What an embarrassing and heartbreaking end to the Yankee season. I wish I could just put it out of my mind. But I cannot. An analysis of what happened must be conducted. So, here goes:
How do you best describe the Yankees 2012 regular season? Another easy one. As a team they hit 245 home runs, more than any other team in baseball this year. (A close second would be their failure to hit with RISP.)
Is one stat related to the other? You better believe it is. Ask anybody with a decent amount of baseball knowledge and they will tell you that a live-and-die-by-the-home-run team will not live and die that same way in the postseason. Even I knew that. I have been saying it all season long, both here on the blog and on my podcast.
Now, if a woman like me (whose only connection to baseball is as a fan who started a blog five years ago) could foresee what came to pass in the ALCS (and to a lesser extent, in the ALDS), surely Joe Girardi and his coaching staff, all of whom played professional baseball and some of whom had at least a "cup of coffee" in the Major Leagues, could foresee it as well. Why, then, did they let this happen? Why did Girardi say, when asked about it during the season, that this is what this team is, a home-run hitting team.
Did Girardi and hitting coach Kevin Long really expect results that were different from what they got? I should include GM Brian Cashman, too. He is just as much at fault for putting this type of team together. And don't tell me they missed Brett Gardner. You need more than one Brett Gardner in the lineup to play small ball.
If they really expected to have a better playoff run than they did, they should pay for it. This reeks of incompetence. Kevin Long, and anyone who works with/for him should be let go. Whoever he answers to should be fired as well. That includes Joe Girardi and anyone in the front office who was involved in the decision to let this home-run insanity continue all season long.
I know, it's not going to happen. But hopefully the next best thing will: getting players to think small (ball) and adding players to the roster who already do so.