Baseball players aren’t robots (Except Albert Pujols)

The game’s best hitters cannot hit on command.  The best hitters may produce in the regular season, but fail to do anything in the playoffs (cite: Mark Teixeira & Nick Swisher). The playoffs are all about hot streaks and trends. To illustrate this point, let’s look at two sets of numbers:

  • 10 HRs, 55 RBIs, .297 BA, .350 OBP (97 games)
  • 5 HRs, 21 RBIS, .397 BA, .464 OBP (18 games)

These were David Freese’s numbers during the regular season and playoffs. Are Freese’s post-season numbers a sign of things to come? Is he the next coming of Babe Ruth? Both answers are obviously no, but these stats just show us that hot streaks are arbitrary and players can’t be forced to hit on command. Albert Pujols, the game’s best hitter, went just 3 for 21 in the World Series if you remove his historic Game 3. The Rangers weren’t throwing four aces at the Cardinals, either.

The point of this post? Relax.

I’ve read/listened to/heard so many different fans claiming that the Yankees need to get of Gardner, A-Rod, and even Teix. Without Teix, the Yankees are short 40 HRs and more importantly, a Gold Glove at first. Without Gardner, the Yankees are a one-dimension power hitting team. Without A-Rod, they do not have the pure presence of one of the game’s best hitters. All three of these players (plus all 22 others) make up the Yankees. Most of these players are under contract into the forseeable future.

The playoffs are so short; teams get hot and teams go cold. The Yankee bats happened to turn into ice during Game 5 of the ALDS. It happens. They aren’t robots.

Even though you probably wanna strangle A-Rod when he strikeouts with the bases loaded, he’s part of the family. When Derek Jeter can’t get to a ball in the hole, he’s still part of the family. Love’em, embrace’em, and scream at em when necessary. You never know when one of these guys will unlock their inner David Freese…