Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lost in the Great White North

There's a helpless feeling being a Yankees fan right now, a ping in your gut that didn't usually show up until the late innings of their last three ALDS ousters.

For the first time, you can truly sense that the end is near. This is officially unchartered territory for teams in the Jeter Era. Sputtering without direction, well back in the standings, and no light at the end of the tunnel.

I wrote in this space prior to Thursday's game that the series finale against the Blue Jays would serve as a serious gut check for the Yankees. The matchup (Halladay vs. Ponson) certainly wasn't promising, but the Yanks had looked good on Wednesday and I had a feeling they were ready to put up a good fight.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Ponson threw an absolute stinker and the offense looked intimidated and then apathetic in Halladay's presence. It was 13-0 after four innings. Are you freaking kidding me?

In the first half of the season, I was frustrated by the feeling that I was watching a great team that was underachieving. I don't believe that anymore. This is not a great team. This isn't even a good team. Injuries destroyed the pitching staff. Age consumed the lineup. It makes you wonder if this team has even 85 wins in it. Would you be shocked if they finished under .500?

One more observation on a truly revealing night in Toronto. After Billy Traber -- who's terrible by the way -- surrendered a three-run double to Matt Stairs to extend Toronto's lead to 10 runs in the third, the Yankees came to bat in the top of the fourth and showed absolutely no desire to be on the field. Xavier Nady, Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano saw a combined five pitches in the frame. Halladay was cruising to another complete game without breaking a sweat. Did that ever happen under Torre?

They quit. And they didn't even try to hide it. The Yankees had a chance to make a statement on Thursday and instead they embarrassed themselves. Six games out of the Wild Card with just 35 games to play. Math says their alive, commonsense may not agree.

1 comment:

SA Yankee fan said...

I must say, this season has ended up being a real dissapointment.

Players have gotten injured, underperformed and generally showed no heart.

The really big dissapointment is that the young players (apart from Joba) have not developed as they were supposed to and if anything took a step backward. Melky looks done, Cano has been terrible, Kennedy does not seem to care and Hughes has been injured. Again. The draft that looked promising turned aweful once Cole changed his mind and turned down MILLIONS to go to UCLA.

The only positives have been Mussina (who they can hopefully bring back), Joba, the arrival of Nady and the fact that CC is going to make it to free agency (hopefully his arm does not fall off).

Time to ring the changes, 80mil off the books and a decent free agent crop to overspend on.

I can't believe this team does not have the fight and motivation to get to the post season in the last season in the stadium. Disgusting.