My initial reaction

ALDS Game 4: Evening it up
A sobering thought

Derek Jeter and Chien-Ming Wang, the supposed ace of the Yankees, shoulder the load for a lot of the team’s troubles in this series. Joe Torre doesn’t get a free pass for the way he managed — or mismanaged — game 2 as well. More later. What a punch to the gut.

Update: One more thing: 128 days until pitchers and catchers.

Update by Mike: I just want to add one thing – to me, this was by far the most exciting and most enjoyable season to be a Yankee fan in some time. Sure things didn’t end how we all would have liked, but all year long the team dealt with adversity and battled back even after everyone wrote them off. I’m inclined to say that I feel more relieved than disappointed; it was such a stressful & difficult year that part of me is glad it’s over and in the past. Losing sucks, but I’m proud of my team and damn proud to be a Yankee fan.

ALDS Game 4: Evening it up
A sobering thought
  • Count Zero

    Agreed. On all counts.

  • Malcard89

    Yup, agreed. The smart money was to pitch Wang today, but who knew he’d have his worst outing of the season at home when the Yanks need him most?

  • ansky

    congrats Sox for your silver platter championship. Make sure you dont nap through all of the ALCS.

  • Ivan

    Man Borowski sucks

    • Ben K.

      Yes, he does. My ALCS prediction involves Borowski’s sucking. I bet the Red Sox win because Borowski records a blown save at Fenway.

  • Ivan

    I betcha Red Sox Fans are saying thank god we didn’t have to face the yankees.

    • Chris F

      i’m a red sox fan and i’m grateful that they don’t have to play the yankees not because i’m afraid of them, it’s because i can’t stand the 4 1/2 hours of acrimony every bos/nyy game promises. you can only stand so much intensity before you end up in a baseball induced catatonic state.

  • Joe

    The captain said it himself – they win or lose as a team. Well guess what – they pretty much all coughed it up. Personally I saw the Wanger cough it up from a mile away. Unlike the end of last year, this year he limped to the finish. He got lit up in by the Sawx and had issues with TB despite the win. As for the others, I think the kids did alright. Hughes, Joba, Cano, and Cabrera seemed more loose than the more aged vets. The big names seemed very very VERY uptight. If that’s going to be the case, maybe it might be time to cut them loose in favor of the kids.

    PS – keep the Wanger. Winning 46 games in 2.5 yrs at near league minimum is a bargain.

    PPS – I glad Big Stein wants them to win, but sometimes he ought to JUST SHUT UP!!! The players are uptight as it is and making the players afraid to fail makes everything worse. (That said he’s still better than Angelos.)

    • Count Zero

      Add Slam Duncan to the list of kids who were alright…albeit in limited playing time.

  • Travis G.

    hey, i was in agreement with Joe to start Wang tonight, so i cant kill him for that. it seemed the right move and i thought Byrd would get pounded (which he nearly did).

  • Ivan

    for some reason this loss doesn’t sting as much like the series against the angels two years back and last year to the tigers. Nevertheless it was dissapointing.

    Well the yankees do have some young pitchers and some young position players coming up soon.

    I just feel next year with our pitching is going to get better and by 09 (I know that’s looking too far ahead) but by then I think we can win the entire thing because of our pitching. Hey give Cleveland credit (except Byrd and Borowski who suck and were basically lucky) they did a heck of a job and hopefully next would be different. damn I sound like a cub fan lol.

    • Count Zero

      It doesn’t sting as much because you’re getting used to it. ;-)

    • Count Zero

      I should add that personally, I would rather miss the playoffs completely for a year or two and then make a deep run after that than go through yet another consecutive first round loss. The continued postseason futility is really getting to me.

      • ansky

        You hit both of those on the head and this is all way too familiar.

      • Pfistyunc

        Absolutely agree. Getting blasted in the first round every year makes me feel like I should be doing the Tomahawk chop.

      • Joe

        Missing the playoffs for one year did wonders for the Sawx.

  • Mike R.

    It was a great season, I’m pissed it ended the way it did. I guess it’s time to let the offseason speculation run wild.

  • Ivan

    Yeah mike it was a heck of a season. You know what for some reason I feel like better things aree coming. For some reason I am not as depress as I was two years ago and last year. I truly believe that this was good year and while it ended dissapointing, it was a great season.

    I really hope they keep torre because I really think he’s key to this team but hey lets see what they gonna do here.

    Soon with the young talent we have especially with the pitching and Hughes being 100 % and Joba being in the rotation with Kennedy and fixing the bullpen and who knows maybe Tabata might do something lol. Nevertheless, while dissapointed I feel something big will happen just watch once our young pitching mature and know how to win in this town. It was a great season guys and I truly appreaciate talking with ya people through the ups and downs. Thanx.

    • Relaunch

      Matusi really came through.

  • Lil Jimmy Norden

    I was surprised at the lack of emotion I felt when it was over.

    I guess half a decade of futility in October will do that to you.

    I like Torre and what he brings to the club. But I think it’s time for a change. Our post seasons are getting worse and worse.

  • Stephen

    I disagree. The fact that it was such a good season makes this loss sting more than those in the past two seasons. I really liked this team with the comeback and the emergence of the young guys. It stings that the season had such a crappy end.

  • dan

    I guess David Ortiz started singing

  • Count Zero

    In a way, I think this was good for the kids. I think some kids named Jeter and Mo played minor roles in 1995 and watched from the dugout as an exciting team went down in heartbreaking fashion. Maybe it gave them a little fuel for when they took over. (That was the worst of all the first round losses for me.)

    Moreover, Joba, Phil, Shelley, Jose and Ross all got a chance to get their feet wet. And they did pretty well for the most part. Too bad IPK didn’t get a chance too.

    I’m gonna’ go sulk for a while and then get ready for the hot stove season. I feel really good about next year! :-)

  • Dan

    For me, this year stung way more than ’05 and ’06. It’s probably because I hated Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, etc and wanted major changes to the club after those years (feeling especially vindicated last off-season).

    I loved watching this team play–watching them celebrate and sip champagne in Tampa after the roller coaster season was tremendous. The chemistry was there and I truly thought that they were going to go all the way. It’s a shame. Although getting rid of Torre is undoubtedly the right thing to do at this point, I can’t say I’m happy about it. I don’t know what it is about these Yankees that cause them to implode in the post-season, but I really wish it wasn’t the case.

    Is it too much of a coincidence that the four most painful years of the Joe Torre Era have been the Alex Rodriguez era? Maybe the guy should go, after all.

    • dan

      I agree with most of that, although I haven’t made up my mind on arod yet.

      I was reading the comment, and I’m like “i don’t remember typing this?” then I noticed the D in “dan” was capitalized

  • Barry

    I’m disgusted. I’m sorry guys but the team needs to start looking in a new direction. I don’t know if A-Rod needs to go or Torre does but something has to be done. Hey, bright side, Joba = starter. Can’t wait until next season.

  • Marc

    Just wanna shout out to Mike A and Ben and the rest of the riveraveblues crew because you made this season the most fun for me hands down. thanks a bunch!

  • Relaunch

    I don’t even want to think about next season. this feeling is getting to redundant every year now.

    Its strange how we all come back for more of this every year. (yes, I am one of them)

    • Dan

      Yeah, it is feeling redundant but I definitely feel that the club (at least the front office) is taking steps in the right direction. Hey, everyone always says that the key to winning a championship is home grown pitching, right? Well, we’re getting there, and moving very quickly at that.

  • Lil Jimmy Norden

    letting arod go wont make us a better team. we need to keep him.

    as for joe, if he stays or goes i dont care. i can see pros and cons to it.

    whatever, this team has a bad series but they dont need a massive overhaul. few tweaks here and there.

  • Relaunch

    My stance on Arod hasn’t changed. I don’t believe one player in baseball makes a team. If he wants to stay, he will work something out. If he wants even more money, let him walk.

  • tony from the bronx

    the problem with this team is the same as it has been for the last 3 post seasons.Our big stars dont producewhen it counts.What did Posoda do?Jeter?A Rod?Wang?Look at all the teams that advance,there stars shine.Boston has Manny being Manny.Big papi! Beckett.If your money players dont play well you are not going to win in the playoffs.

  • Motown Yankees Fan

    I was at yesterday’s game and the pain is still so acute, but I hope in a few days I can put it in some kind of perspective. Right now, it feels like the worst loss ever. That may be because I saw it live, crowded into the rear bleachers which felt more like a locker room than anything else.

    I started this season thinking Torre had to go but I’ve grown to really appreciate him for some reason. The thought of him leaving depresses me, because I’m not convinced it is for the best. It may be, I’m just not convinced. His leaving could cause Jorge, Mo, Alex and Andy not to come back. That would kill me.

    Anyway, thanks to you guys at the blog for making a great regular season even more enjoyable. And thanks for the pitchers and catchers count down. I just hope the Rockies win the series now, just because they voted Mike Coolbaugh’s family that post-season share.

  • Bart

    Agree with Mike in a lot of ways –

    Karma and team spirit count for a lot — the Club House never sunk into dispair

    These guys battled togehter for two years now
    – the veterans with the adds of Abreu and Damon
    – the Kids, Melky and Cano have aanother yaer under them – they helped this turnaround

    Someone said this will be another DECLINE Year for the over 30 players – but i think not so much as the yongs guns will more than balance and the young old mix could be just right to make a tranision for the future that keeps the yankees competitve

    I like this team right now with IPK, Joba and Huges – plus a couple of the guys at AA/AAA

    I can’t say i like the decision making though — I think Joe cost about 20 games with lineups, pitcging maychup, in-game tactics — hunches

    But I didn’t like wang on 3 days rest and said so- I didn’t like Wang game sone in Cleveland at all and said so
    — But if you can’t bring yourself to trust Hughes on the small sample Sept – or Distructs Wang, small sample late Aug Sept
    – andwho knew what Moose would do; then Maybe JT just couldn’t see a way –

    BUT WHY is Pettit more important in the 2nd pivotal game so that Wang goes first and gets two starts instead of Pettit. Why isn’t game one the most important win and then we’ll take care of game 2 — theri is frea and lack of logic in moving away from your strength and relying on hope and a miracle — current performance is critcal to all athletics – and Wang’s recent current perfrormance was worse than pettit, Mussina (waek team sample) and Hughes

    I think managers are PAID to see that just like the rest of us in all lines of business

    Lots of people on this site commented on Wangs decline in September — the guy who got stronger over the last month was Hughes — if the Angels could use A Lackey as a rookie, and the Marlins a Becket, Burnett, why could Torre not use Huges especially if he was afraid (and perhaps should have been) to use Clemens and Moose

    Reason is FEAR and the NY press — they probably would have eaten him alive if the Kid had failed – but no one will beat him up for “the smart money on Wang”

    So does JT have to go — last three years I said YES — but now I say NO

    — I love this tem, i love Wang, I love Torre — I love this team for next year IF

    If BigStein can shut up and reflect on how ggod a job was done
    — and if Cashman can get rid of Torre’s crutches and not add any more mediocre / failed experience any

    — next year could be great

    — we will have some young stud /young gun pitchers going

    Keep and protect Posada — I see criticism of using Molina but if you want Posada’s bat in the lineup he needs more DH time and a conversion to 1b to prolong his career
    — Jeter doesn’t have long for SS — he could be one minor injury away from not being defensively effective — a kneer- a shoulder, another year of age — who wil fill and where wil jeter play if you want him to continue

    Keep ARod — cost doesn’t matter especially in a new Ball Park – eventually he will say the hell with it and just play –

    Keep Damon – hopefully he is smart enough to learn from the beginning of this year and stay in shape — he connects to the young guys as does ARod.

    Keep Mo

    Keep Abreu

    And give St Joe another year to bring Mattingly along

    Matsui, Giambi and Duncan share DH —
    If it can be done internally and you wan to keep these players — 1b / DH is what yo have to work with with an ocassional outfiled stint for Duncan – Matsui

    It would be beeter to fix DH and Fix 1B — that makes Giambi either very important if he can recover to full strength or expendable. Matsui si 4th OF and sometime DH. Sheely and Mankie — if emotion is important to the fan – this team with revised pitching can win it all – but if there is no emotion then fix IB and be prepared in 2009-2010 to fix LF, SS, and C.

    • Stephen

      You say that Torre cost the team 20 wins this season, say what you will about Torre but that seems a little steep. There’s no way this team was a 114 win squad.

  • usty

    I’m hoping cooler heads prevail and talk The Boss into rehiring Torre. What if Big Stein pulled a move to pay Torre less in a new deal? Who knows if Joe would take it, but it would let Steinbrenner be the evil boss he likes being while saving face without firing the only real manager who is available this off-season.

  • JP

    This year was a disappointment in a lot of ways but it also has me absolutely psyched about next year and the future. I hate all the cliché’s about next year but things will only get better from here. The team went from a win now team to a team of the future in a matter of one season.
    They kept the playoff streak alive and set the groundwork for the kids. If you told me that back in June I would have never believed it.

  • brxbmrs

    Tough to lose like we did (although not a surprise) – in an effort to not say anything based solely on emotion vs. logic, the thing I really want to see happen next year is Shelley Duncan get 500 AB’s as the RF\1B\DH.