Oct
23

The Yankees, Cardinals, and a lesson in offense

By

(Christian Petersen/Getty)

The World Series starts Wednesday night and the Yankees won’t be playing in it because of their complete inability to generate offense against the Tigers in the ALCS. They scored six runs in the four-game sweep, and four of those runs came in two-thirds of an inning against Jose Valverde. It’s still fresh in everyone’s mind so I don’t need to remind you of how ugly the series was.

The Cardinals also won’t be playing in this year’s World Series because they too just stopped hitting. They blew a three games to one lead against the Giants in the NLCS and were outscored a whopping 20-1 in the final three games. That’s despite the presence of Carlos Beltran, a .363/.470/.782 career hitter in 151 playoff plate appearances and the proud owner of the highest postseason OPS in baseball history. It’s hard to believe that their offense just evaporated.

I bring this up because the Yankees and Cardinals have more in common than their LCS exits. They each led their league in offense during the regular season (113 wRC+ for NYY and 107 for STL), but they did it in very different ways. The Yankees hit .265/.337/.453 as a team and led the world in homers (245) while the Cardinals hit .271/.338/.421 with just 159 homers. The big difference is that New York hit .262/.345/.449 with men on base while St. Louis hit .272/.345/.435 in those situations. Same OBP but less power production for the Cardinals (due in part to the pitcher hitting), but they hit for a higher average in those spots (.272 was the seventh highest team average with men on base this year). Their offense was built more on sustained rallies and getting so-called “clutch hits” whereas the Yankees just bludgeoned their opponents.

Anyway, a lot of people attribute New York’s postseason failure to their inability to score runs without the long ball and want to see them embrace a more contact-oriented approach. I don’t necessarily buy the former but I am on board with the latter to a certain extent. However, the Cardinals had a contract-oriented approach and their offense still disappeared for a stretch in the playoffs. The point I’m trying to make is that there is no magic formula for a winning offense, there’s no right or wrong. You can do everything right and hit all the homers and drive in every runner in scoring position … and it still might not matter because anything can happen in a short series. It’s not luck, it’s just the day-to-day randomness of baseball and life in general.

Categories : Musings, Offense, Playoffs
  • Karl Krawfid

    A balanced offense would be great.

    • Mike HC

      Jeter, Ichiro and Cano are all excellent contact hitters. Tex and ARod were signed to huge deals in part because they could hit for avg and power. The offense was put together with the intention of being balanced. The Yanks strategy was not to put together an all power, low avg offense. It just worked out that way.

  • Get Phelps Up

    It’s pretty amazing that Beltran is one of the best hitters in playoff history and he has never even been to a single World Series.

    • vicki

      spend your career with the royals and mets; that’s what happens.

      ps. 124ab. derek jeter laughs at 124ab.

    • vicki

      spend your career on the royals and mets; that’s what happens.

      ps. 124ab. derek jeter loses 124ab between his sofa cushions.

      • Darren

        I like both of your comments. one more:
        ps. 124 ab. derek jeter just cleaned out his bellybutton and found 124 abs.

        • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

          Also, Derek Jeter takes more that 124 ab’s worth of Valtrex in the morning…

    • Josh

      He has. Was with the Astros when they made it.

      • vicki

        he was a rental there in 2004 but was in new york the next year when they made the series.

  • Elton Cod

    I do not think it was “just luck”. I do not think it was “random”. I do not think it was “because they only hit homeruns”.

    I DO think their performance throughout the entire second half made it evident this would happen.

    The team constantly fell down offensively even against exceptionally weak pitchers, a la Ricky Romero.

    The team constantly failed to score runners they had on base.

    They struggled to play .500 ball.

    Granderson looked terrible most of the time, Cano looked bad MOST of the time, Swisher looked bad MUCH of the time, and none of them ever looked like they cared about it. They didn’t make changes, they just shrugged and walked back to the bench.

    Then they came up against teams that were really good and had plenty of time to study them. So that tendency was just magnified – teams knew how to get them out and Cano/Granderson/et al just didn’t care, they just shrugged and walked indifferently back to the bench.

    Compare that to how gutty the Giants have been all playoffs, how defiantly they’re refused to go home. 6 straight elimination games! Without their star offensive player!

    The Yankees had none of that and it was a disappointment. You say the fans are spoiled, I say the players are spoiled.

    It would be fine that they “only hit homeruns” if they actually HIT them, instead of “flailing aimlessly in an attempt to do so when a single would actually win the game”.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      “The team constantly fell down offensively even against exceptionally weak pitchers, a la Ricky Romero.”

      They averaged 4.84 r/g in the second half. They sometimes fell down offensively, even against exceptionally weak pitchers.

      “They struggled to play .500 ball.”

      They played .558 ball in the second half. They played .645 ball in Sept/Oct.

      “Cano looked bad MOST of the time, Swisher looked bad MUCH of the time”
      Swisher wRC+ by month: July 107, August 157, Sept. 127
      He did have a horrible slump in earl Sept, but then bounced back.
      Cano wRC+ by month: July 130, August 133, Sept 170.
      He too did slump for a while. Then he bounced back. That’s how slumps work. They happen to all players. Sometimes at inopportune times.

      I say the fans are definitely spoiled. At least some of them.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        *5.09 r/g in the second half

      • jjyank

        You and your facts. Narratives are so much more FUN!

        *sigh*

      • Steve (different one)

        Yes, but they LOOKED like they didn’t care. What more do you need?

      • JLC 776

        The worst part about the post-season is how it fit into the narrative of all of the fans who hated the team.

        You come to enjoy the game so much more once you realize that the most maddening thing about baseball is its randomness.

      • Thunder Road Runner

        well, we weren’t exactly spoiled in the ALCS were we? That’s when the chickens all came home to roost

  • Eddard

    Look at how the Giants are winning! They’re putting the ball in play! When you put the ball in play good things generally happen. Against a poor defense like Detroit you want to put the bat on the ball and force them to field it. Expect the Giants to put the pressure on the Tiger D. If you strike out, nothing good can happen. That’s the argument made for great pitchers, strike out a lot of batters and there is no element of luck. So the reverse it true for hitters.

    And people think if you sign a bunch of big names that’ll carry you through. The playoffs aren’t about the big guys. They’re not about the Buster Poseys and the Miggy Cabreras, those guys are pitched around. The playoffs are about the Marco Scutaros and Delmon Youngs getting clutch hits and that’s why these two teams are in the World Series and we’re sitting at home. We didn’t get that Jimmy Leyritz, Luis Sojo or Scotty Brosius clutch performance from anyone other than Raul.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I wish the Yankees had more .296 OBP players like Delmon Young in their lineup.

      • jjyank

        #EddardWorld

        • Get Phelps Up

          I’d love to see what the Eddard All Star Team would look like.

          • jjyank

            Ah man. I’m too tired to tackle this in full now. But David “Big Game” Phelps would be the ace, and Eduardo Nunez would hit clean up. That much I know.

            • Get Phelps Up

              1B: No idea. Too many left handed hairy monsters here.
              2B: Marco Scutaro
              3B: Eduardo Nunez
              SS: Eduardo Nunez (so beastly that he can cover 2 infield positions at once)
              RF: King of teh walkoffz aka Melky Cabrera
              CF: Chris Dickerson
              LF: Cody Ross (DON’T ARGUE WITH THE 2010 NLCS MVP TROPHY!!!)
              DH: Delmon .296 OPB Young
              C: Cervelli

              I wanted to put Ibanez in, but then I realized he is a left handed hairy monster…

              • jjyank

                Ha, well done. I suppose 1B could be Ike Davis. Why not? Eddard can have ….parades too…..

                • Get Phelps Up

                  Is the parade worth having a left handed hairy monster on the Eddard All Stars? That is the question.

              • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

                you forgot Pete Kozma. definitely Pete Kozma

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  I’ll assume DeWayne Wise happened too far in the past for EddardWorld.

    • Steve (different one)

      Stupid Yankees, not being able to break a bat and have the broken barrel of the bat come back and hit the ball a second time and send it on a bloop into the OF with the bases loaded. No luck there.

      • jim p

        They practiced that like, what?, two days in Spring Training? If that much.

        • Joe Girardi

          I talked to Tex and Jonesy and that’s just not who they are. They’re pull hitters–that’s the bottom line–and I’m not going to ask them to drive banana hits to the opposite field with multiple bat strikes.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Can we redo last year and get Beltran for us?

    • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

      made it almost 20 comments without seeing this… I am surprised.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Just saying Mike, when I refer to the “day-to-day randomness of baseball and life in general”, I’d probably just shorten it down to “luck”, since that’s how I (and pretty much everybody else I know) uses the word.

    “How was your day today?”

    “Oh, it was really foggy out and I got in a fender bender when the driver behind me didn’t see me.”

    “Wow, it’s to bad what you considered an unfortunate event randomly occurred.”

    Sorry to be a dick, but this always bugged me. When people say, “We were just unlucky”, we’re just saying that we’re actually a really good offense that randomly went through a bad slump at the worst possible time. It’s really not more, or less, complicated than that, and it always annoyed me when people acted as if mentioning “luck” was a cop-out when both sides are saying the same thing.

    I don’t mean to pick on you or the article Mike, but this is a pet peeve of mine and this just happened to be a really easy opportunity for me to rant.

    /End Rant

    • vicki

      the confusion arises from some people’s feeling that luck is a supernatural force, something one can believe in or not. i mean what you mean, but do you know how many people play lotto?

      • Mike HC

        I think you are on it. Some people call it luck, others call it odds.

    • jjyank

      I feel ya. I just think many among the RAB commenters (and maybe even Mike himself in this case) soured on the word “luck” thanks to Greg.

      I agree that it’s mostly semantics. I guess it just sounds better.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        Oh, that one was bad. It’s just a shame that Greg’s asinine bastardization of the word pretty much soured it completely for everyone.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      12 hours later…. :)

      I saw this more as a “Freakonomics” kind of thing than a “luck” thing, FWIW.

  • Mickey McMick

    That’s a nice bit of writing, Mike, thanks.

  • Jarrod

    I read RAB all the time so if this option has already been explored then I am an idiot, but….

    Have we had a good look at the option of trading Robbie Cano? Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, he is easily my fave Yankee but maybe this is a legit option for the following reasons:

    1. A-Rod – his contract is going to kill so many potential other deals over the next 5 years, especially if we are serious about staying under $189m.

    2. Boras – let’s be honest, he is not letting Robbie sign for less than 10 years ($220?) and as much as I love him, I implore the Yankees not to go down that path again – see point 1!

    3. Prospects – we are low on really good ones at the moment and surely trading Robbie could get some top prospects in the door.

    I would really hate to see him walk this time next year anyway because someone else is prepared to pay for the dream – and someone will, they always do.

    Any chance of an in depth look at this Mike? Please….

    • jjyank

      I’m sure RAB will do a post on this. I will say though, that I don’t think Robbie gets 10 years. I think people get waaaaay too caught up in the reports of what a player is “seeking”. Fuck, I’m seeking a 10 year deal too, but I won’t get it.

      Think about it this way: the highest paid second baseman right now is Ian Kinsler. He signed a 5 year, $75 mil contract. Cano will assuredly get more than that. But double that? I don’t think so. Boras is Boras, he’s going to market him as a Pujols. Why wouldn’t he? Doesn’t mean it’ll happen though. Boras is also the guy that had to settle for one year contract on Ryan Madson and Edwin Jackson.

      So we’ll see. I feel pretty confident in saying that no team would offer a middle infielder a 10 year deal. I have no doubt that Cano’s deal will far exceed Kinsler’s but, I think we need to keep that in mind. You know every single GM will be.

      • thenamestsam

        Exactly. I’ve seen people saying that they think Robbie will get 2x the years and 3x the money as the highest second baseman contract in history up to this point. I love Robbie, but that strikes me as unlikely.

        • Jarrod

          I agree, no way Boras manages to get 10 years for Robbie but I think anything over 6 is too big as well.

          We can’t keep having the team anchored by mid 30′s vets in decline which is where Robbie would be at the back end of any contract over 5-6 years. It’s arguable that we have already seen the best of him, why pay more for the rest?

    • JLC 776

      The A-Rod contract looms like a dark cloud, but I honestly think we have at least two solid years of an (at least) average player and that’s really not too terrible in the grand scheme of things. I’m fine with .270 and occasional bursts of terrifying power.

      As for Cano and Boras, let’s worry about this one when real negotiations begin. The first offer is always from the agent and it’s always the ‘anchor offer’. You never get more than what you ask for, so you always, 100% of the time, need to ensure the first offer is truly MORE than what you want.

      The prospect situation is very, very gray. Every organization has a prize or two that just flat out doesn’t pan out. Every organization has an average guy or two that comes out of nowhere to be a solid contributor at the major league level. The gap between the best and worst in baseball is narrower than it has ever been before; betting on prospects is not nearly as lucrative as it used to be.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I think it’s fair conversation. Sure. It won’t end well, but its fair conversation.

      Then we can revisit my crazy-ass Robbie-Reyes/Stanton thing.

  • retrorob a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Eddard

    Only one team will win the World Series, and for those that lose, be it in the WC game, DS, CD or WS, the media and fans will come up with excessive reasons their teams “failed,” even while being better than almost all the other teams in the game.

    Don’t take this to mean that I don’t think the Yankees should strive to improve. Of course. Yet I’m not going to imagine reasons why the Yankees offense failed. They didn’t hit. So now it’s because they’re too reliant on the HR. If they were less of a HR hitting team, people would imagine that if they had more power they would have won.

    In the end, only one team is going to win it all.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      A bit ballsy to use the ridiculous upside handle.

      • retrorob a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Eddard

        Ballsy anonymous posters with attitude. It’s what the Internet’s about. And porn.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          I didn’t read the open thread before reading this and I was almost convinced. Bravo.

          • retrorob a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Eddard

            …and since this will be my final post of the evening, retrorob a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Eddardgoes off into retirement.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Please…..stay…….

  • JLC 776

    I fully admit; I was counting – literally counting – the innings of game 7, hoping that the Cardinals wouldn’t score, just so that a few articles like this one would be written.

    Not that I was wishing for anything bad against St. Louis, but I was hoping the narrative of a team built like the Cardinals hitting an offensive drought would pop up provide contrast for the Yankees’ woes.

    Baseball’s postseason is a crapshoot and with 10 teams making it in each year, expect randomness to take an even larger role in the future.

  • Rich in NJ

    Perhaps this is a minority opinion, but a large part of what makes rooting for a team enjoyable is to be able to watch young players develop and become established MLers, or perhaps even stars, particularly on offense. So even if the team falls short, there is hope for better results in future seasons. The Yankees’ roster this year was almost completely devoid of young players with upside, which made the season kind of boring. With that in mind, the player I enjoyed watching most this season was Hughes.

    • retrorob a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Eddard

      There is truth to that.

      When the Yankees collapsed in the early 90s, I enjoyed watching Bernie come up, and even Leyritz and Verlarde, and of course following the debate on who they should draft with the #1 pick (Taylor), then Jeter the following year, watching him make the majors, along with Pettitte, Posada, etc. That’s probably why many were upset with the Montero trade. Even if Pineda had not been injured, fans were still interested in following perhaps the next big Yankee to come up through the farm.

      • Darren

        remember leyritz’s first AB?

        • retrorob a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Eddard

          Strangely, I think I do. It was a 9th-inning pinch hit to tie the score against the Orioles. Can’t remember the score at the time or the outcome, but I remember his debut.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I remember thinking Leyritz’s first named was Henry. I’m not lying.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Phil was fun, getting Joba back was fun, Nova and Nunez had quite a few sparkling moments to go with a few ugly ones. Phelps showed a veteran’s maturity and a willingness and ability to make adjustments. If Nova can do the same and be consistent then he has great promise. I think Cervelli will end up trade bait before makes any more contributions to the team.

      Please no more about Banuelos, Mesa, Montgomery. Just let ‘em play every day in AAA until their time comes.

  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    So John Sterling has been right all these years?

    • the Other Steve S.

      been waiting for this

  • dalelama

    Bad luck is how you explain the failure of those you like. To those with actual experience playing baseball at a high level rather than just analyzing numbers and writing about it the flaws of this Yankee team (no heart, no guts, no spine) are obvious.

  • Kevin Ocala, Fl

    Thank God that someone can come up with a different explanation. Every year teams win WS, and every year the pundits confuse cause and effect. Well done!

  • Kevin

    It’s tough accepting it when the crap hits the fan, but baseball is pretty random. Every post-season produces some unique story the media can ‘sell’.

    It’s painful to bring up, but only once in history has a team had a 3-0 post-season lead and lost 4-3. Statistical oddities happen. Somebody has to win the lottery sometime.

    With that in mind, only once in history has 9 of a team’s 12 bats gone to sleep simultaneously, in a historically low funk; whilst the team’s hottest hitter shatters his ankle; whilst the 1B hits .290 and only gets 1 RBI; whilst the speedy outfielder who was injured all year cannot regain his touch at the plate; whilst the 3B still has a weak wrist from an injury and cannot generate any power; whilst umpires blow two major calls in the first two games; whilst morale sinks to a new low; whilst even the ace of the staff – with a weary elbow – surrenders the final game. I hate it, but crap happens.

    None of this is to say the Yankees cannot and should not seek to improve. A more balanced line up approach wouldn’t hurt I’m sure. With that in mind, one suggestion (not necessarily the best, or even good) is Ichiro on a 1 yr deal to bat 2nd with Gardner at 9 – giving three contact/speed hitters in a row in the line-up. But that only replaces Swisher who – as mentioned above – actually had a pretty good 2nd half.

  • Mick taylor

    I wanna see the tigers or giants have the umpires in the first 2 games make calls like they did on cano at first base and infante aim the second game and overcome them and still win the world series. Yes the cliche is the yanks should have overcome them, but had cano been called safe at first which he was the yanks win game1. Who knows how that might have effected the yanks. Up 1-0 the hitters may have relaxed and hit better.but it is just a coincidence that selig has done everything to screw the yanks with his changes inthe wayteams can spend money and his umps pulled this shit. Heymike, how about a thread on how many blown calls in crucial games this year went against the yanks

  • OldYanksFan

    Hey Mike… we need a Poll here:
    Question: What is the Maximum you would give Cano.
    My answer: 7/$150m

    My reasons:
    1) He’s a 2nd baseman. They don’t age well.
    2) He has a history of not walking. It’s very hard to have a good OBP as you age unless you take BBs.
    3) VERY non-selective. Again, as he skills diminish with age, this will kill him.
    4) Our history of long, bad contracts. If it weren’t for ARod, Teix and CC, I would be a bit more liberal.

    The shame of it all:
    The guy is all talent, as most of his problems are approach related. Take Swisher, Giambi or the King… Barry Bonds. The aility to work a walk keeps them valuable even when they are not hitting. Bonds had a career OBP of .444!!!! 4 years over .500, one of those tears over .600!!!!!!

    I read an analysis that says it was Bonds OBP (not slugging) that made him so valuable to his team. He got on base and did NOT make Outs.

    Cano may always be a great hitter, but I believe an older Cano will make plenty of outs.

    ARod’s career OBP 84 pts higher than his BA, and he is still maintaining it. Right now, it’s about the only thing that keeps him from being a total dud.
    Cano’s career OBP 43 pts higher than his BA. He will not age well.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      2nd basemen don’t age well yet you want to pay Cano till he’s 38 years old? I’d give him 5/$115-120 max and I’d try to get it done this offseason otherwise I’d shop him and get back what you can. That’s $40 million more than what Kinsler signed for and is more than fair.

      • Kevin

        Agreed re: 5 year deal. Arguably try to get closer to $100-$110. It’s still over $20/yr.

      • OldYanksFan

        No… 7 is too much for me, but do you really think he will sign for 5??? If he says 10, he wants 8… so I figured he would sign for 7. But I agree that 5/$115m is MUCH better, I just don’t think he goes for it.

    • Jarrod

      6/$130 max is my opinion. I agree with most of everything you say.

      I think there is a very solid argument (which I’ve already said somewhere in these comments) that we have already seen the best of Robbie.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    Mike,

    Your post was very good but I still believe a balanced lineup with contact and power is the way to go. Its keeps the ball rolling with pressure on the pitcher to not give up the multiple run HR in a perfect world.

    In line with my first paragraph the Yankees can remain with a power lineup but players such as Swisher and Granderson who have shown little or no ability to change, react or adjust to pitching sequences need to be replaced when the opportunity presents itself. I know the argument for Granderson 43 Hrs and 100 RBI’s hard to find but he has value which we could use for younger players who have the ability to replace with a more total comprehensive player who can make contact or move the line. Contact hitting is more than just placing the bat on the ball its advancing runners, sacrificing runners home from third. Its being productive with your AB. Granderson is woefull in this respect.

    As I have said before “Cano in the area of 5@100 million” if not adios amigo. Just remember how many times he has waltzed down the line on a ground ball while Jeter is playing on a weak ankle busting it down the line. Do I think Cano is a talented player? Yes I do. But if he doesn’t exhibit a change of attitude. It will eventually permeate through the team as the multi-year contract with big numbers is seen as acceptance of his lack of hustle. This is one of the few areas that I have an issue with Girardi.

  • steves

    Nice theory this randomness. How do you explain 51 playoff appearances, 40 pennants and 27 World Championships in the last 91 years (and throw in an extra first place finish in 1994)? Is it as simple as the Yanks are just better at this random thing than all other teams?

    • Jarrod

      Haven’t bothered to do the research but I imagine getting to the playoffs more often than everyone else will explain it and $$ take care of that generally.

  • Grover

    Let Cano play out his option and slow play the negotiations with Boras on the lower premium position of second base.

  • TomH

    It’s not luck, it’s just the day-to-day randomness of baseball and life in general.

    I dunno about either side of this sentence. There’s that old story about how, to a guy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. For people concerned with statistics, etc., etc.

    This randomness-in-general is best suited to people concerned with particle physics, a weird world of absolutely no relevance to everyday, existential life, where your love for family, say, (or your ambition, or your virtue, or your vice), is not generally random). But, boy, do probability theorists ever love the particles!

    Many things went into the Yankees’ offensive collapse. Lack of contact hitting was surely one element. However, that the presence of such hitting did not help the Cards doesn’t prove anything about its relevance to the Yanks. Time and again during the season they failed to get even dinky, but desperately needed, singles.

    Fatigue may have contributed: fatigue as a result of age in some players, yes. But also the fatigue that comes from having had to play at concert pitch all of Sept. and into the first few days of October, just to win the Division. To then move right into the post-season and to maintain concert pitch–full focus, intensity of concentration, etc.–may have been too much to expect.

    Injury may have contributed, and I would say that the key injury was to ARod’s hand. This ARod-fell-over-the-cliff story is hogwash. There is no reason to believe he’s so grotesquely finished. Occam’s Razor suggests that the effect of a busted hand on the violence of a swinging bat is the more prudent explanation.

    A corollary of the contact deficiency is the All or Nothing At All Syndrome. It’s not so much that they hit “too many” home runs. I’m not even sure what such a notion means. It’s that people like Granderson and Swish in particular seem, to the TV Watcher Eye, not even to remember how to swing prudently. It’s let-’er-rip, Katy-bar-the-door, we-don’t-need-no-dinky-singles, over and over and over. It makes them suckers for really intelligent pitchers. Oh, hell, it makes them suckers for even not-so-intelligent pitchers!

    • Elton Cod

      Holy shit! Someone actually gets it!

      Yes. Baseball players are not particles subject to the whims of the existential randomness of the world.

      They are human beings, _subjectivities_ with wills and intentions and all that shit, not just molecules subject to the Holy Laws of Statistics as laid down by Bill James.

  • thenamestsam

    Just wanted to say this is a really great post. Regardless of how good or bad they are 3 or 4 games just don’t tell you much about a baseball team, whether that team is the ultra-clutch Cards or the super-chokey Yankees.

  • TopChuckie

    When exactly what you feared, worried, and predicted would happen happens, it’s a little difficult to write it off as luck, randomness, or the “unpredictability” of a short series. What happened in the playoffs surprised no one, at least it shouldn’t have.

    • Hardy

      I would like to see the prediction that Raul Ibanez would be the best and Robinson Cano the worst hitter in the playoffs or that CC Sabathia would give up as many runs in his one single ALCS start as the other three starters combined.

      • Kevin

        Exactly. Yes, the Yankees looked old, injured and shell-shocked in the post-season. But this is the same offence that was the best in the AL for 6 months. I’ll take a 162 game sample over a 9 game sample, thanks. People predicted that the Yanks might struggle to score enough/as many runs due to RISP issues – people did NOT predict that the entire offence would tank all at once. I seem to recall people talking about Cano continuing his hot-streak and Swisher/Ichiro hitting form at various points in September?! It’s easy to be revisionist in hindsight.

        Somebody, somewhere, had a bet on the Orioles getting to the post-season and/or still having a chance to win the division on the last day of the regular season. That somebody is now probably trying to claim that it was ‘obvious’ that Jones would break-out, Davis would bounce-back, McLouth was ‘always’ going to sign mid-season and hit 2008 form, the rotation was ‘bound’ to be injured, ineffective, replaced, then efficient. That person is lying – that person took a 100/1 punt and it paid off.

  • Andrew J.

    Game four. Two hits. Embarassing. No way to sugar coat it. team BA was on par with BA of pitchers in the National League. Paul oneil would have destroyed a few water coolers. Swisher gave that same frat boy smirk looking up to the heavens.

    • DC

      Yeah, that’s why they lost…too much smirking and not enough destroying equipment.

      • MannyGeee (Eddard’s Big left handed hairy monster)

        Andruw Jones & Carlos Zambrano take offense.

  • Vic

    Random or not, your odds go up when you have more than one or two players with championship hearts.