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Sports Then and Now

Five Reasons Why the New York Yankees Will Not Make the Playoffs in 2011 8

Posted on June 28, 2011 by Mike Pesesky

Derek Jeter has struggled with injuries and inconsistency so far this season for the Yankees.

At the risk of sounding like a New York Mets homer and an unabashed hater of the New York Yankees, I must tell you, that I am a New York Mets homer and an unabashed hater of the New York Yankees. I know, my subtlety and boldness is overwhelming, but all jokes aside, there are a multitude of reasons why the 2011 installment of the Yankees will miss the playoffs altogether, despite the fact they currently sit atop the American League East division. So, my heartfelt apologies, Mr. Bloomberg, but there will be no American League East championship, no wildcard, nothing, just the stench of another failed run at a World Series crown, for a team whose success is unequivocally defined by championship rings, not playoff berths.

Red Sox Nation
Despite a recent four-game losing streak, the Sox have a record of 20-10 over their last 30 games. Stop right here. I already know that you’re going to rebut my point with the fact that the Yankees are also 20-10 over their last 30 ball games. You see, records can be deceiving, much like the looks of that blonde you chatted up at the club over the weekend after you enjoyed a few beers. During this stretch, the Sox took two of three from Cleveland, three of four from Detroit, and they ripped off a nine-game winning streak, including a sweep of the Yankees in the Bronx. Boston also impressively won series versus Tampa Bay and Milwaukee. All told, that is five series wins against five of the top ten teams in the league in terms of overall record. Sure, the Yankees did take three of four from Cleveland and swept a Texas Rangers squad who sits atop the AL West. Let’s be honest though, The Rangers pitching staff has the consistency of bleu cheese crumbles.

Oh, did I mention the Red Sox own an 8-1 record against the Yankees in 2011? The Sox have outscored the Yanks 60-37 in the nine games this year and have swept them twice in the Bronx. With nine games remaining between the two teams, it is hard for me to envision the Yankees enjoying any success against a team that has dominated them in every facet of the game.

Stingray Alert

Not convinced the nine matchups against Boston over the final 86 games should be cause for concern? Fine, how about 16 more games against the pesky and very dangerous Tampa Bay Rays? The Yankees will close out the first half of the season with four games versus Tampa in the Bronx and will also face the upstart Rays in five of the last eight games of the season.

The Rays, fueled by consistent pitching, have benefited greatly from the impressive numbers put up by James Shields, who is once again living up to the “Big Game” moniker he was noted for in the Rays 2008 AL pennant run. Thus far in 2011, Shields has outpitched David Price, posting an impressive 8-4 record with a staggeringly low ERA of 2.29.

Speaking of impressive, it would be an egregious oversight if I overlooked what Evan Longoria did to the Houston Astros over the weekend. Longo was a beast at the plate, posting a .571 average with 3 HR’s and 10 RBI. If Longoria can continue to rake and post numbers like he did in Houston, the Rays offense will become one of the most balanced attacks in the American League.

Nobody could have envisioned the Rays sitting two games back in the AL East, especially after their abysmal start to the 2011 campaign. They are a young, hungry and well-managed team, and they have the best road record in the league at 26-16. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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