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Ranking the blame as Yankees get swept

Oct 18, 2012, 7:47 PM EDT

Robinson Cano AP

It takes more than a couple of goats for a team to get swept in a seven-game series. Let’s run down the five people most responsible for the Yankee meltdown.

Derek Jeter‘s ankle not being a person, we’ll leave it out of this.

5. Eric ChavezAlex Rodriguez struggled mightily, yet Chavez was worse. A-Rod finished the ALCS 1-for-9 with three strikeouts. His replacement at third base was 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. Chavez also committed an error in Game 3 and made what seemed to be a lazy defensive play in Game 4, hanging back on Omar Infante‘s infield single in the first inning. Infante came around to score the Tigers’ first run of the game.

4. Mark Teixeira – After a nice ALDS in which he went 6-for-17 with five walks, Teixeira hit third and fourth in the ALCS, displacing A-Rod, yet he went without an RBI in the series. Of course, that hardly makes him unique among Yankees players. Still, it was bad enough that he wasn’t hitting; his two defensive miscues in Game 4 led to a run in the third and probably contributed to CC Sabathia‘s blowup in the fourth, given that the big left-hander had to face three batters too many the previous inning.

3. Joe Girardi – Sitting Rodriguez was appropriate, if oddly timed. And while I’m in the minority, I don’t really blame him for not hitting for Raul Ibanez at the end of Game 3. Benching Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson was pure desperation and was counterproductive to the Yankees’ chances of winning. Then in Game 4, he suddenly became more interested in getting everyone into the series than trying his best to set up an unlikely comeback. Still, it’s really hard to look at this series and suggest that Girardi’s performance was worse than the guys who took the field.

2. Curtis Granderson – Granderson’s big homer in Game 5 of the ALDS didn’t let him off the hook for long. He went 0-for-10 with six strikeouts and a couple of walks before taking a seat prior to Thursday’s Game 4. When he did make an appearance in the finale, he struck out once again. Granderson’s pull-happy, uppercut swing has made him a big threat in Yankee Stadium, but his old Tigers approach might have done him more good here. That said, he was surely more likely to help in Game 4 than a rusty Brett Gardner.

1. Robinson Cano – Really, this isn’t even close. Cano had one hit in 18 at-bats in the ALCS, a single in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s loss that ended his 0-for-29 skid. He also never drew a walk in the series. And in the Game 2 loss, he mishandled a double-play relay, giving the Tigers their first run of the game in the seventh inning.

Now, I still wouldn’t go so far as to say Cano was the Yankees’ worst player in the series; Rodriguez and Granderson probably had more bad swings while getting fewer at-bats. But Cano is the one who had the opportunity to do the most good — half of his at-bats came with men on base — and he never got the job done. His performance is the biggest reason the Yankees went down so easily.

  1. thebadguyswon - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    You arent winning jack next year. Your roster is old…Blame injuries all you want. Your team is old as dirt and your ace gets paid 25 Mil per and packs a 50 pound sack of flab around his waist. Is that Yankee Prestige? Jeter will be out for the start of spring training and who knows about the rest of the Geritol Warriors. 28….lol…yeah right. Buy your way out of this mess. The rest of MLB will be laughing.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      I’ll believe it when I see it. People have been saying this almost every year recently. It’s still absolutely possible (maybe even likely), but it’s been a while since betting against the Yankees was the smartest way to go.

  2. ericellers - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    I loved the first few idiot post. You haters need to find a hobby other then trolling on teams that reek havoc on your team?

    • rarson - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      Yeah, you guys sure wreaked havoc on the Tigers. Damn.

      I just thumbs upped his comment because of yours.

  3. ericellers - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Morons who no less about the game then they do their idiot post? You dolts keep spewing the same drivel every year and every the Yanks are in the hunt? To old ,really!? You know what’s old, that bs you hater keep shoveling year in year out. Give it a rest noob.

    • sj39 - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      I take it they don’t speak English on your planet?

      • protius - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        I take it they contemplate the irrelevant on your planet?

    • megl3155 - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      It’s not enough to be in the hunt, and Yankees fans know that. The Yankees got beat. They didn’t play well enough to win, and the Tigers beat them, in the postseason, for the third year in a row.
      And I can say this because I’ve seen my teams do the same thing–you can’t just show up and expect to win. Confidence is not arrogance, and the Yankees got the two confused.
      Bottom line, Yankees fans: we’re going to the WS, and you’re not. Even if we lose, we still got there, and you still didn’t.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Oh dear God please stop talking. The Tigers played better than the Yankees. Now, whether that’s much of an accomplishment, or whether they’re the more talented, or hundreds of other comparisons could certainly be debated, but the fact remains that the Tigers won. It hurts for me, too, but I’m doing my best not to spew aggressive nonsense that sounds like a drugged-up 12-year-old.

  4. guitarken - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Like I tell my son – they didn’t deserve to win because their big hitters all felt like they had to hit home runs. Ichiro was superb, Ibanez was superb, Derek was superb (before being injured). Tex was so-so. Grandy, A-Rod, Swish and Cano all stunk. Cano gets a pass. Swish is gone – can’t NEVER produce in post-season. Grandy cannot hit .230. A-Rod – well, A-Rod is A-Rod. Maybe he’ll be able to shorten up his swing and continue being a good major-league third-baseman. The pitching was superb and should be as good or better next post-season,

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 19, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      and why would that be?

      • protius - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        Why would what be?

        Ken made many arguments. Which one are you referring to?

    • protius - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      You told your son something you can’t support with evidence. Not a very good role model for critical thinking, Ken.

      Unless you’re clairvoyant, you have no way of knowing what the Yankee’s top hitters were thinking or feeling when they were in the batter’s box. And what’s with “can’t never?”

  5. mungman69 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Amazing.

  6. flyeredup - Oct 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Ball game over, series over, season over, Yankees Lose! Thaaaaaaaaaaa Yankees Lose! Smoke it Michael Kay!

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Michael Kay, John Sterling. Whatever, same thing.

  7. jimeejohnson - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Randy?

  8. ibeenthereandback - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    After weeks of hearing the B/S about what an incredible hitter Robbie Cano is, its hard for me to ignore his complete failure in the postseason. And the failed throw (or whatever it was) on the double-play in game 2, is the product of his nonchalant approach to the game. Like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, no heart! If the hits come he’s OK with it, if they don’t, he’s OK with that too! Just blow a bubble, spit out the shells from the sunflower seeds, and smile. I’d like a guy who looks angry and disappointed when he stinks the place up!

    I’m hearing a lot of people saying the team needs to be built around him…the Yanks will sign him to a mega deal.

    That’s not a guy you build a team around moving forward. If I can play on the words of John Sterling’s home run call….Robbie Cano, GOTTA GO! Pick up the option and move him before spring training to a team that thinks he’s a player. We know better!

  9. banggbiskit - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Yanks are not build to ‘grind’. They’re built to overpower teams with the long ball. The beginning of their downfall was a game 4 loss in extras to Baltimore. If they win that game, CC starts game 1 at home vs Detroit. Color that a win if he pitches that game. In the actual game 1, A rod hit a tracer to SS that was brilliantly played by JP and ended the inning. If that ball gets thru, Yanks win that game and are off to the races, completely different series. Cano hit a ball that went off the pitchers wrist, and the replay showed he was safe.

    I think the blame isnt to single out individual players and point the finger at them for play poorly, the team isnt constructed to have to handle adversity, when the Yanks had some adversity, the curled up and went away. When non grinders have to turn into grinders overnight, the results can look ugly and this is what happened.

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