Ugh. What an awful ending to a great season. Say what you want about the Yanks’ 2012 campaign, but don’t dare call it a failure. A disappointment yes, but certainly not a failure. During the regular season they had the best record in the AL and pretty much the best offense in baseball. It’s just a shame that all their bats went cold at the worst possible time; a collective .188/.254/.303 line in the postseason isn’t going to cut it. What makes it even more infuriating is that their pitching was absolutely incredible.
Whatever. I know 29 other teams that would kill to have three LCS appearances in four seasons, including one ring. Plus, we’ll always have the Raul Game.
As for next year’s team, I hope they don’t blow up the gang. I think there’s a small possibility that Girardi doesn’t return, but I think firing him would be a mistake. He guided them well through an injury-laden season and produced a 95-win team; sure, some of his bullpen moves are infuriating but who else would they get to manage? Canning him would be foolish, especially after the courage/determination/devotion to the team he showed following his father’s passing.
Also, I hope Kevin Long doesn’t take the fall for their hitting, or lack thereof. The team had the most homers and the highest OPS in the majors, and the second-most runs (by a measly four) in the league. As mentioned earlier, the offense collectively slumped at the worst possible time, but they still had a great season offensively.
With regards to the major free agents, I hope they bring back Russell Martin, Swish Dog, Nix, Ichiro (only on a one-year deal), Mo, Kuroda and Pettitte. There’s probably some I’m forgetting — forgive me, I’m still mourning — but we’ll get into this later in the offseason.
Touching on the A-Rod saga, I hope they keep him. I’ve never been his biggest fan, but he’s still an above-average third baseman and paying him ~$90 million to play for someone else while trying to find a replacement would be foolish. I don’t think his relationship with Girardi is strained; he seems like he’s matured in his time here, and I think it will be in the best interest of the Yankees to keep him aboard.
Only 164 more days until Opening Day!