As is the case in any season that ends without a World Series victory, fans the world over are looking for some unsavory scapegoat with whom to lay the blame for the Yankees postseason exit. Some are blaming Girardi, and his management of the bench, the bullpen, the line-up, the rotation, and the feng shui of the locker room. Others are blaming Cashman for poor roster construction. Many are blaming the players, for being old or unfocused. Some are blaming the umpires. Few, however, are pointing out that the Yankees were simply dominated by a younger, and perhaps better team.
At the plate
The Rangers - .304/.378/.512, 14 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 9 SB (1 CS), 24 BB, 43 K
The Yankees - .201/.300/.370, 10 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 2 SB (1 CS), 25 BB, 52 K
On the mound
The Rangers - 3.06 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 52 K, 25 BB, 4.07 FIP
The Yankees - 6.58 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 43 K, 24 BB, 4.72 FIP
Sure, two of the intentional walks blew up in the Yankees' collective face - but Girardi didn't groove a fastball down the middle to Molina or hang a slider over the middle to Guerrero. Burnett and Hughes did, and Girardi has to play the hand he's dealt. Yes, Matsui or Damon could have potentially outhit most of the line-up - but Cashman didn't bat .166/.254/.294. Jeter, Posada, Swisher, Rodriguez, and Teixeira did, and they weren't going anywhere. In short, the team as a whole didn't execute in any facet of the game.
Here's to the hot stove season, where we learn the fates of Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, and the numerous other names the Yankees are sure to be linked to, however tenuously. Here's to Spring Training, where we'll see a glimmer of the future, with Jesus Montero scorching the ball. And here's to next season, where hope springs eternal.