Saturday, October 8, 2011
Yankees Daily Briefing 10/08/11
After losing the fifth game of the ALDS, Yankees fans will have to wait a few months to see the next non-exhibition Yankees game. In the mean time, the MLB postseason continues with the Brewers and Cardinals in the NLCS and Tigers and Rangers in the ALCS. Niether the Rangers nor the Brewers have ever won a World Series, and the last time the Tigers did so -- in the 1980s -- many current major leaguers hadn't even been born.
Discussion of the Day: What do you think are the Yankees' biggest needs to address in the offseason? Share your thoughts in the comments.
1) Wallace Matthews writes that Joe Girardi should not be blamed for the Yankees' postseason failure.
Although Girardi may have made a couple of questionable moves (such as pinch-hitting Eric Chavez for Brett Gardner), the Yankees' failure in the postseason should fall mostly on the offense. By and large the starting pitching did their job -- Freddy Garcia and CC Sabathia did not pitch poorly, just not as well as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. It could be argued that a team that scored 867 runs in the regular season shouldn't have such a problem in the postseason, but the Tigers, whom many believed matched up evenly with the Yankees, had the added edge of the 2011 Justin Verlander on their pitching staff.
2) Katie Sharp takes stock of statistical oddities and notable occurrences in the season's final Yankeemetrics column. Of note: Robinson Cano becoming the fourth Yankees second baseman to hit a grand slam in the playoffs, Ivan Nova's Game One relief appearance, becoming the fifth Yankee to win his postseason debut in his team's first postseason game, and Jorge Posada's impressive series, become just the second player over 40 (behind Joe Morgan) to hit a triple in the postseason.
3) Life Magazine has a slideshow of previously unreleased photos of Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Larsen was an unlikely candidate to pitch a no-hitter, let alone a perfect game, perhaps something that illustrates how flukey baseball, especially the postseason can be. Still, it's an event rightfully included on most highlight reels of the Yankees' postseason accomplishments, and a feat no one has duplicated -- only Roy Halladay, who threw a no-hitter in the first game of last season's Phillies-Reds NLDS, has come close.
4) Marc Carig writes that Brian Cashman is unlikely to make major changes to the Yankees in the offseason.
Indeed, outside of CC Sabathia and possibly C.J. Wilson the free agent class is less than stellar for pitching (and one can argue that the rotation is the Yankees' biggest area of concern), and of the biggest name free agent hitters, the Yankees don't have room for Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. The Yankees will make moves, of course, either with signings off the scrap heap as in 2011 or trades, but the Yankees' biggest solutions may very well come from within -- Jesus Montero should be with the Yankees from the start of the season next year, and Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos may not be too far off.