The Yankees were officially eliminated from the playoffs last night, as their poor August finally caught up with them. There is of course the steady stream of “what’s wrong with the Yankees” type talk going on today and many fans are of course upset.
This season’s outcome doesn’t bother me as much as some past ones. Yes, as the 2006 Cardinals showed us, any team can win the World Series once they’re in the playoffs. The Yankees are playing very well right now and if they got in, they’d have chance. But it wouldn’t be a good chance. The Yankees weren’t a great team this season, though of course they did have some bad luck. They’re still a decent team, but they’re not elite.
So what do I find myself dwelling on today? Recent Yankee teams. In 2001 – 2004 and in 2006, the Yankees were the class of baseball and yet they failed to win the World Series. It happens – in 2000 the Yankees probably weren’t the best team over the course of the season and won the World Series anyways. But to have the elite team and fall short that many times is truly regrettable. And the 2005 and 2007 teams weren’t bad teams, they just weren’t clearly the top team in the league.
The Yankees made a commitment to rebuilding this year. To rebuild and win at the same time requires a few breaks. That, unfortunately, didn’t happen.
Rebuilding, even for the Yankees, is inevitable to a degree. So when you do have the talent, like the Yankees had in past years, you have to capitalize on it.