Oct 14, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees players from left Brett Gardner , Phil Hughes , Jayson Nix and Eric Chavez look on from the dugout in the 9th inning during game two of the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Yankees' Tears Are Salty And Delicious

Yesterday, unfortunately, I was on the road when a multitude of good things were happening for the city of Detroit and it’s sports teams. I had all but given up on the Lions when they were down 23-13 to the Eagles, not being able to stand the Matthew Stafford misfires anymore that I had been watching all day. Well, it seems that Stafford and company like it best when they are way down, and the Lions came back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Tigers I was less concerned about. After all, I have been of the opinion before the series started that the Yankees don’t stand a chance. The Tigers just seem to have the Yanks number when it comes to the playoffs. And while I got sporadic updates, I do regret missing Anibal Sanchez‘ wonderful outing. I always like myself a well pitched ball game. Especially by the home team.

When I got home though and turned on the national sports shows, all anyone could talk about was missed calls and the Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s objection from the game. Hey ump! You clearly blew the call man. Did you have to eject the guy for his frustration too? Thing is, I am sure the umpire didn’t want to, but Girardi undoubtedly pushed him to his outer limits. Girardi probably wanted to get ran at that point, I wouldn’t want to watch my offense if I was him either.

Lost in all the post game talk about replay, and the Yankees crying about bad calls, is the fact that the Tigers just have a good pitching staff. Instead of focusing on that, the media is largely going to discuss Derek Jeter and his injury. I have no doubt when the Tigers win this series, it will largely be in part because Jeter’s leadership and on field play was missed. Or at least that’s what the talking heads will say. Me? I don’t think Derek Jeter was going to hit Tigers pitching either.

The starting pitching is in a tremendous groove. There isn’t one start so far this post-season in which a Tigers starter has given up more than two runs. That’s how you win games.

Did the missed call by the umpire at 2nd base cost the Yankees two runs? It sure did. Were the Tigers winning the game anyway? They sure were, and there is nothing to suggest that lifeless Yankee offense would’ve done anything different, unless Jose Valverde had come into the game. He didn’t, and the Tigers now lead the series 2-0.

Nobody outside of New York is going to care that the Yankees got screwed on a call. This is the franchise that has been operating at a competitive advantage for what seems like a lifetime. Their payroll dwarfs everybody else, trying annually to buy themselves to a World Series title. And as ESPN writer Jim Caple so ably pointed out in an article today, the Yankees have gotten their fair share of calls in the past, so any sobs coming from that dugout are going to fall on deaf ears.

I hope the Yankees keep focusing on things other than their jobs, which is playing baseball. Because in general, the Yankees tend to do that well.


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Tags: Detroit Tigers

  • Chris Hannum

    You’re forgetting the other half of the story: In addition to the Jeter injury and those bad calls that obviously cost the Yankees both games… The Yankees wasted great starts from Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda because of those awful slumps from Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and (of course) Alex Rodriguez. If only the Yankees would stop beating themselves they would win! Right?

    • John Verburg

      Yes of course! The Tigers starters who have been shutting down everyone has nothing to do with it. Haha

  • gstoye44

    Ugh, between ESPN and national sports radio, you’d never even realize the Tigers have an extra inning win AND a shutout victory. In fact, you’d never even realize that they had timely hitting and dominating pitching.

  • whitaker

    One day in the fall of
    1991, I was in the living room of my next-door neighbor’s house, watching a
    football game on TV, Michigan vs. Notre Dame.
    Mark was a Notre Dame alum, and I had gone to Michigan. This particular game hinged on a remarkable
    play in the fourth quarter. Michigan had
    a fourth down with less than a yard to go from the Notre Dame 25. They took an extraordinary gamble; rather
    than kicking the field goal, or running for the first down, Michigan’s
    quarterback, Elvis Grbac, faked a short pass and threw into the end zone, where
    Desmond Howard, our star receiver, made a great diving catch, to put Michigan
    ahead by ten points and essentially seal away the game.

    My friend Mark then
    astonished me. His reaction was to
    castigate his team’s defense. It didn’t
    occur to him that Michigan had taken a courageous gamble and executed an
    impressive play. He was simply incapable of acknowledging the achievements of
    players who were not wearing the uniform that he is rooting for. If things didn’t go Notre Dame’s way, then
    Notre Dame had failed, simple as that.
    The other team deserved no credit.

    There are a few teams
    that seem to attract these sorts of fans.
    In addition to Notre Dame, I used to see this sort of thing from the
    fans of the old Larry Bird Celtics, for example. But the quintessence of this inability to
    recognize greatness in any team but your own, in my experience, is to be
    observed in the fans of the New York Yankees.

    A classic example of
    this is to be found in Friday’s New York Times. The Detroit Tigers finished eliminating the
    New York Yankees from the American League playoffs Thursday, sweeping the
    Championship Series in four straight games in a wholly unanticipated turn of
    evens. There were three articles about
    the series in theTimes, all of
    which enumerated the Yankees’ failings in great detail. There was not a word about anything the
    Tigers might have done well. It didn’t
    occur to any of these New York writers that the Yankees’ inability to hit might
    have something to do with the quality of Detroit’s pitching. Detroit made several uncharacteristically
    adroit defensive plays; this passed unnoticed.

    After Jeff Baker flamed out, the Tigers, rather
    than trying to make a deal for some other hoary veteran to shore up their inadequate
    outfield and right handed hitting, took a remarkable gamble. Late in the season they brought up a raw
    21-year-old Venezuelan from the low minor leagues, Avisail Garcia, something
    that the staid Yankees are congenitally incapable of doing. Garcia drove in three crucial runs in the
    series, hit well over .400, and played quite well in the outfield.
    This was deemed unworthy of mention in the New York press, needless to

    How awful it was be to
    root for the Yankees! No other team ever
    deserves to win. If the season ends
    without the Yankees winning the World Series, the team has failed, and justice
    has not been done. If they merely go
    deep in the playoffs and lose to a fine opponent, they have achieved nothing;
    they are deserving only of contempt. No
    wonder Yankee Stadium seemed like such a joyless place during these playoffs!