The Yankee Killers

Here’s a fact for you: until this season, the only franchise to beat the Yankees in two consecutive postseason matchups was the New York Giants, who defeated them in the Yankees’ first two World Series appearances in 1921 and 1922 (before the Yanks got revenge when Yankee Stadium opened in 1923). The Red Sox, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Indians, Mariners, Royals, Reds, Pirates and Braves have each beaten the Bronx Bombers just once in the postseason, and the teams that beat them twice each took at least one defeat in between: the Dodgers lost in 1977 and 1978 between the 1963 and 1981 World Serieses, and in 1956 between 1955 and 1963. The Cardinals lost in 1943 between the 1942 and 1964 Serieses, and lost in 1928 between the 1926 and 1942 Serieses.
The Angels, in 2002 and 2005, become the second.

15 thoughts on “The Yankee Killers”

  1. Behold the power of the RALLY MONKEY!
    I’m clinging to the Angels this year, as they are the only remaining team in the playoffs that I root for. My Braves, once again, have climbed to the top of the mountain, only to take a flying leap off of it once again before reaching the peak.
    18 Innings? Paradise, except for the last run. Brought back memories of the 07/04/85-07/05/85 Braves-Mets game I attended.

  2. I was thinking of that too. You stayed until the 4:00 am fireworks?
    I recall being at a 4th of July Block Party in my neighborhood. At around 10 or 11 o’clock I told my father I was going to “catch the end of the Met game” and come back down for a last drink or something afterwards. Needless to say I never made it back and never forgot the game. I thought about it recently when I read that Rick Camp was in some legal trouble. Rick, along with Terry Harper, hit one of the two tying homers that extended the game. Ron Darling ended up finishing; don’t remember if he earned a save or not, though. I think he gave up 2 runs of a 5 run lead.
    Amazing thing — being 17 at the time (17!) — I actually woke up the next morning and made it to work without much of a hitch.

  3. Some mention should be made of umpire Joe West’s part in the defeat of the Yankees. He chose a playoff game in October (the third game between LAA and NYY) to disallow the neighborhood play at second base, otherwise generally tolerated through the season and the years. Then there was his extremely problematic and idiosyncratic interference ruling on Cano’s run to first in the fifth game. Baseball needs to get the rules straight, not in October but in April. West’s arbitrariness seems the baseball equivalent of the rulings of activist judges. The Yankees lost for other reasons, but West has seemed a loose cannon among the umpires of October.

  4. Teams with $200 million payrolls do not get to blame the umpires. You were beat because your high payroll guys played soft and did nothing all series. The neighborhood play is tolerated only on relay throws on double plays not on force outs. He was off the bag, the call was correct and I have seen that called several times this year. Cano was also out of the baseline. That’s an automatic out. Correct call. You are complaining about an umpire making the correct calls. Too bad.

  5. I have to agree with Jim on this. True, I am a hard core yankee hater, and so I make a point of jumping and screaming for joy whenever they lose (April or October).
    But the fact is that the Yankees big name stars, the imports fail time and time again to make things happen when it matters.
    My theory is that the “professional” attitude is what actually makes them think it’s ok to not rise to the occasion.
    I actually feel a little sorry for Jeter (7H, 2HR, 5RBI, 4R, 1SB) and Posada (2RBI, 2R, 1HR, 6BB! 1.012OPS), who I see as home grown Yankees. They did rise to the occasion.
    Look at the pathetic performance of the “free agent” talent… A-Rod (.133, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 5K, 2GIDP), Sheffield (0 HR, 2 RBI, .604 OPS), Matsui (.200, 1 RBI, 3K, .673OPS).
    A-Rods GIDP last night in the ninth was a classic example of how un-clutch he is.
    And what does he say for himself after the game… “We left our guts on the field, we gave it our best.” – HA! How pathetic.

  6. The Sox’ll make it two in a row next year. I smell an unbeaten post-season streak for Boston over New York. Well, as soon as we get a second pitcher we can count on in October.
    Re: The Yankees getting weaker by importing stars. There’s nothing inherently true about this, although certainly the home-grown kids (and dont’ forget Rivera in that) are oddly better than the guys who proved themselves elsewhere in the majors. Curt Schilling last year was the kind of pitcher NYY has always gotten, but he succeeded where Kevin Brown visibly failed. I don’t think it’s an intrinsic thing, but a product of Steinbrenner’s cohort having too much control over operations, too much confidence in their own judgments, and not enough real insight to back it up. Not that they’re dumb, but they just have to have all these players who turn out to be bums.

  7. I thought Sheffield showed up last night…you could argue he didn’t have the power he should have had, I suppose. Clearly AROD was not the MVP he should have been…Jeter looked great, but how many rallies were killed by Matsui? Talk about an October surprise…that guy is usually money. Got to give it to the Ahnhels…I thought they were done after the two runs scored, home team or no.
    I agree about the “in the neighborhood” call…I’ve always hated that…the guy is either out or not out…the Braves play in the 8th was a clear example of why in the neighborhood is BS…dude was safe, yet a “neighborhoodist” would have called him out.
    BTW…not sure I know what an “activist judge” is…would that be someone like Thomas that wants to overthrow all federal laws made due to the Congressional interpretation of the commerce clause?

  8. Hopefully the beatings will continue.
    ‘Some mention should be made of umpire Joe West’s part in the defeat of the Yankees. ‘
    Yeahhhhh Right. The Cano bunny hop is why he got called. You don’t get the neighborhood call when you’re not trying to turn it. And they always call the runners box call. I’m guessing the GayRod bitch slap was a bad call last year?

  9. Sheff went 3 for 5 last night… but still 0 RBI, and 3 LOB… Regarding Matsui… right on, 8 LOB!!!! and 3 left in scoring position with 2 outs. Talk about a rally killer!
    As for importing talent making the yankees weaker… I don’t think I’m saying the “importing” is what causes this weakness. I think it’s more the club attitude and possibly the way ownership, management, and the team leaders set the tone.
    I think it’s actually the “This is our job.” attitude that backfires. It’s a little like those new ads that our out on TV now about “why do you do sport… for love or money”. The message is, that if you do it for love not money, it’s more pure.
    This is actually why I hate the yankees so much. I hate that they represent the professionalism attitude of sport. I want to see guys that really leave the heart and guts on the field. That’s why A-Rods comments after the game seem so hypocritical to me. I don’t think he (they) play with their guts at all. And I think you can find evidence of this when you dig in the stats; and I certainly see it when I watch the games, and the looks on their faces.

  10. ‘Stros Fan—
    “Activist judge” is a term of art in academic legal circles. It is commonly taken to mean “judge who ruled differently than I would have.”

  11. The Yankees lost primarily because they don’t really have a single shut-down starting pitcher (Johnson can be that, but he no longer is consistently, and wasn’t at all in this series, while Mussina most likley won’t be that again). Since Anahiem didn’t have that, either (with Colon ineffective), they still had a chance, but the path back to the top is going to have to involve finding championship-caliber starters. And those often have to be grown, not bought.

  12. I have to agree with the umps on this; the rules are the rules, whether you like them or not. Blaming the umps is something you do when they obviously screw up, not when they do their jobs. Second, as for the imports, yeah, they did not produce when we needed them to, no two ways about it. Last year against the Red Sox I saw them all trying to hit it out of the park so they could have their very own Aaron Boone moment on Yankeeography; this year, after playing small ball and winning game 4, they reverted to form and all tried to look good instead of getting on base. None of those guys has the heart and soul of someone like Jeter, Posada, Williams, or Paul O’Neill; for Arod to talk like he was the second coming of O’Neill is pure unadulterated horseshit.

  13. Jack Roy…love it…great comment…that is exactly what an activist judge is…I do get it now…
    My comment on the “in the neighborhood” call was more about the use of it generically than West’s specific use of it…all teams at one time or another have benefitted from that “no call”, and I’m pretty sure it is tolerated for safety reasons of the SS or 2B making the turn and not getting clobbered…but there are rules based ways to do that (call automatic outs for the “take out” play at second, or plain make the “in the neighborhood” on a turn a real rule so that it can be applied appropriately)….It ain’t why the Yanks lost. Yanks lost for a host of reasons, including notably Matsui’s nearly complete disappearance with RISP, etc etc…

  14. Actually, now that I think about it, if Matsui had only “disappeared” with RISP, the Yanks might have won…he did more than go AWOL…he actively slaughtered the rallies…my bad…

  15. Yes, I was there for the 4 am fireworks. I was just shy of 14 at the time and the game was sort of an early birthday present. So me, my dad, my brother, my step-mom, and two step-brothers all stayed. We kept moving down as the game wore on and had pretty good seats by the time the “14th Inning stretch” happened.
    Occasionally, that game is broadcast on ESPN Classic, and when it is, I scour the crowd looking for me and my family.

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