New York Yankees: The 2010s in review (2010-2014)
By Ryan Touhey
Record: 85-77, Tied for 3rd in the AL East
Key Acquisitions: Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Alfonso Soriano
Key Departures: Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Rafael Soriano
2013 was without question the most tumultuous, dysfunctional, and melodramatic year the Yankees had in the 2010s, and it was mostly because of Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez, along with Jeter, Granderson, and Teixeira would begin the season on the disabled list. Rivera was back and fully healthy and made the announcement that 2013 would be his final season. The Yankees brought back Pettitte and Ichiro as well.
To supplement the losses of their star players, the Yankees brought in a mix of veterans from across the league such as former Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis, former Blue Jay star Vernon Wells, and former Indians star Travis Hafner. The team unsurprisingly suffered from not having their everyday guys in the lineup and struggled to find consistency throughout the year, especially offensively.
Despite the struggles, the team remained in contention for a wild card spot. Desperate to make some noise, they brought back Alfonso Soriano in late July from the Cubs. Soriano almost single-handedly kept the Yankees in the race. He went on a tear in August, which included him driving in 18 runs from August 13 to August 16, which garnered him AL Player of the Week Honors. Jeter kept coming back and going down time and again from his ankle injury throughout the season.
In one of the more dramatic games of the year against Tampa Bay on July 28, he hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from southpaw Matt Moore. It was only his second game of the year and his first since coming off the disabled list in which he had injured his foot.
At the center of everything, however, was A-Rod. Rodriguez was caught in hot water as his name was revealed in the Biogenesis scandal. The scandal included names of Major Leaguers who had obtained performance-enhancing drugs or human growth hormones. A-Rod wound up being suspended for 211 games, which ruled him out for the 2014 season. Despite all of this, he ended up returning to the team in August.
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With the Yankees clinging on for dear life at this point in the season, A-Rod’s presence drew the ire of fans everywhere the team went, none of which was more evident than during a Sunday night game at Fenway Park. Rodriguez was plunked by Red Sox’ pitcher Ryan Dempster, which led to the ejection of manager Joe Girardi.
A-Rod got his revenge a few innings later when he crushed a Dempster pitch to dead-center for a home run. The Yankees ended up winning that game and stayed in the postseason hunt for a few more weeks. However, they were officially eliminated on September 25, when they fell to the Rays at Yankee Stadium.
The next day, the Yankees and their fans bid farewell to Rivera as he was taken out of the game in the top of the ninth inning by Pettitte and Jeter. Pettitte ended his career on a high note a few days later when he threw a complete game against his hometown team, the Houston Astros.
Analysis: What a wacky year 2013 was for the Yankees. You had legends in Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte departing at the end of the season, you’ve got all of these random guys taking the field throughout the year, and then the scandal with A-Rod. To sum it up, 2013 was one of disarray and sadness.