Baseball: Yankees' big-hitters swept away in disgrace

Record scoring turns to record flop and it is embarrassment all round in New York

It was the whimper heard around the baseball world. The New York Yankees, the big-hitting, swaggering Yankees, were clean-swept out of Detroit on Thursday night, bringing to a torrid end a season that had seen them hurry through autumn in a rash of home runs. How the mighty hitters have fallen.

The home fans revelled in it; everyone outside New York revels in the fall of the Yankees. Chants of "sweep, sweep" swept around Comerica Park as the Tigers won 8-1 and made it four straight wins to settle the American League Championship Series. For the Tigers it means a first World Series in six years; for the Yankees it's a first post-season sweep for 32 years as their much vaunted line-up imploded to a degree rarely seen even in the extremes that have become common to New York's finest.

"Embarrassing," was how pitcher CC Sabathia put it. "Crushed," was Alex Rodriguez's take. "It's hard to stomach how we played here and at the most important time of the year," said Brian Cashman, the general manager. "We feel we let the fans down in New York, and each other at the same time."

The plan for the season was simple: it was the long-ball game. Out came what Joe Girardi, the Yankees' manager, termed "the big, hairy monsters" and away went the ball. Again and again and again. The Yankees hit 245 home runs during the regular season, a record return. Those hits, heaved by the likes of Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson, won 95 matches, the most in the American League.

But there was no Plan B. It was hit or bust and the Tigers bust them. The downturn was dramatic. Cano's 0 for 29 earned another Major League record, the worst recorded post-season return. It gave him an average of .056 – anything beneath .240 is considered poor. Granderson was .100, Swisher, labelled the "choke-meister general" by a fuming New York Post, .167. "We didn't swing the bats," suggested Girardi. "It wasn't one guy. It was a bunch of guys. It's hard to win when you don't score runs."

Girardi has borne the brunt of much of the criticism. None of his decisions came off post-season and hopes of running a new broom over an ageing line-up are limited by the number of players on long-term lucrative deals.

Rodriguez was paid $29m for a season that ended with a negligible contribution from the man who is halfway through the most lucrative contract in the history of the game. The next five years of Rodriguez will cost the Yankees $114m, this for a man who managed a single hit against Detroit. So poor was his form that Girardi benched him for three games – from where he did little to endear himself to Yankee fans by appearing to flirt with a bikini model during game one in New York.

Girardi insisted it was not all about Rodriguez. The man himself, though, did at least acknowledge his failings. "I've got to look in the mirror," he said. There have been broadening suggestions he may be traded to Miami Marlins, but he insists he is going nowhere – like his team, some might say.

"I love New York City and everything about being a Yankee," said Rodriguez. "The highs are very high and the lows are very low."

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
The reindeer pen at the attraction
lifeLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' and other winter blunderlands
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor

£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...

Argyll Scott International: Risk Assurance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Ashdown Group: IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

Day In a Page

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'