I won't lie. First-round exits are no fun. They're sickening, frustrating, and downright embarrassing, and I'm speaking as a fan. Imagine how the members of the 2011 New York Yankees feel.
There is another emotion to add to the list: Anger. I'm not angry with the Yankees, per se. I'm angry with two other populations that have ties to the team.
First, I'm angry with the media. Throughout this entire series, and even more so when it ended, the media could talk of little else besides the fact that the Yankees offense was anemic. It was so anemic, according to them, that it, more than anything else, lost the Yankees the series. Wrong. Saying that is not only irresponsible, it is disrespectful. It is disrespectful to the Detroit Tigers pitching staff, who made all the right pitches to keep the Yankee lineup in check. It is as if the men and women of the New York sports media forgot (or never heard of) the classic truism, Good Pitching Stops Good Hitting. Instead of criticizing the Yankee bats, we should all be tipping our caps to Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, their setup guys, and, albeit grudgingly, their closer Jose Valverde.
Second, I'm angry with some of my fellow Yankee fans. Why is it that, every time this team is eliminated or is in trouble of any kind, the first and practically only person that gets blamed is Alex Rodriguez? You would think that A-Rod was hitting in every spot in the order and pitching nine innings, and that guys like Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Ivan Nova weren't even on the team. Don't get me wrong. I am well aware of Alex Rodriguez's history, all the troubles that he has brought on himself. But that is no reason to use him as a scapegoat.
I know, I'm talking to a wall (or, should I say, writing on one?). As long as the Yankees continue to have the highest payroll in baseball, and, as long as Alex Rodriguez continues to wear Yankee pinstripes, nothing is going to change, and that makes me sad.