It went as we feared it would. The Yankees were barely there. They were done against Boston. Done against Baltimore. And, last night, done against Houston. It was, as I think A-Rod expressed it, as if they’d hit a wall. And so the 2015 season is over for them. Yes, it was great to make the playoffs, even if it was a one-game Wild Card contest. But let’s be honest. We were all hoping for more.
It wasn’t that hard to watch the game, oddly enough. The Astros played with the youthful vigor, athleticism and fearlessness that characterized the Royals last year and once again our Yankees looked old and un-athletic. They started the season surprisingly strong but petered out, which is what an old team does. It was nice to have the infusion of Bird, Severino, Refsnyder, etc., but this wasn’t a particularly versatile team. Girardi didn’t have them try to bunt their way on base, just to get something going that might lead to a run. Neither did Torre when he managed in the more recent playoffs. And their answer was: “You have to go with the strengths of the guys you have.” Well, then why doesn’t Cashman ever get guys who can do more than stand there and swing the bat?
I figured Gardner for that guy, but he was a disaster, not only last night but for a while. And yet Girardi started him over Ellsbury. I’m still scratching my head over that one, but I guess the binder knows all. Tanaka did well enough – not perfect, but two runs is nothing to freak out about if your team scores runs.
Would having Teixeira in the lineup have changed things? Who knows, but I doubt it. My sense is that he would have petered out along with the others by now.
I’m sad because for me the baseball season ended last night. I have no interest in watching the Blue Jays do their thing, although I’ll check in on the Dodgers, my California team, and hope they can solve the Cardinals this year.
I do wish Hal would sell the team, that Cashman would follow Billy Eppler to the Angels or some other team in a faraway land and that the Yankees could get the fresh start they need. Plugging holes with new faces here and there isn’t the answer. Either the Yankees need lots of big sluggers or an overhaul of youthful speedsters. What they don’t need are old warhorses.