If any excuse the Yankees could make for their poor ALCS showing would be off-limits, I would have to think it would be blaming the fans. Nothing New York fans say should surprise the players, no matter how vulgar, inappropriate or unsupportive it may be. According to one anonymous Yankee, it did this year.
“I really think the booing spooked a lot of guys,” the player reportedly told John Harper of the NY Daily News. “A lot of guys hadn’t been booed before, and they couldn’t believe how nasty it got in the stands. A lot of guys were talking about it in the clubhouse. I was surprised by how much it bothered them. I really don’t think they ever recovered.”
It certainly bothered Nick Swisher, who was open about the fact that the criticism he heard from Yankees fans at the start of their series against the Tigers was hurtful to him. Robinson Cano was one of New York’s most beloved players throughout his monster regular season at the plate, but even he was booed in the postseason because of his horrendous slump. And A-Rod, well, that’s a novel in itself.
As Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk pointed out, the Yankees played two games in Detroit in the ALCS as well. They embarrassed themselves on the road just as badly as they did at home. It all came down to poor play and an inability to get the bats going. It didn’t help that the Tigers’ starters are as hot as they’ve been all season. When your payroll is as high as New York’s, the team shouldn’t expect any sympathy from the fans.