October 6, 2021

Schandenfreude 323 (A Continuing Series)



Lindsey Adler, The Athletic:

In the end, the Yankees' efforts to turn their flawed and inconsistent team into a championship contender resulted in them delaying the dawn of their offseason by one game and two measly days. . . .

The Yankees' season ended in a predictable fashion: With a collection of shortcomings and mistakes that sends them into the long winter burdened with the weight of failure and humiliation.

Staff ace Gerrit Cole got only six outs against the Red Sox at Fenway Park in the American League wild-card game . . . giving up three runs on two home runs — one on the type of middle-middle changeup that seems destined to haunt his nightmares as the offseason gets underway.  . . . 

In a hole, the offense departed from its season-long patient approach at the plate to be more aggressive, which resulted in a lot of mediocre contact and no walks . . .

Their one offensive rally ended in the sixth inning when Aaron Judge was sent home on a 400-foot single from Giancarlo Stanton, winding up out at the plate by a mile . . . The Yankees made 22 outs at home during the regular season — tied with the Kansas City Royals for most in MLB.

It was an all-around uninspired performance befitting a team that had spent six months showcasing an uninspiring campaign. . . .

"[W]e got kicked in the nuts," Judge [said] . . . "I want to be a Yankee for life" . . .

Who's to blame for this latest disappointment? . . . The front office and ownership publicly blamed the players midseason; the players blame the front office.  . . .

This winter will be a moment of reckoning for the Yankees, who have disappointed themselves and their fans once again. . . .

12 seasons have now passed since their most recent World Series appearance. Eight different teams have won championships since — including the Red Sox, twice.

Their formula hasn't worked. Their formula looked insufficient for the current competitive climate  . . .

Boone spent the season adamant that the Yankees would perform to their talent level  . . .

And, sure enough, they did!

Deesha Thosar, Daily News:

Do or die, and we're not sure the Yankees were ever awake. . . .

[T]he Bronx Bombers, a team that looked grim and withdrawn by the seventh inning of an elimination game, were sent home for good . . . The Yankees were supposed to show up to the one-game playoff like a force to be reckoned with, only to be badly overmatched . . . 

Dating back to Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, the Yankees are 1-8 in playoff games vs. the Red Sox. The sting never gets easier. . . .

GM Brian Cashman, feeling the pressure knowing it's been 12 years since the Yankees [were in] the World Series, attempted to make the killer trade deadline moves . . . But the players that snoozed through nine innings of playoff baseball on Tuesday were no championship-caliber team. . . .

Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom is the hero, for now, who picked up a key trade deadline acquisition that helped bury the Yankees. Kyle Schwarber delivered the Big Papi-esque blow when the slugger began his postseason by clubbing a towering home run off Gerrit Cole that put Boston ahead 3-0. As the Yankees tried to wipe the sleep out of their eyes, Schwarber tossed his bat toward the Red Sox dugout, watched his solo shot sail to right field, and rallied a frenzied Fenway crowd to a playoff win.

Gerrit Cole and the Yankees offense fumbled their opportunity, but was anyone really surprised? The 2021 Yankees struggled all season . . . The non-competitive Yankees we watched on Tuesday provided a fitting ending to a painful year that featured impassioned play only in the final two-month sprint of the season. . . .

All year, the Yankees offense was frustrating and lethargic.

The Yankees posted 10 no-walk games in the regular season, with six of them coming after late August. By the time they shuffled into Fenway Park for a win-or-go-home Wild Card game, this was a Yankees team that looked depleted and anxious at the plate. . . .

New York again went with an all-or-nothing aggressive approach, one that hurt the Yankees against a Red Sox pitching staff that was all nails. The Bombers drew no walks in nine innings at Fenway and struck out 10 times. . . . [T]he lineup was as disjointed as it had been all season. . . .

The Yankees must hope the defeated and baffling club they advertised in 2021 was the last of its kind.

Alex Mitchell, Post:

Now all that remains for Yankees fans is a deep sadness, an emptiness, feelings of frustration, angst, futility, jealousy, and upsetting emotions that are beyond words — especially for those who don't "get it" like the diehards do.

"Sports depression is just like losing a job or a relationship: it's something you've invested a lot of time in psychologically, emotionally and physically," [counselor Greg] Miller [of Thriveworks in Cherry Hill, NJ] told The Post . . . "Now fans will have to hear about it all fall and winter . . . It's a grieving process." . . .

Sports grief takes the Kubler-Ross model of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — and those middle three tend to overlap with one another, according to Miller, who detailed when each phase most commonly occurs for fans.

Denial

This one came early and by way of a two run Xander Bogaerts first inning home run off Yankee Gerrit Cole. Those feelings became much more apparent in the third inning when the Bombers' ace pitcher was yanked after a shockingly subpar night.

"That was the sucker punch," Miller explained. "Many fans were quick to deflect with the logic of 'it's alright, it's still early,' but really that's a way of deflecting how much this game means to you and how much your team is letting you down. Then the doubt really starts to set in and that leads to anger."

Anger

Fans can thank Yankees' third base coach Phil Nevin for catalyzing this moment.

He gave Aaron Judge the green light to run home in the sixth inning on a play where the throw was waiting for No. 99 before he even came remotely close to the plate. . . .

"No matter how much fans prepare for a worst-case scenario, it's the thing you don't see coming that knocks you over," Miller said about the game's greatest error belonging to a third base coach instead of a player.

That sudden burst of pent-up frustration turning to rage, screaming at the TV, having an absolute meltdown in public, over one bonehead play is often the moment when things are no longer about the team but instead personal.

"It's a feeling that they are letting me down, and it becomes internalized," said Miller. "It has a lot to do with sports fans expecting things out of entitlement when it comes to their teams. But then the anger starts to boil down, and you soften into the next phase."

Bargaining

This is where the questions of "what if" start to sink in as a form of cognitive distortion. . . .

What if Yankee DJ LeMahieu didn't go on the injured list right before the playoffs? What if Cole brought his A game? What if the Yankees' bats didn't go subzero cold? What if Nevin didn't pull one of the biggest blunders in the history of third-base coaches? [JoS Note: What if I had not made the mistake of becoming a Yankee fan in the first place?] . . .

Depression

The Alex Verdugo two-RBI single in the seventh inning that pushed the score to 6-1 was the moment depression sunk in for many Yankees fans.

"[I]t can go in a number of ways but almost always involves isolation," said Miller. "It's a lonely feeling. . . .Yankees fans start to realize their friends and rivals from Boston will be all over them and that connects to the depression." . . .

Acceptance

. . . Most fans are still sunk into a depression the day after such a detrimental loss, one which Red Sox fans will hang over the Yankees' heads for all of eternity. . . .

Miller said that acceptance is not always a positive process, and, actually, it can be quite brutal — like coming to terms with the probability of either the Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays or Houston Astros winning it all this year . . .

"[F]ans who suffer depressive episodes at the hands of the Yankees will be able to take a healthy step back before April. "There will be another season — that's the lynchpin acceptance of sports depression."

Another season . . . when you will begin the process that will end with another horrible depression after another disappointing Yankees season!



1 comment:

grahams said...

You should really tag erotic posts like this with an [NSFW] tag.