Masters of Their Fates: Eulogizing the 2008 Yankees

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If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. Despite winning last night, the Yankees have been eliminated from playoff contention. Despite having one of the eight best records in the majors, the Yankees have been eliminated from the playoffs. Despite having the second best road record in the AL, the Yankees have been eliminated from the playoffs. And despite being written off by every hackjob of a baseball writer every single month this year, the Yankees kindly waited until there were five days left in the season to give up the ghost.

Was 2008 a disappointment and a huge letdown to Yankees fans? No doubt, we're used to something a little bit more. Do the Yankees players feel like they underperformed? Probably, but they need not blame themselves on an individual basis. Regardless of what anyone tells you, the Yankees did not fall short because Robinson Cano waited until September to start hitting. The Yankees didn't fall short because Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy pitched like Langston Hughes and Ethel Kennedy. And no, the Yankees didn't fall short because Alex Rodriguez played like a human MVP instead of a supernatural MVP as we are used to.

Nope, the Yankees fell on their collective face as a team. They played well against the Bostons and the Tampa Bays of the world, but always seemed to play down to competition against the Baltimores and Cincinnatis. They never collected that big August winning streak that pushed them towards the postseason over the past 14 years. Worst of all, this guy showed up in 2008 which never seems to coincide with Yankee success.

Make no mistake, I'm not eulogizing the Yankee dynasty. I'll leave that to the blowhard bloggers and lunatic Lupicas of the world. They still might win 91 games this year, more than they won in their 2000 championship season and one shy of the 1996 team. They've got one of the best bullpens in baseball coming back next year and they'll hopefully collect a couple choice free agents. Besides, with the ability to spend $200 million a year on salaries in the last American major sport that retains a whiff of free-spending ownership, they'll continue to field contenders, like it or not.

New York will play out the regular season with pride. Getting Mike Mussina to that magical round number of wins and letting Alex Rodriguez swing away for a home run crown is nice, but we Yankee fans will still clutch our pillows imagining what could have been, had a few July games turned out differently. I'll actually wish good luck to the Red Sox and Rays, members of the winningest division in the Wild Card era. They outshone my favorite team.

Still: My heart is in the coffin there with my team, and I must pause till it come back to me.

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"Alex Rodriguez played like a human MVP"

Sorry, but he hit into 11 double plays. In August. When his team needed him the most. Anyway, enjoy CC next year. Maybe it'll help ease the pain to buy yet another one of my team's top players and ride him to the playoffs.

For the first time in 16 years no Yankees or Braves in the playoffs. We need a baseball bailout to fix this.

Well said though.

And somehow the Cubs make it twice in a row.

btw, I didn't mean to sound nasty or anything, just realizing I go through the same letdown this time of year more often than not.

Sorry Rob. I might have enjoyed having you and CTC break up for two weeks during a Sox-Yanks ALCS.

Good job Rob but this is about 2 months late.

Just for that, I hope your bachelor party ends with a hooker impaled on a towel hook.

Me too

God that movie sucked ass. Where should I go for my bachelor party?

Branson MO

Oh no, my tickets say Bronson, MO.

...because Phil Hughes ... pitched like Langston Hughes ...

The coach said,

Go out and pitch
just like a bitch.
And let that game come out of you---
Then, we will be through.

I come to bury Jeter, not to praise him.


Go ahead, Iracane. Ban me. I don't give a fuck.


Well written. But no mention of the missing Torre? (Whose team may be heading to the playoffs.)

2008: Year One of the Curse of the Nazi Pope

Rob, I'll be happy to do the Mariners' postmortem, as soon as they're eliminated.

Sorry dudes. Aging be a harsh mistress.

A pitcher like Langston Hughes
I can't lose
When I cruise
Out on the expressway
Leavin the bodega I say suave

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