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NEW YORK (AP) — George Steinbrenner would have issued a public apology.
After leading the league in wins this year, the New York Yankees didn't just lose to Detroit in the AL championship series. They got swept in one of the more humiliating moments in the team's history.
The four-game wipeout made headlines — A-Rod's benching, Derek Jeter's injury, Robinson Cano's slump. But it also revealed serious cracks in the foundation, showing a team full of aging All-Stars at the plate, in the field and on the mound that suddenly seems a long, long way from championship caliber.
"Obviously, we're all getting older," Andy Pettitte said Thursday night after the season-ending 8-1 loss to the Tigers.
Jeter broke an ankle near the end. Mariano Rivera busted a knee back in the spring. The Yankees transformed baseball's bruisers into the Bashed Bombers, closer to AARP years than MVP seasons.
Alex Rodriguez was so bad, the $275 million man was benched in three of nine postseason games and pinch hit for in three others, a possible prelude to a forced departure from pinstripes.
Six key players didn't hit their weight, with Rodriguez joined by Cano, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin and Eric Chavez.