Friday, October 7, 2011

Who's at fault for Yankees quick playoff exit?

When a good baseball team loses in the playoffs, the natural question is “whose fault was it”? With the New York Yankees, there are a lot of culprits.

We definitely know who is not at fault. Jorge Posada, in what could have been his last games as a Yankee, did everything he could to try to help his team ascend to the next round of the playoffs. Brett Gardner, the #9 hitter, had several clutch hits and made the Detroit Tigers pitchers nervous every time he was on base. And as shocking as this would have seemed going into the American League Division Series, AJ Burnett came through with the best starting pitching performance.

So who takes the blame? I’d start with CC Sabathia. The Yankees ace looked like a contender for a Cy Young award against any team not named the Boston Red Sox this year. And in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, he started off by giving up a home run in the first inning. He had a very rocky start in Game 3 (messed-up routine, tight strike zone, way too many excuses) against Tigers ace Justin Verlander. And when he had a chance to redeem himself last night, he gave up what proved to be the winning run.

But the middle of the vaunted Yankees lineup deserves a large share of the blame. Alex Rodriguez will get most of the attention, which he deserves for his 2 for 18 performance and strikeouts in key situations last night. But Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher both had bad playoff series for the third consecutive year. (For the ultra-popular Swisher, his futility at the plate again might have finally been enough for the Yankees to show him the door). These are the guys the Yankees should be relying on to drive in runs, not Brett Gardner.

I can’t decide right now who deserves the lion’s share of the blame for the Yankees too-quick exit from the playoffs. Maybe in a couple of days, I will get past the disappointment and see things more clearly. For now, I have to make other plans for Saturday night.


  1. In order of blame:

    1) Joe
    2) CC
    3) Teix
    4) Swish
    5) A-Rod

  2. I think Girardi got out-managed by Leyland a couple of times in this series, but I blame CC and the hitters more for this exit than Girardi.