The Decline and Fall of the Yankee Empire; Yankees Eliminated From Postseason

1992, the year that saw a great Pittsburgh team and a lousy Yankee team

1992, the year that saw a great Pittsburgh team and a lousy Yankee team

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Pirates who have made the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

1992 saw the Yankees, under new manager Buck Showalter finish fourth in the AL East with a 76-86 record.  They were 11th in attendance with a a measly 1, 748,737 going through the turnstiles.  A diminished Don Mattingly hit .288 with 14 home runs and 86 runs batted in.  Mattingly’s purported successor at first base, Kevin Mass hit .248 with 11 home runs and 35 runs batted in.  Other luminaries such as Pat Kelly, Andy Stankiewicz, convicted felon Mel Hall and Roberto Kelly ensured Yankee mediocrity.

Meanwhile the Yankee starting rotation of Melido Perez (13-16) Scott Sanderson (12-11) Scott Kamieniecki (6-14) and Tim Leary (5-6) instilled fear into the hearts of their agents.

But all was not lost.  On the team was a 23-year old rookie named Bernie Williams.  In the Yankee minor league system Andy Pettitte would go 10-4 for the Greensboro Hornets. Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada also played for the Hornets that year. Mariano Rivera would go 5-3 with the Ft. Lauderdale Yankees.

In 1993, in perhaps their best trade ever, the Yankees acquired Paul O’Neill from the Cincinnati Reds for Roberto Kelly.

And so the Yankees were poised to begin their championship run.

I mention this because the Yankees of 2013 resemble the 1992 Yankees (we even have some of the same players).  I said they resemble the 1992 Yankees with one important difference.  The Yankees of today have no minor league talent.

The Yankee championship teams of the late ’90s were tough, smart, ruthless winners.  But after the loss in 2001 to the Diamondbacks the Yankees began a policy of panicking every offseason and buying up whatever was available.  Even the 2009 championship was essentially bought.  But the Yankees can’t keep buying their way out of their own troubles.  The economics of the game have changed.  Small market teams such as San Francisco and St. Louis have won the last three world championships.  They did this by smart trades and available minor league talent.  Neither of which the Yankees seem to be able to do.

The Yankees seem poised for a few years of mediocrity.  But would that be the worst thing?  For one thing it would weed out the annoying fair weather fans.

Now on to the game:

The Yankees started Phil “Awful” Hughes (4-14 5.19) and the Tampa Rays started David Price (9-8 3.39).

P.S. Watching Phil Hughes pitch for the Yankees is a lot like twerking with Miley Cyrus.  It might be enjoyable for a few seconds but you’ll just end up feeling disgusted with yourself.  And you’ll need to take a shower.  And find a priest to confess to.

Tampa scored in the top of the first.  Right fielder Wil Myers doubled. The next batter, second baseman James Looney doubled to center scoring Looney. 1-0 Tampa Bay after 1/2 an inning.

The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the first.  Eduardo Nunez (now playing third and looking like a natural third baseman as opposed to the error-prone shortstop) led off with a double. After Alex “Just biding my time until the arbitrator upholds my 211-game suspension” Rodriguez struck out Robinson Cano doubled him home.  1-1 after one inning.

Tampa Bay took the lead again in the top of the third.  James Looney led off with a double and went to third when the next batter, Evan Longoria singled.  David DeJesus  then singled scoring Looney and moving Longoria to second.  After hit into a fielder’s choice Matt Joyce hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Longoria.  3-1 Tampa Bay after 2 1/2.

The Yankees got a run back in the bottom of the third when Eduardo Nunez led off and on a 0-2 pitch hit a home run into left field.  3-2 Tampa Bay after three innings.

The wheels came off the Yankee season in the top of the sixth.  Ben Zobrist led off with a single. Wil Myers then hit into a fielder’s choice and was safe at first as Zobrist was out 6 to 4.  James Looney then singled moving Myers to third. The next batter Evan Longoria hit a three-run home run to deep left. But the agony wasn’t over.  After Longoria’s homer David DeJesus came to the plate and hit the first pitch into the right field bleachers. 7-2 Tampa Bay after six.

The Yankees made it interesting in the seventh. Ichiro Suzuki, pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez, singled.  After a Robinson Cano single and a Vernon Wells walk loaded the bases Lyle Overbay, pinch hitting for Mark Reynolds walked, forcing home Suzuki.  Alas that the was only run the Yankees scored.  7-3 Tampa Bay after seven.

And that was the final score.  The Yankee loss combined with Cleveland’s win officially eliminates the Yankees from the postseason for only the second time since 1995.

Notes on the game:

As a tribute to their upcoming mediocrity, the first 10,000 fans in attendance were given the complete Chevy Chase DVD collection. Maybe there is something to this evil empire thing?

Best heckle of the game:

My heckle of “Since a faculty and its object are proportional to each other, the intellect must be related to the infinite, as its object, which is the quiddity of a material thing” didn’t fire up the crowd. In fact, I was beaten up.

Reader mail:

D.B. of Philadelphia writes, “You said quiddity”

It’s a word son.  Look it up.

S.J. of Harlem writes, “Quiddity.  Two for a dollar!”

When I take over the world your death will be slow and painful.

L.K. of New Jersey writes, “Are my army of canines a quiddity?

If you mean that your dogs are the essence of your army, the answer is yes.

A.P of Poughkeepsie writes, “I live in Poughkeepsie.  We have no stinking quiddity.”

I would have thought Tree City USA would have plenty of quiddity.

Recommended reading material:

All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.

And so my record for this year ends at a disappointing 8-8.

See you in April.  And bring your quiddity!



3 Responses

  1. My shit don’t have no quiddity; so stuff it!

    Good luck next year, mate.

  2. innominatus says:

    Not sure which is worse – to cling bitterly to postseason hopes (you) or have your team totally crap the mattress (me).

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