The Yankees’ time in the playoffs was short and sometimes not so sweet. They beat the Oakland Athletics in the one-game wildcard game but then were out of their depth in the 5 games series for the American League Division Series (ALDS) losing 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox who would eventually go on to take the World Series.
The performances of the batting line up were not far from how the players had performed in the regular season. Let’s take a look:
What: The New York Yankees vs the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays
When: 7th September to 13th September 2015
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York, New York
Stood outside Yankee Stadium on the 10th of September as the rain begins to gently fall, you realise that perhaps this is not going to go to plan. When the series with the Orioles had opened and a Yankees win meant that the lead that Toronto had in the American League East was cut back to half a game, the world seemed filled with optimism. Even when Baltimore took the next two games, things hadn’t seemed so bad – results elsewhere had gone in the Yankees favour. And after all, one and a half games behind doesn’t look so bad when the team ahead of you is just about to arrive in town for four games and anything could happen.
So the baseball season is over. The St Louis Cardinals who performed very well in the Series are the champions and probably deservedly so. It still sticks in my gut a little that the eventual winners only made the playoffs as the wild card but with the wildcard system likely to expand in 2013, me complaining about that is about as meaningful as a National League fan complaining about the Designated Hitter rule – so I shall make no more noise in that regard. The system allows for that possibility and it has happened. C’est la vie.
No, I’m not griping about the Yankees not being involved in this stage of the season. We had a good and interesting season but we weren’t quite good enough but there is much reason to be optimistic for 2009.
No. At this time of the year, my problem is always the same. This wild card system doesn’t seem to work. Too often the wild card team gets through the short 5 game series which begins the post-season and then goes on to more success than they deserve. I was very glad last night that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (boy, that’s a mouthful) managed to bounce back and at least take Boston to 4 games and hopefully the full 5.
Solutions? Don’t really have any – take the leagues to two divisions each and eliminate the need for a wild card? Make the Division series seven games and at least introduce some equity in making that first round as difficult to win as the others?
No, this isn’t me trying to desperately prevent Boston making the World Series again. As I said, I have this problem every year. Too often the Wild Card team from one or both of the leagues, who really are an also-ran in my mind, find their way to the Series in a way that their performance during the 162 games, which is the real meat of the season, doesn’t merit.
Anyway, I hope Anaheim pull it off. Both Los Angeles teams have impressed me this year and deserve to make their Championship series.