Jeter really surprised me this year, I thought he was nearing the end last season, but his superb, multi-hit game while notching hit number 3,000 seemed to galvanize him, revive his career.
Yep, it had been Nick’s nefarious plan all along to nobble the Yankee captain – nobody’s ever accused their fans of being reasonable.
The Yankees made some other fielding boobs, one by Chavez in Game Three, and two by their normally sure-handed first-sacker Mark Texeira in Game Four; to be fair to Tex they were both tough plays, but he usually makes these.
It’s not saying much, but the Swish actually hit better in the ALCS (.250) than in the previous series (.111), but began riding the bench due to his abrupt misadventures in right field, where he suddenly resembled Wrong Way Corrigan and Leon “Daddy Wags” Wagner combined.As their manager Joe Girardi pointed out after it was suddenly all over though, the Yanks’ abysmal flop wasn’t all about A-Rod, it’s just that as prominent, overpaid and easy to dislike as he is, he became the focus.But nobody on the Yankees was hitting, except (sort of) Raul Ibanez, Ichiro and Derek Jeter’s replacement, Eduardo Nunez.On one fly late in Game One with two out, the ball seemed to go right through him as if he were made of ectoplasm.He then fell down, drawing the scorn of the Yankee faithful, which turned to booing wrath when Jeter broke his ankle trying to field a hot grounder on the next play.
The above tongue-in-cheek headline refers to one of the veteran character actor’s most famous movie roles, “The Invisible Man”; Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez, though the conspicuous centre of a benching controversy, was pretty much invisible in the ALCS (1 for 9) and his replacement Eric Chavez was, believe it or not, even worse (0 for 20.) Yes, I realize Claude Rains has been dead for a long time now, but given the cold wind blowing around the Yanks’ hot corner these days, I don’t see that this would be a problem, do you?Good old Claude would certainly come a lot cheaper than these other stiffs, not that the free spending Yankees care about such things.Robinson Cano, likely the best second baseman in the game, broke an 0 for 29 slide with a single in the ninth inning of Game Three but was back at the futility last night, going 0 for 4 and looking utterly lost up there.Curtis Granderson was a big, fat zero in this series (0 for 11) and was 3 for 30 with one home run and nine strikeouts in the post-season overall; this from the man who’s hit more home runs combined the last two years than anyone else in the major leagues.For once, they didn’t even have luck going their way, falling victim to a blown call at second base in Game Two and a couple of injuries apart from Jeter’s – Phil Hughes, who’d pitched really well, had to come out of Game Three early with a back issue, and catcher Russell Martin hurt his wrist badly later in the same game, looked to be in a world of pain.Like everyone, I felt very badly for Jeter when he broke his ankle late in Game One, it’s a terrible time to have a season-ending injury, and in retrospect it maybe was a portent of the wheels falling off the Yankee bus.