Everyone knows the New York Yankees have the most championships in American sports history. So after the Yankees won their 27th title in 2009, fans of the team were hoping that they would see more of the same in the next decade by winning more trophies. However, the 2010s had a different plan altogether. Throughout the entire 2010s, the Yankees never got to the World Series. The only time this had happened was way back in the 1910s. Back then, the Yankees were trying to find out their identity as a team. How could this happen, you ask? Well, let’s look at each year by year to find out.
In the first year of the 2010s, the Yankees posted a record of 95-67. They managed to get the 2nd best record in the American League that season. The best player featured on Yankees that season was starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia. Putting up a 21-7 record with 197 strikeouts, C.C. was doing well after his first year on a Yankees contract. Those 21 wins we’re the most wins Sabathia had in his career. In the playoffs, the Yankees faced off against the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. Like every other time they met the Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees beat them.
The Yankees in those first two games had to come down from a four-run deficit and a one-run deficit. In game three, the Yankees eliminated the Twins by winning 6-1 and moved onto the ALCS. Sadly, the ALCS was the last stop for the Yankees that season as the Texas Rangers beat them in 6 games. Despite winning the first game, The Rangers dominated the Yankees in the next three games. The Yankees may have won game five, but it didn’t matter as the very next game the Rangers eliminated the Yankees. But the road of 2010s failure doesn’t stop there yet.
If the Yankees want to get to the World Series in this new decade, they first have to win the American League East title. Curtis Granderson had a monster season himself with 41 home runs. What Granderson also took part in a baseball first when the Yankees hit three grand slams against the Oakland A’s, it showed with a strong team they did win the A.L. East that season. The Yankees challenger in the ALDS was the Detroit Tigers. While the Yankees won Game 1, it would be downhill for them as the next few games saw who the Tigers were. The Tigers won the next two games in the series. After winning Game 4, the Yankees were eliminated by the Tigers in the decisive Game 5, thanks to Ivan Nova‘s bad start. This included back to back home runs in the 1st inning.
Probably one of the unique players of the 2012 team was Raul Ibanez. Ibanez was known for being a clutch player whenever the Yankees needed him. Down by two, Ibanez launched a home run into the 2nd deck in right field to tie the game. When the playoffs came around, Ibanez came alive. With the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles tied at one and the Yankees down 2-1 in game 3, his next two at-bats would become Ibanez’s big but short legendary Yankee moment. In the 9th inning, pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibanez smacks a home run to tie the game at 2. In the 12th inning, Ibanez crushes the game-winning home run on the first pitch into the 2nd deck to win the game.
Against the Tigers in the ALCS, Raul Ibanez came up once again to deliver a moment, and oh boy, he did. He once again hit a home run to tie the game at 4. However, after the homer, the Yankees season came to an end. Despite tying the game, the Tigers won game one thanks to Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers would keep the train rolling throughout the series, as they swept the Yankees in 4.
This season would begin the Yankees short decline of seasons in which they failed to reach the playoffs. The final record for that season was 85-77. Some of the players on the injury list this season included Curtis Granderson, Mark Texiera, and Alex Rodriguez, to name a few. Despite the injuries this season, there is one very special but sad moment about this season. Mariano Rivera announced in March 2013 that he would be retiring after the season was over.
To commemorate his retirement, all the stadiums that the Yankees played in that season, honored Mariano Rivera by giving him unique gifts. At the 2013 All-Star, Rivera made his final All-Star appearance in the 8th inning, getting his 3 batters out. In his final appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays , Pettite and Jeter embraced Rivera before being taken out. Rivera then walked off the mound to signal the crowd. For a season that didn’t show the Yankees improving last year, it showed that even bad seasons could have something special attached to it.
Well, that’s the end of the 1st of 3 part series about the failure of the New York Yankees in the 2010s. Don’t worry, if you hate the Yankees, there’s more failure on the way. For the next part, we will be looking at the 2014-16 seasons. These seasons will include Derek Jeter‘s final season and a particular foe that the Yankees will get to know in the playoffs. Make sure to show this to every baseball fan you know, except Yankees fans.
Follow me on Twitter at @SonicHockeyFan for more of my content!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!