LADY AT THE BAT: Yanks In The Playoffs: Some Thoughts On Those Painful First-Round Exits

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yanks In The Playoffs: Some Thoughts On Those Painful First-Round Exits

Last night, as the Yankees moved closer to losing their second straight game to the Detroit Tigers, a thought popped into my head that I am sure would be considered almost blasphemous had a Yankee fan known I was thinking it. (Actually, I tweeted it, but it seems to have gone unnoticed.) Here's the thought:

Why even bother trying to make the playoffs if you're always going to be eliminated in the ALDS?

If I were a fan of the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals, or some other team who is always on the outside looking into the playoffs, the answer to this question would be easy, and there is no reason to even state something so obvious. But I'm not a fan of such a team. 

I am a fan of the New York Yankees, whose mission statement every year is to win the World Series. They have done this only once in the past 10 seasons. Most of the remaining 9 seasons have ended with the team being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. When I think of painful memories as a Yankee fan, those eliminations, for me, are at the top of the list. The 2004 ALCS collapse isn't even as painful for me as those first-round eliminations were. I may sound crazy, but I'll take a collapse like that over a nearly annual first-round exit anytime. 

So, again I ask, why bother? Click on "Cheers & Jeers" below to let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Bernadette but I have to disagree with your viewpoint and call it very confusing as well. I am going to tackle your view in two parts.

First, You say that losing in the 1st round over and over again is worse than losing once by means of a collapse that has never been seen before (3 games to none lead in a best of 7) in the ALCS to the Red Sox? There are at least 4 major reasons to hate that one more. First, the Yankees only needed one more win to make the W.S. which the Red Sox won so it could be said that had the Yanks gone to the Series they would be the favorite. Second, the Yanks collapsing against the Red Sox makes it 100x worse than losing in that fashion to any of the other A.L. Teams. Third, the Yanks losing to Sox allowed them to break their "curse" and win the W.S. by going through the Yankees. Lastly and most importantly, no team had ever blown a 3-0 lead in an ALCS, an epic failure for the franchise. The Yanks have made history in many ways but that's not a way they wanted to.

Second, your logic states that it is better to not make the playoffs than lose in the first round. The reason why this is wrong is that no team can foresee how they will do in the playoffs. By making it in, Yankee fans have hope for a ring rather than the knowledge of having no chance. Also, your logic leads a reader to the incredulous idea that you then think that not making the playoffs is better than losing in the ALCS! (which you said is better than losing in the first round every year.) The reason why this is wrong is because by being in the ALCS Yankee fan excitement would be through the roof.

Lastly, I would like to touch on one other point. The Yankees, even with a $200 Million Payroll each year have to deal with long term contract ramifications. That means that often times there will be a wave of contracts every few years of aging players that will slow down the team every few years. This is why it is often said that a team has "windows" of opportunity every few years. Those "windows" occur when the team is collectively young and in their prime or also happens when a slew of contracts of aging veterans has expired simultaneously giving the team financial flexibility to make big changes in one year (remember 2009 - $56 Million of expiring contracts of Pavano, Giambi, Mussina, Abreu led to CC, Tex, AJ all signed that year and the Yankees won a title) Therefore, it is impossible for any team to compete for a World Series title every single year. Long term guaranteed contracts prohibit this. Why do teams give out these contracts? It's the cost of doing business because some other team will always desperately want to win now and give the player the deal that will bring that player to them.

Bernadette Pasley said...

All good points, sir/madam. I understand what you're saying. I guess what bothers me is the almost ANNUAL elimination, having to suffer the same defeat every year.

Hopefully all this worry is for nothing, however, and they'll advance all the way to the WS.

Thanks for reading. :)