Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crapshoot Crap

In today's New York Post, Joel Sherman tells Mets fans not to be as down as the Yankee fans, because the postseason is about luck. And you'll hear Yankee fans make the same excuse. Detroit got hot, Anaheim got hot, Florida got hot, it's the same thing every year.

I thought Joel Sherman took a turn for the worse when he thought Texas would trade A-Rod for Jeromy Burnitz, but he's beat that with today's stupidity. Surprisingly, Rob Neyer has good piece about how it took more than luck for the Cardinals to win it all.

Well, it's the same thing every year, Sherman, but there's a pattern. Let's start from this year, and work backwards.

One benchmark for a good playoff team is how they hit with runners in scoring position. You won't get as many opportunities against a playoff team than you will against the Royals; the key is utilizing every opportunity (and Mets fans will tell you just how good the Cardinals were at doing that).

So here are some Yankees batting averages for RISP in the postseason:

2006- Cano: 0-7, .000
Matsui, 0-4, .000
A-Rod, 0-2, .000
Yankees team RISP: .179; Detroit: .323

2005 - Sheff 2-11, .182
Matsui 1-7, .143
A-Rod 0-3
Yanks team RISP: .222; Angels: .366

2004, ALCS G4-7
I couldn't get the RISP splits for these games only, but I got this:
A-Rod and Sheff combined for THREE hits those four games. Pathetic.

Posada 5-23, .217
Giambi 2-16, .125
Aaron Boone 2-11, .182 (Hey, he still has more big hits as a Yankee than his successor, A-Rod)
Yankees team: .228

The Angels batted .396 with RISP - enough said.

2001 - WS
I'm not gonna bother with the RISP splits here. This was about the Yanks hitting .183 overall, led by Jeter (.148), Knoblauch (.056), and Justice (.167). Good job by RJ and Schill.

Aside from 2002, the Yanks have lost because they cannot get the big hit. They've lost because their big players haven't come through in the clutch. Or in some cases (like in '04), they haven't come through at all. This is no crapshoot, Sherman. This is a pattern that's been pretty consistent the past few years.

Ultimately, the Yanks need guys like Sojo, Spiezio, Brosius, and Mark Lemke. Guys that aren't sexy names, but guys that get the big hits in October. Because Sheffield isn't getting the job done, Shemp has failed, Posada's been inconsistent, and we've all heard about A-Rod.

But I don't care. Let the Yankee fans think it's luck. And let's watch them get "unlucky" every ALDS for years to come.

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