The Yankee Year that Was[n’t]

You’ll forgive us for believing that this season ended prematurely for the Bombers. However unlikely it may have seemed in April or May or even June, this team should have been more of a contender in October. Looking at the rosters, analyzing the perfomances over the season, our feeling is that the Yanks were a better team than the Angels, if only marginally so, and for that reason their loss—perhaps the result of playing 10 of 12 games on the road, and their down-to-the-wire fight with the BoSox for the playoffs—hurts all the more. Though we begrudge the Angels nothing. They won it, and they earned their victory. (Even with a little help from the umps and from fortune.) No arguments. We give special credit to Garrett Anderson and Bengie Molina, who’ve been Yankee killers for years, and were the primary perpetrators in this series (along with A-Rod!). Also kudos to Chone Figgins and the entire Angels pitching staff.

Aside from a certain feeling of superiority to the Halos, this loss also hurts, for the WS crown this year seems eminently winnable—the Cards, the “class” of the playoff teams, hardly seem invincible—and because no matter how good the planning (and this year’s preseason planning by the Yankees was not good at all), the opportunity to win is a rare thing, even if we’ve become accustomed to it. Who knows what the future might bring–other teams (the Tribe, the A’s) appear on the rise. Another brilliant postseason by Jeter was squandered—and he’s not getting any younger. We lament the inevitable (?) and sensible departure of Bernie and Tino.

As for the future, we have all winter to debate it. The Yanks 06 rotation of Chacon, Wang, Pavano, Johnson, Wright, and Mussina seems dangerously aging and injury prone, if potentially solid. Center field needs fixing. The bullpen a wholesale makeover save our closer. God knows we hope Joe is back. And Matsui. And Cashman too. Or will he be heading down 95 to Philly?

ChiSox vs. Angels. Chicago and LA. Not exactly Yanks vs. Sox. NY and Boston. It just doesn’t seem….right.

9 comments… add one
  • Has anyone blamed Joe Torre for overwhelmingly mismanaging game 5? How the hell do you leave Mussina in to give up 5 runs?
    It’s a lose-and-go-home situation, Joe…there is no short leash. And now you’ve gone home.

    Anonymous October 11, 2005, 2:35 pm
  • “God knows we hope Joe is back.”
    Come on, YF. We agree that Torre is great, but aren’t you the least bit curious to see what Lou Piniella could do with this club?

    MJL in L.A. October 11, 2005, 6:08 pm
  • A-Rod makes a good case for MVP here, regardless of his post season performance

    yanksaregoodstill October 11, 2005, 8:14 pm
  • Fortune and help from the Umps? Kinda like the Yankees from 1999, 2000, 2001. Things go both ways…

    Jaques October 11, 2005, 9:10 pm
  • Jeffrey Maier says hello.
    Enough of the whining about the umps.

    SF October 11, 2005, 9:34 pm
  • Curious to see Lou Piniella? We’ve seen Lou Piniella (or were you absent for the 1980s?). We prefer a manager who can handle a pitching staff and control his emotions. Lou can’t do either.

    YF October 11, 2005, 9:38 pm
  • SF: Read the post. No one, or at least not this YF, is whining. I don’t feel “robbed.” And Jeffrey Meier is not relevant to this discussion.

    YF October 11, 2005, 10:19 pm
  • I just want MLB’s contract to end with FOX…Because they just killed the Yanks (and Angels for that matter… with thier STUPID schedueling….)
    It’s ok my Yankee bretheren….we will be back in the mix of things…and you ALL know it!

    BX BOMBER October 11, 2005, 10:28 pm
  • Nice post, YF. I might differ with you about which team is actually “better” unless hitting is the primary measure, but in any case I’d agree that the difference is small, which is what led to this being an exciting series — there was never a point in any game from which either team couldn’t come back. Both teams played well at times and poorly at others. Ultimately I thought the Angels won by exploiting the Yankees where they’re weak — bullpen and defense.
    Anyway, better luck next year, and on to Chicago. I kind of hope this will be a rivalry for years to come. As painful as they were to attend, those games in the summer where the Yanks came back from 4 down in the 8th were great baseball. And so was most of this series.

    Ivan X (AngelsFan) October 12, 2005, 1:54 am

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