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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The morning after: Thoughts on the Yankees' ALCS loss

I had the worst dream last night. The Yankees got shut down by Colby Lewis and the Rangers, and lost the ALCS. What a nightmare. Oh, wait, that actually happened! Bummer.

I was very angry during last night's game, and I still think that Joe Girardi did a terrible job with his bullpen management moves. He had a quicker hook in the Taco Bell commercial for the chalupa eater than he did for pitchers who deserved to be taken out!

And you don't put in David Robertson with the game on the line when you have CC Sabathia, Kerry Wood, and Mariano Rivera in the bullpen. But hey, at least Mo was well-rested this week, thanks to him not being used on Monday, to pitch the bottom of the eighth in last night's 6-1 loss!

But those weren't the only things that went wrong during the ALCS. The Yankees got outplayed in every single facet of the game in this series. And for all of Michael Kay's talk on 1050 ESPN Radio about how Ron Washington is a terrible manager, Washington outmanaged, and his team outplayed, Girardi and the Yankees.

That being said, this loss was a team effort. You can't get stymied -- twice! -- by Colby Bleeping Lewis and expect to win.

However, even though I'm still bummed, I've calmed down a little, and I actually feel the least terrible that I have had in years after a Yankees series loss. I'm still peeved, but I'm not in complete despair or anything. After all, the Yankees did win the World Series just a year ago. As a friend said on Twitter this morning, "You know when people say 'act like you've been there before'? That applies to losing as well. The Yankees can't and don't win all the time."

Nothing will ever match the pain of 2004. Ever. Even now, I will still swivel my head like something out of "The Exorcist" if I see a clip on TV from that year. I have several good Facebook friends in Red Sox documentaries about that year, but there is no chance I will ever watch them in it!

But there have been some other bad Yankes series losses over the years. 2006 (Torre batting A-Rod eighth and being outmanaged by Jim Leyland) and 2007 (Bug Game) were worse than this year. 2001 was gut-wrenching at the time, but in retrospect, it was a miracle the Yankees even made it past Game 5. But I still won't watch clips from Game 7 of that series!

Funny thing is, though, is that I was able to deal with seeing the Texas Rangers and their fans celebrating last night without it making me want to pull an Elvis on the television set. Maybe it's because my nephew is a lifelong Rangers fan. Maybe it's because I lived in the state for so long. Maybe it's because it was interesting to see a football-loving state like Texas get excited over baseball instead of football. But I don't really have any vitriol towards the Rangers.

But as I noted last night, what I am still ticked off about are people like Mayor Bloomberg talking about planning the parade route, and Michael Kay showing such hubris in declaring the series over after one game. Oh, and Filip Bondy's thoroughly obnoxious "Count the Rings" take on the series still rubs me the wrong way:
[Nolan] Ryan's no-hitters aside, this ALCS represents one of sports' great historical mismatches, 40 pennants versus zero. The Yanks should win this series just by throwing their pinstriped uniforms onto the field and reading from a few pages of The Baseball Encyclopedia.
If only Bud Selig would agree to waive a few silly postseason rules, the Bombers might send their Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster to Arlington for the first couple of games, make this a fair fight....
The Rangers are the oldest of three existing major league clubs never to have won a pennant. They should be ashamed to bring their media guides to the Bronx....
Why are they even playing this series? Why don't they just use the scores from '96, '98 and '99?
"I can't even think back to those years," Jorge Posada said. "It's over. I don't think it matters."
It matters. The Yankees lead, 27 titles to none. Play ball.
So much for that, dude. Too bad Bondy, like his colleague Mike Lupica, does not allow readers to comment on his articles, because he deserves to be mocked mercilessly for writing those words. Worst. Column. Ever.

What do you think? Tell us about it!

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

Bondy went way too far with that. He went to the same high school I did (albeit 20 years apart), and said school got clobbered last night by a major rival. Maybe he deserved it, but I sure didn't!

I'd be bothered less if we (both the Yanks and Dear Old Alma Mater) simply got beat by a better team. The truth is, this series was lost more than it was won. The Rangers showed up, the Yankees didn't.

Yankee losses easier for me to take than this one: 1976 World Series, 1986 Division, 1988 Division (we weren't all that close in '87 despite being in 1st in July), 1993 Division, 1997 ALDS, 2001 World Series (though later Curt Schilling & Randy Johnson moments have made it harder), 2002 ALDS, 2005 ALDS, 2006 ALDS, 2008 Division.

Yankee losses harder for me to take than this one: 1980 ALCS, 1981 World Series, 1985 Division, 1994 Strike, 1995 ALDS, 2003 World Series (this one was kind of reminiscent of that one), 2004 ALCS, 2007 ALDS.