When Jeter went down it was like you could physically see the remaining Yankees deflating. Not that the Bombers were on top of their game throughout the ALDS series against the Orioles, but at least there was little bit of fire in their eyes. I'm one of those fans that sticks by my teams, especially the Yankees, to the last pitch. However, during the ALCS, it was apparent early on that the Yanks just weren't all there. After losing the Captain in extra innings during the first game, the future seemed bleak. Still, we hung on, we believed, but game two was even flatter than the first - even with Yanks pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda, hurling a perfect game through five innings (and a one hitter through six!) Game two blended with game three and by the time game four was rained out, we found ourselves almost thankful that we lived to die another day. And then the day came. The Yanks trailed the Tigers 0-3 in the series, but C.C. was set to take the mound. Everyone has an off day, and unfortunately Thursday, October 18th was Sabathia's day to be off his game. The game was ugly.
Alex Rodriguez was benched again, a decision I absolutely did not agree with. Sure Arod and his hundred million dollar contract weren't hitting, but neither was his replacement Eric Chavez. At that point, you need to choose Arod's fielding ability at third over Chavez's. Word around the web is that the Yanks are in talks to send Alex to play back in his hometown, Miami, and that the decision not to play him came from over Girardi's head. I feel for Joe, poor guy is being Billy Martin-ed by the Steinbrenners upstairs. If all this is true and the front office folk are choosing to sit Arod in order to piss him off enough for him to opt out of his contract and agree to go down to Miami, than so be it. But enough over ruling the manager, let him do his job, he's in a crappy enough position as it is. No one is hitting. I mean Cano, Granderson, Arod each had three hits all post season. THREE. Jeter left three games early and still ended with nine hits, as many as those three combined. Across the board the Yanks were flat, the bats were dead, the fielding was sub par, and even the addition of pretty stellar pitching performances were just not enough.
As if the loss wasn't enough, TBS made a mockery of the entire thing. The whole Cal Ripken commentating the Yanks/O's series was pretty annoying, but yesterday took the cake. In the bottom of the fourth, TBS got a headset on ace pitcher Justin Verlander for a dugout interview. The interview totally distracted from the game as Verlander and the commentators bullshitted back and forth as slowly the bases were loaded. As the guys in the booth tried to end the interview, Verlander interjected that the headset was good luck and that he was staying on, much to the network's delight. Being that the Tigers scored four runs that half inning, it lasted easily a half hour. Let's just totally disregard the game on the field and fuck around with Verlander, the viewers will love this, right? WRONG.
So ends the run of the 2012 Yankees. It's heartbreaking. Every year we strive for yet another World Series Championship and anything short of that is a failure. Yet, an American League East pennant was a great accomplishment and this team will undoubtedly bounce back next year. Nevertheless, I am and always will be proud to be a New York Yankees fan. I tell my parents all the time that it is the greatest gift they've ever given me. Next year we continue on the road to 28 World Series Championships. Until then, get well Jeter and Rivera, we need you.