This is a post-mortem for the ALDS, where the Yanks crashed and burned last night thanks to more bad fielding, non-clutch pitching and hitting that flat-out stank.
Here's the real point from this series, which encapsulates what the team's problems have been in the playoffs in the past two years: Cashman beats Steinbrenner. Consider the Yanks who stank in this series: Arod, Sheff, Unit. Consider those who did well: Jeter, Posada, Wang, Cano, Mo. Notice anything? The home-growns outplayed the mercenaries. Cashman represents the organization from the bottom-up, and its two top products did well both all year and in the ALDS. Cashman is more the brains of the organization: he plucked Chacon from the Rockies and promoted Wang, thus he found a replacement for two disappointments in the Yanks' rotation -- Wright and Brown. Cashman wanted to keep Soriano and get young pitching, The Boss wanted Arod; Cash wanted Vlady Guerrero, Boss wanted Sheff and so it goes. Cashman has honked some deals, but the big money, big splash, and ultimately low payout moves are made in Tampa with Big Stein.
And that's how you get Kenny Rogers instead of Chuck Finley, or Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner.
Ultimately, this series came down to who made key plays, and that ledger was filled with Angels: Bengie Molina, Orlando Cabrera, Garret Anderson, and on defense Chone Figgins. Contrast them to the 1 HR, 3 RBI that Arod, Sheff and Matsui combined for. Arod's error in game 2 led to the Angels' comeback win and turned the series around; Arod's DP in the top of the 9th yesterday, and his two-out whiff in the second with a chance to put another run on the board were endemic of his horrid series. Sheff's inability to hit with none out and two on in the 5th and with one out and Giambi on second in the 7th encapsulated his failure. Matsui failed to pick him up -- he left 8 men on base last night alone!
So small kudos to Jeter who was Jeter, Cano who played well and hard, Posada who played like a Yankee, Rivera who was Rivera; big ups to Wang and Chacon who both baffled the Angels in their first-ever playoff starts. Debits to Sheff, Arod, Matsui, Williams, Johnson, Moose, Gordon, the middle relief and the situational hitting.
Bad form all around.