At different times in the playoffs, New York manager Joe
Girardi has pulled Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher to ride
the pine. But Rodriguez took most of the heat, publicly, after getting benched
on three occasions.
His woes overshadowed the real surprise of the postseason
— Robinson Cano's inability to hit anything. After nine playoff games, the
Yankees' second baseman finished with a .075 batting average and .098 OBP.
With a minimum of 35 playoff at-bats, Cano's OBP is the
lowest in a single postseason and his average is the fourth lowest in playoff
history. It's certainly an unprecedented slump for one of the game's shining
Cano's horrendous postseason performance is even worse
considering this was supposed to be his time to shine. As Rodriguez and Derek Jeter age, Cano was expected to step up and become the torchbearer for the future.
He's the cleanup hitter of the future for the Yankees.
He's the one in his prime. He's the one eyeing a long-term contract after the 2013 season.
During the regular season, Cano showed that potential to
carry the offense. In 161 games, he walloped 33 home runs and 94 RBIs while
hitting .313 to put together another All-Star campaign.
Girardi, of course, never benched Cano. They had no backup option at second base — especially with Jeter out — and the 29-year-old
capped his forgettable postseason with a 3-for-36 effort.
As a result of Cano's struggles, it's unfair to pinpoint
Rodriguez as the lone culprit for the Yankees' freefall. Since he was paid $29
million this year, the 37-year-old is certainly open for criticism.
But he wasn't the only one that faltered. Mark Teixeira,
Granderson and Swisher — who struggled offensively and defensively in the
playoffs — all failed to threaten Detroit's pitching staff.
As the losses piled up, the spotlight shifted to
Rodriguez. At the end of the day, it's Cano who deserves some major blame as