A Question for Yankees Fans

by Jason Epstein

Yes, I recognize that the Yankees have not yet been eliminated from the playoffs but, considering the events of the past week — Jeter’s ankle fracture, Cano’s postseason record-breaking slump, the benchings of Granderson and Swisher, and all of the A-Rod drama — do any of you kind of wish the Orioles had won the deciding game of the ALDS last Friday?

In an e-mail, New York Post associate editorial page editor Robert George responded:

Yes and no. Had they lost on Friday, people would have attributed it to A-Rod having a bad postseason (maybe injury related), Robby Cano slumping after a great season; Yankee braintrust would probably have decided that keeping Swisher wasn’t worth it and then just retool for next year. I think it took this collapse for Cashman to realize this team needs a major overhaul. A-Rod’s got to go, Swisher too. MAYBE Granderson. The team is too old (surprisingly, the pitching is actually the least of their worries.) Anyway, I don’t think that realization would have sunk in if the team had just lost to the O’s — disappointing as that might have been.  

Um, come to think of it, I guess I shouldn’t have said “yes and no.” The answer is “No, it’s better all around that they’re not just losing here — but losing epically.”

What does everybody else think?

Meanwhile, Cardinals fans yesterday couldn’t have been very happy when Carlos Beltran, arguably the most prolific hitter in postseason history (.375/.486/.830), hurt his knee running out a ground ball in the first inning and had to exit Game 3 of the NLDS.

No worries, said replacement Matt Carpenter, who, with one on in the third, swung at an 88-mph slider from Matt Cain and deposited it into the stands beyond the right-field bullpen.

After the 3–1 victory over the visiting Giants, the super-sub described the feeling of being summoned off the bench to play right field:

I didn’t even realize that Carlos had hurt himself and, next thing you know, Mike came up to me and told me to grab my glove and I was going into right field. Really there was no thought process. It just happened so quickly. I was really in the game before I had time to think about it. It’s one of those things that you can’t expect but still be ready for. And I think I was.

Beltran hopes to be back in the lineup for this evening’s game, but no one doubts that Carpenter will be ready to play, just in case.