Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Tiiigggerrrs win


Anonymous said...

And the Yankees suck

Anonymous said...

From the beginning I thought that the Tigers would be the toughest team for the Yankees to handle -- particularly, but not only, because it was a five-game series. Their lineup is deceptive. I did expect the Yankees to prevail, but would not be as surprised if they lost this round, as I would have had they lost to the As or Twins in the next.

Apart from the talent the Tigers have on the field, and the amazing talent in their ancient manager, the Detroit-New York rivalry is one of the most over-looked rivalries on sport. Look back over the last ten or eleven years of Yankee dominance, with only limited exception, no matter how poorly the Detroit team was doing in any given year, they always played the Yankees tough.

In this series, they outplayed the boys from the Bronx in all but Game Two. Unlike Game Three in which the Yankee lineup was simply overmatched and out thought, in Game Two the Yankees offense beat themselves. I only watched two and a half innings of Game Four, but it was enough for me to see that the Yankees were beating themselves again. They were both too aggressive and not aggressive enough -- they were pressing at the plate, trying to do things TO the ball instead of doing what they could with the pitch. This overaggression was alternated with hesitantcy to take advantage of mistakes.

The Game Four play of the Yankees reflected the combination of their rolling over in Game Two and their spanking in Game Three. A team with an all star at every position, gold gloves all over the place, and a lineup in which even guys on the bench could be a top-four batter on most other teams, appeared to have lost confidence.

I thought, and still do think, that the Mets and the Yankees are the two best teams in baseball this year and that the most exciting World Series would have been to see these two match up.

But the best teams over a 162-game schedule need to win 11 more, in three short series, after they win their 95 or so games. That the most talented teams have not won, nor often made it to, the World Series since the advent of the Wild Card is not an indictment of the post season set up. It is just a reflection of the fact that the post season measures teams in a much-different way than the regular season. To have a successful year (as the Yankees and other winners define it) means that your team needs to excell in both the marathon and the sprint versions of the baseball race. That is the magic and joy of baseball and one of the factors that make it more reflective of real life than any other sport.