Updated: October 28, 2012

Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

NEW YORK, NY (BASN)—American League Championship Series-

The New York Yankees looked old, played old, and are out of the 2012 playoffs. The Pinstripes could not get their motor started; they could not achieve the basic moves for winning baseball.  The Bronx Bombers just could not fire their M80’s into the left field bleachers let alone anti aircraft rockets or missiles over the center field fence to save this series. Bee Bee guns were not enough to beat the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

It’s turn over the roster time.

They were swiped by the upstart and powerful Detroit Tigers. There were signs of trouble in the Baltimore Orioles series but nobody wanted to talk about it. The Bronx Bombers were lucky it was only a five game series because the Birds outplayed them.  New York beat Baltimore on the back of pitcher C.C. Sabathia doing his thing on the mound in the first round and last game of the series.

Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, and (A-Rod) Alex Rodriguez did not hit at all in either series. Number 2, The Captain, Derek Jeter went down with a broken ankle in the 2nd game of the Detroit series and it took the heart and soul out of the Yankees. It also took the starch and energy out of New York and most hard core Yankee fans would never admit it but they could see the end of this season.

If it were not for the 9th inning in the last game in the Baltimore series, the Yankees would be an empty wind bag. The New York Yankees should give their bull pen and defense a huge thank you for keeping them in the Orioles series and making the Detroit series manageable… It was not enough and that’s why the Tigers from the Motor City are moving on and the Yankees are going fishing or golfing.

Let’s go back to the Detroit series

Saturday Oct 13- Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte tried to stay with Detroit’s Doug Fister the first six innings, the game whizzed by went deep into the middle innings with a 4-0 Tiger lead into the 9th inning. Manager Jim Leyland must have been sitting in the dugout with glee knowing that reliever Jose Valverde would come into the game to close out New York. Valverde gave up four runs and left the game with no decision, and a blown save. Ex-Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki stepped up in the 9th inning to start the Yankee rally with a home run; Raul Ibanez finished it by hitting the tying home run in the 9th inning. The Tigers won the game in the 12th inning with Delmond Young and Andy Dirks hitting doubles for game one victory.

Sunday Oct 14 Yankee Pitcher Hiroko Kuroda matched Detroit’s Sanchez for another pitching duel. The Tiger pitching staff struck out 12 Yankees while Kuroda struck out 11 Tigers. It was not enough as Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera singled in two Detroit runs in 9th inning for Motown 2-0 game lead.

The Yanks future did not look bright with the task of facing Tiger Ace Verlander in the Motor City being down 0-2 in series.

The Yankees also faced a tough crowd at the Stadium as they thought they deserved a better team. The Boo Birds were out in full force and could be heard on National Television Network. Yankee fans are so spoiled. They wanted to win every year. Maybe it might be time to turn the page on this great team. New York scored only 5 runs in 6 games and 4 happened to be in the same inning. The New York Yankees pitching staff had little room for mistakes.

 Tues. Oct 16-The Series moved to Comerica Park and Yankee manager Joe Girardi benched third basemen (A-Rod) Alex Rodriguez and outfielder Nick Swisher. The Yankees still did not respond as the New York batting avg. dropped to 201. The Tigers put Verlander on the mound as Detroit goes up 3-0 in games with 2-1 victory. Verlander had 132 pitches and 8 1/3 innings giving the Detroit bull pen the day off. The Yankees left 4 men on base and looked silly at the plate. How ironic that ex-Yankee Phil Coke got the save for the Tigers. Now it was up to New York Yankee Ace and horse C.C. Sabathia to avoid a Tiger sweep. Sabathia was 8-2 in playoff games with the Yankees and New York fans were hoping to see their team at least one more time at the Stadium.

 Weds. Oct 17-Game four was rained out by the same weather system that delayed the NLCS St. Louis- San Francisco game earlier that day, with an over three hour delay. It also gave the Bronx Bombers a day to think about the long season coming to an end.

Thurs. Oct 18– The Detroit Tigers started early and often as they strike with four runs in the fourth inning with the Big Boppers, Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta blasted homers to chase C.C. Sabathia off the mound and end the hope of the Yankee faithful. The Detroit Tigers sweep the Yankees 4 games to none. Max Scherzer pitched a masterpiece going 5 innings with 10 strikeouts, 2 walks, and one earned run. The Tigers earned this victory.

The Yankees scored only 6 runs in four games struck out 36 times and looked like a team frustrated and ready to go home.

New York Manager Joe Girardi did not play Swisher or A-Rod in this last game and could only muster 2 hits in the last game. A-Rod’s substitute Eric Chavez struck out 8 times. Yankee fans believe there might be some significant changes in the Bronx next year.

This series showed how old the Yankees have become. Derek Jeter went down with an injury, A-Rod, Swisher, Cano, Granderson, and Teixeira could not hit the broad side of a barn.  The team batted a New York playoff record .181

Friday Oct 19- The sports media started the hater’s parade, blaming Alex Rodriguez for the ineffective Yankee offense. Why? Because he is the highest paid position player, Why? Because he wants to be liked by everyone, Why? Because he is Latino and is a person of color.

No, you really can’t blame A-Rod for this collapse of this aging team. The whole team struck out a total of 36 times, that’s almost 10 strike outs per game, and yes, it may be time for the 38 year old third basemen to move on. A change of scenery might help number 13.

Alex can still play defense and he is moving up the homerun record charts but does that really mean anything in the steroid area? The Yankees are on the hook for a third of his salary for the next 6 years. They may trade him and take most of the contract so the other team will pay 25 million at 5 million a year that’s do-able. A-Rod needs a new home because no-matter what he does in the Bronx they will be critical. It will get worst if he has a great year in pinstripes during the season then fails in the playoffs again.

Raul Ibanez, and Ichero Suzuki carried them in the playoffs this year but how many more years do they have left in the tank.  Did they miss All Star Reliever Mariano Rivera? Yes, but they only have three front line starting pitchers; C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Hiroki Kuroda, everybody else struggled. Hats off to Andy Pettitte for returning to the Bronx but it’s time to put the pin stripes away. Phil Hughes has never lived up to his potential and that has to change if the Yankees are to make the playoffs next year.

In the bullpen Joba Chamberlin has to step up, end the Joba rules and be the reliever the Yankees need. Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, and David Robinson have to repeat the performances of 2012 in the bull pen. The Yankee administration will also have to decide what they are going to do with their young pitchers Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, David Aardsma, and Cody Eppey.

In order for the Yankees to move into the future many drastic changes are needed in the Bronx.

1.) A new general manager must be in place for 2013

2.) A new manager on the field, Joe Girardi has lost command of this team.

3.) The Yankees have to get younger on the field.

4.) Alex Rodriguez has to find a new home to continue his baseball career

Joe Girardi did a masterful job mixing and matching the bull pen and it kept the Yankees in the Eastern Conference of the American League race, but it was not enough. One last note, Commissioner Selig added the extra wild card forcing the Yankees to win the Eastern Division unlike past years when Boston and New York would rest players and jockey position to try to play the weaker team.

The 2012-2013 New York Yankees are a team in transition and the Detroit Tigers caught them at the right time.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at garyngray@blackathlete.com

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod

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