Being swept sucks.
I don’t want to dwell on this year’s sweep of the Yankees, which I enjoyed even less than the 2004 American League Championship Series. At least that series was a lot of fun for three games.
Let’s just concede that the Tigers kicked the Yankees’ asses this year. No excuses for injuries or bad calls. Excuses might work if you lost in seven games, but even then they mostly just make you a whiner and a bad loser. When you don’t win a game, you salute the winner, appreciate the highlights of getting to the sweep and lose with some class and dignity.
You start looking to next year and hoping for hot-stove deals (a trade with Miami would be nice). You enjoy the World Series with a little less stress since your team’s not playing. And, if you’re a Yankee fan, you should appreciate how long we’ve been due to be swept.
This is the first post-season sweep of the Torre and Girardi generation of Yankees. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera still haven’t been swept in the post-season. In fact, the last time the Yankees were swept in the post-season, George Brett took Goose Gossage deep for the exclamation point in the 1980 League Championship Series.
These are the teams the Yankees have swept since the last time they lost a series without winning a game (the World Series sweeps were 4-0, the others 3-0):
- Atlanta Braves, World Series, 1999.
- San Diego Padres, World Series, 1998.
- Oakland A’s, League Championship Series, 1981.
- Minnesota Twins, Division Series, 2009 and 2010.
- Texas Rangers, Division Series, 1998 and ’99
That’s seven times the Yankees did the sweeping between their last two sweeps, 32 years apart.
Here are the other series the Yankees played between those two sweeps:
- World Series wins: Braves, 4-2, 1996; Mets, 4-1, 2000; Phillies, 4-2, 2009.
- League Championship Series wins: Orioles, 4-1, 1996; Indians, 4-2, 1998; Red Sox, 4-1, 1999; Mariners, 4-2, 2000; Mariners, 4-1, 2001; Red Sox, 4-3, 2003; Angels, 4-2, 2009.
- Division Series wins: Brewers, 3-2, 1981; Rangers, 3-1, 1996; A’s, 3-2, 2000 and 2001; Twins, 3-1, 2003 and 2004; Orioles, 3-2, 2012.
- World Series losses: Dodgers, 4-2, 1981; Diamondbacks, 4-3, 2001; Marlins, 4-2, 2003.
- League Championship Series losses: Red Sox, 4-3, 2004; Rangers, 4-2, 2010.
- Division Series losses: Mariners, 3-2, 1995; Indians, 3-2, 1997; Angels, 3-1, 2002; Angels, 3-2, 2005; Tigers, 3-1, 2006; Indians, 3-1, 2007; Tigers, 3-2, 2011.
That’s 12 series lost to nine teams, 24 series won over 12 teams. The Tigers’ sweep gives them the most series wins over the Yankees since 1980. The Twins, with four series losses, are the Yankees’ most frequent post-season victim in that time.
Yankee fans have had a lot to cheer about. We should accept this loss with grace. The better team won. I salute the Tigers and hope they kick some Cardinal or Giant ass.