Unbelievable! The Tigers advance to the next round of the playoffs while the Yanks go home.
Three years ago, they lost 119 games and were a punchline. You know, the Detroit Tigers … ha, ha, ha.
Funny game, baseball.
The Tigers are the ones laughing loudest now. And the New York Yankees? Well, they’re the joke.
Jeremy Bonderman was perfect for five innings and sublime for 8 1-3 in leading Detroit to an 8-3 victory in Game 4 on Saturday to win the AL playoff series and eliminate A-Rod, Derek Jeter and the other high- priced, high-profile Yankees.
Days removed from being swept by Kansas City on the final weekend of the regular season, manager Jim Leyland and his band of wild-card Tigers clawed their way back from an 0-1 deficit to win a series many thought would be severely lopsided.
Those predictions were correct: The Yankees didn’t have a chance.
These man-eating Tigers simply devoured the AL East champions, outplaying New York in every phase to advance to their first AL championship series since 1987. On Tuesday, they’ll play at Oakland in Game 1, the first postseason meeting between the clubs since 1972.
“I didn’t think we’d be here this year,” said Leyland, who took six seasons off before signing with the Tigers last October. “All we wanted to do was look at our pieces and parts. This came a little faster than I expected.”
Bonderman allowed just five singles, walking off to a thunderous ovation with an 8-1. Reliever Jamie Walker gave up Jorge Posada’s two- run homer.
After the final out, the Tigers mobbed each other in the infield and carried Leyland off the field on their shoulders, a fitting ride for the first-year Detroit manager who began his baseball career as a catcher in team’s system.
“He’s led us through the tough times that we had this season,” third baseman Brandon Inge said.
Moments later, the Tigers emerged from their clubhouse armed with champagne bottles and they uncorked them during a victory lap around Comerica Park, spraying fans who danced to Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Night.”
Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe each homered off Jaret Wright as the Tigers built an 8-0 after six innings and coasted through the final three.
The Yankees are heading home _ eliminated in the opening round for the second straight year _ to face owner George Steinbrenner’s wrath and what could be the coldest New York baseball winter in years. Steinbrenner may have big changes in store for his $200 million ballclub and galaxy of All-Stars, who haven’t won a World Series since 2000.
It must have been electric in Comerica Park tonight:
Waving orange towels that were handed out at the ballpark’s gates, Tigers fans roared every chance they could. While Friday’s crowd seemed skeptical about the home team’s chances, this group came for a celebration.
Update: Allahpundit is gloating about the Yankees’ elimination, but he’s way off base when he says the Mets will win the World Series. Sure, the Mets will probably win the National League Championship but only because the NL stinks. If the Mets have to face the Tigers in the World Series, the Tigers will eat them for lunch just like they did the Yankees.
Update II: My husband called this one. Joe Torre is outa there!
Heads were likely to roll after the Yankees were eliminated from the postseason by the Tigers, but the opening odds were on Alex Rodriguez going first, not Joe Torre.
According to the New York Daily News, however, the popular Yankees manager will be fired unless he decides to resign first to save face. Sources told the newspaper that former Yankees player and manager Lou Piniella will be owner George Steinbrenner’s choice to replace Torre.
After winning the World Series in four of his first five seasons, Torre has weathered many storms since then, but Saturday’s 8-3 loss left him emotional as he pondered his future in the Bronx.
“We felt pretty good about ourselves,” Torre told the Daily News. “But again, that’s something for [general manager Brian Cashman] and I and other people to talk about. But right now, it’s just …” and choking back tears, he concluded “… it’s just tough.”
Cashman and most of the front office employees are expected to keep their jobs, the Daily News reported.
Update III: Joe Torre still has his job but by the skin of his teeth.