.
But that's why, of course, nine championship-less seasons seem an eternity for the Yankee fan. Indeed, since 1923, when the Yankees won their first World Series championship after buying Babe Ruth and most of the best of the Boston Red Sox, they‘ve only had two title-less stretches longer than this: 17 seasons (between 1978 and 1996) and 14 seasons (between 1962 and 1977). The fourth longest, eight seasons, also took place in this century: between 2000 and 2009. Now this one has surpassed that.
So as Yankee-hating goes, this has actually been a pretty good time. Start spreadin’ the news.
Sad Yankees Fan of the Day
In case you‘re like some of my friends and don’t think this is of national import, the tweet below comes from the national correspondent of the Washington Post.
Happy Sad Yankee Fan Day!— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 10, 2018
Reading the schadenfreude on Twitter after the Yankees were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox last night, I have to admit: I didn't know there was so much of me in the world.
2018 Yankees Done
Was it better or worse that the Yankees got that 9th inning? Did it make it more painful for Yankee fans (“So close!”) or less (“At least we put a scare in the bastards!”)? And what the hell is up with Craig Kimbrel? He's lights out against most everyone else but with the Yankees he's got the yips. Here's his regular season numbers against other AL East teams:
Actually that Baltimore line is even nuttier, isn't it? A lot of it to do with this Sept. 26 game. And his overall line, while good, isn't near his standard. Last year, his K-BB ratio was 126-14. This year? 96-31.
Tonight, he came in with a 4-1 lead and went: Walk, single, strikeout. Walk, HBP, sac fly (to the warning track). Now it's 4-3, 2 outs, men on 1st and 2nd, and Gleber Torres at the plate. He hits a slow nubber to third. Helluva play by both Nunez to field it and Pearce to scoop it and stay on the bag. Baseball is a game of inches. And in those inches went the Yankees' season.
Here's the legion of honor this century:
- 2000: Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets
- 2001: Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks
- 2002: Los Angeles Angels
- 2003: Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Florida Marlins
- 2004: Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox
- 2005: Los Angeles Angels
- 2006: Detroit Tigers
- 2007: Cleveland Indians
- 2008: n/a
- 2009: Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Philadelphia Phillies
- 2010: Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers
- 2011: Detroit Tigers
- 2012: Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers
- 2013: n/a
- 2014: n/a
- 2015: Houston Astros
- 2016: n/a
- 2017: Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros
- 2018: Oakland A's, Boston Red Sox
The top postseason Yankee killers this century have been: Detroit (3-0), Astros (2-0), Angels (2-1) and Red Sox (2-1). The schleppers? Twins (0-5), A's (0-3), Mariners (0-2).
But enough. The important thing is they‘re gone. Start spreadin’ the news.
The Phrase that Unites the Country: ‘Yankees Suck’
A great moment of national unity occurred over the weekend. I‘ll let Boston Globe sportswriter Pete Abraham explain:
Our great country is divided. But the Red Sox and Mets fans at Fenway Park just joined together to chant “Yankees suck.”— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) September 15, 2018
Truly. You can see it here.
A reader recently asked me about my “team with the longest postseason drought” post from a few years back, and wondered about extra data on the subject. I sent him what I had, but it meant going through it again, and looking at all of those numbers again. It ain’t pretty:
- Of the 113 World Series in MLB history the Yankees have won 27. That's 23.9%. The second-most titles belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals, who have 11, or 9.27%. It's not even close. It's not even half.
- The Yanks average a World Series championship ever 4.19 years. They average a pennant every 2.83 years. More than one in three World Series involves the Yankees. On the bottom end of the scale, the Phillies and Indians average a World Series championship every 56.5 years.
- It used to be worse. During the Yankees heyday, from 1921 to 1964, they won 20 World Series titles and 29 pennants. That's 66% (29/44) of the AL pennants available during those years. The second-most pennants during this time? The Tigers with 4. Then it went: Athletics and Senators: 3; Indians: 2; and White Sox, Red Sox and Browns/Orioles with one each. No wonder Joe Hardy was willing to sell his soul to the devil.
- If you‘re curious who’s got the most pennants and titles since the Yankees heyday, here's your answer: the Yankees. Since 1965, they‘ve won 11 pennants and 7 titles. Second is the Cardinals with 9 and 4. Yanks aren’t dominating as much, but they still dominate.
- OK. So what about flat-out postseason appearances throughout MLB history? Who has the most there? Well, the Cards finish third with 28. Dodgers have 31. Yankees? 53.
I was in Minneapolis over the weekend visiting family, and when I landed late Thursday night and was waiting for a taxi, I noticed the administrator behind the plastic-glass was wearing an all-black Twins cap. “Why all-black?” I asked. He said the company only allowed black caps, so he got an all-black Twins one. I nodded. “Tough year this year,” I said. He nodded. Then I added, “But thanks for beating the Yankees twice this week.” He smiled a bit, shook his head, said: “I hate the Yankees, man.”
All together now...
Goodrum is Redrum for Yanks
Sometimes there's justice. For a day.
At New Yankee Stadium yesterday, that $1 billion boondoggle that swept aside great baseball history, the New York Yankees took a 7-5 lead into the 9th inning against the lowly Detroit Tigers, and had their $5.1 million set-up man, Dellin Betances, on the mound, because their $15 million closer, Aroldis Chapman, was on the DL. With one out, Betances gave up a 2-run homer to Victor Martinez—a line shot that just cleared the wall in right. The next batter was shortstop Niko Goodrum, 26, and earning $500k, which is a lot for you and me, but which is only about twice the Major League minimum, and of course 1/10 what Betances is making. Is that a spur for these guys? “Hey, you‘re not 10 times better than me!” Either way, Goodrum clobbered it to right, too, a long, towering shot that snaked just inside the right-field foul pole for the 8-7 Tigers lead.
Now the Tigers turned to their closer, one-time Yankee Shane Greene, earning $1.9 million. And he set them down in order: Gardner, who’s making $11 mil, Hicks at $2.8, and then the big bat, their key off-season acquisition, Giancarlo Stanton, all $25 million of him, who flied out to center. Game, set, match. And the Yankee faithful shuffled out in defeat.
The Yankees fell to 8.5 games behind the front-running Boston Red Sox in the American League East, but that's a bit deceiving. It makes it look like they‘re having a so-so year. They actually have the second-best record in the AL. Wait, scratch that. They have the second-best record in the Majors. That’s right. Despite all the injuries they‘ve had, despite the sense of gloom in the Bronx, they’re basically the second-best team in baseball. And then they picked up former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. And October's around the corner, where anything can happen.
But we'll always have yesterday.