I'm gonna say something important. I'm going to say it now because I really need to explain my mind set with this New York team. We weren't expected to do much this year. Remember that stupid Vegas odds stuff back in January? ONE THING BOVADA DOESN'T REALIZE... was written back then. The Yankees were 25/1 odds. The Houston Astros were 66/1 odds. Yet, those 2 teams were in. The Yankees came together as a team when they needed too.
Here's the problem, and there are several; They got tired. They got hurt. They got complacent. Their 2 headed hitting coach monster in Pentland and Cockrell didn't improve our hitting in the least.
In fact, one would suggest it was a waste of money to take on 2.
Our pitching broke down, just like last year... and the year before. And most importantly... Joseph Elliott Girardi relied too much on his binder instead of actually using his gut in certain match-ups and that happened all year. All those things together, provided the perfect storm for our now, loser New York Yankees. When we entered last night's game, no one in the country believed we had a chance. There was even a growing feeling among Yankee fans that we'd go in crossing our fingers.
ARod was tired. Masahiro Tanaka was not 100% and we just hoped he would pitch well. And for some reason, and it's a reason that will haunt Girardi for a while... he put in Brett Gardner instead of $153 million hitter named Jacoby Ellsbury, a guy we signed for power and energy and as Michael Kay believes... is one of the most talented players on the team. For me... that alone is the most ridiculous move he made last night. I tweeted it when lineups came out:
I was challenged on my theory. But this morning, as I try and hash this post out... I realize... I'm right.Let me get this straight. We paid $153 million to bench our CF @JacobyEllsbury in a do or die WC game? Ells wants to play Joe. #BIGGAME #BYB— Robert Casey (@BleednYankeeBlu) October 6, 2015
Bottom line, the decisions were strange. The plan of attack against a dominant Dallas Keuchel was to walk through it and see what happens. It didn't look like we were ready. No true patience at the plate. No execution. There was a moment last night when I got a glimpse of a close up at Brian McCann at bat, his hands up, bat ready, but his face didn't look confident at all... he as if he was standing in fear.
And think about this for a second. Say we did stumble through the game last night and into the next round. Are you gonna sit there and tell me we actually had a shot against the Kansas City Royals who are spry and energized and really to take over the baseball world? I don't think so, not with our leadership. Not with our manager.
Look... I'm still a huge Yankee fan if we win or if we lose... that's me. But there were glaring red flags all night. And now the question comes up like it does every year we blow it. Who do you fire? Well, you can't fire the Yankee player. Several are tied into big contracts. Sure, we'll make a trade or 2, but we have to ride out the big contracts and keep rebuilding with our youth. No... look. This Yankee loss... and 2 missed playoffs before it falls on the manager. It has to as a matter of principal. Joe Girardi needs to be put in the hot seat. And you know what? If the Steinbrenner's have no real intention of firing him, at least make it appear that it's coming. Freak the dude out. Make an announcement to the media that they're "...Gonna look long and hard at Girardi's job!" And then... maybe in a week or 2... or 3, after the research is done and after Girardi squirms... the Yankees should cut him loose or keep him on, but LET THE GUY SWEAT IT OUT! Why? Because he didn't do many things right and he needs to realize that. This is on him... bottom line. The Yankees are a winning franchise...and we're not winning. It needs to fall on someone.
I personally believe Brian Cashman is not the problem here. He did something important this year. He brought the kids up. I applaud that. We all do at BYB. Now, there are mixed reviews at BYB on how Cashman did as a whole, and I respect that, but the most important part of this season for me was something we've been crying about for 2 years... bringing up the kids. Greg Bird. Luis Severino. Rob Refsnyder were up. They did well for us... it was damn nice to see for a change. Let's hope it continues.
Finally, let me just say this; I wrote a piece right before first pitch last night as a way to motivate the core and to shed some light on "moments" in Yankee baseball from unlikely heroes. It was called SOMETIMES IT'S ABOUT THE MOMENT!.
What I didn't quite bank on was the irony of it. In my quest to root for the Yankees in that piece... the big realization came to me watching Dallas Keuchel last night.
Last night was his moment... on 3 days rest in Yankee Stadium. Moments happen for every player at some point in their career... maybe 1 time... maybe many. Keuchel's moment was last night...a huge night. As a baseball fan first, you gotta give the guy props. I did... because it's the right thing to do...
How will the Yankees deal with this loss over the next few months? Hard I'm sure, I mean the fans will no doubt. But no excuses. We lost because we weren't that good. Yes, we had good runs, but when we really needed to win, we just couldn't.Look, Keuchel's a great pitcher, a class act. I tip my cap... clearly we didn't have it.— Robert Casey (@BleednYankeeBlu) October 7, 2015
And hey... that's the game. That's baseball. That's what we sign up for every year. We as fans show up, we spend a fortune to root for our guys. Grown men wear baseball jersey's of other grown men and we eat cheese fries and drink brews and hope and pray that our guys can pull out a big win for 162 games a year. Bottom line, we did not win this year. We are the losers in this one. As a classy fan, you look at the Astros, young and hungry and you think "That used to be us... but not anymore", and you tip your cap. It's all you can do.
I want to thank every single Bleeding Yankee Blue fan out there for a wonderful season. But here's the thing you need to know about us. We are a 365 days a year shop. We don't stop when the Yankees do... we keep going. It's hard, it's exhausting and it's what we signed up for. We're volunteers... we all have families and we all do this because we have a passion for the Yankees, for baseball and for writing and we will continue to do it when you wake up tomorrow and after that. Today though, at least for now is 1 post... this one. A post about loss, and still being a Yankee fan, no matter what.
Losing will make us stronger. I know it sounds ridiculous, but you gotta understand what that means. It's something I once read from Ernie Banks in a quote somewhere, and I crafted it into a short speech I once recited to my Little League team before a big game. Here it is:
"You will get on the field, and you will make mistakes today. You could also lose the game. No matter what happens. Embrace it. Take it in and understand why.
In everything you do on this diamond, the most important thing you can take away is learning from a loss. A loss will make you stronger. If you lose, you will come back winning. You will build confidence the next time because you'll know what to expect. You will grow from mistakes. In the end, and through your careers, losing will make you into champions.
Look across the way. That's a good team over there, but there's 1 thing they haven't done yet this season... they haven't lost. They are afraid of it. You are not, because you've done it before. So you, my players have everything to gain today because you've seen the dark side. Go out there and do your best, remember the sting of losing, and let it engulf your emotions. Then, when they least expect it... get that big hit... push yourself passed the mistakes that your learned from... and win the damn game the way you learned how. There will always be winners and losers in this game, but know that losing will make you winners in the long term. Be proud of what you've accomplished in baseball. Take the bad with the good, and turn it all in to a big fat win today. You deserve it... the time is now."We won that game by 1 run beating an undefeated team that went through the motions and thought they had us beat before they even played us. It was the first round of the playoffs. We did damn good.
We lost the next 2 and we're knocked out after that. But that's the game, but I will never, ever forget that first round. My kids played like champions because they feared nothing.
The Yankees feared losing last night. The Astros did not. After losing badly the past few years, the Astros learned from their mistakes, started racking up wins over the past few years, and this season made the playoffs. We, the Yankees won enough... and expected to just win again... because we're the Yankees. David beat Goliath last night. The Yankees weren't prepared. Too bad.
We'll get there again ladies and gentlemen... that I can promise you. We're the New York Yankees... let's never forget that.
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