The Yankees season has been over for a few weeks now, but up until now, there's still been baseball happening. After this week, we can no longer say that. With the prospect of a long, baseball-less winter ahead of us, I asked the PSA staff what they enjoyed, and did not enjoy, about the 2014 MLB season.
Q: With the baseball season coming to an end this week, what have been your favorite and least favorite things about the 2014 Major League Baseball season?
Least favorite - the 2014 Yankees
-The Yankees IFA spending spree
-Joe Torre's number retirement
-Cashman's trade deadline acquisitions
-The Wild Card races
-Coney, Singleton and O'Neill in the booth
-Listening to Vin Scully call games.
Least favorite things:
-The Yankees missing the playoffs again.
-The end of the Jeter era
-The confusion over the home plate collision rule.
-Ernie Johnson's and Harold Reynold's playoff announcing
-Rob Thomson's consistently bad third base coaching
My favorite and least favorite thing has been the Derek Jeter farewell tour. I think that for a guy lauded as a team first guy, it was a shame to see that overwhelm the year.
I've loved seeing competitive (and mildly competent) baseball back in some great baseball towns: Kansas City, Baltimore, DC, Pittsburgh and Cleveland were all fun to watch. I hate the playoff format that lets a team with a +25 run differential represent the American League.
I've loved watching Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen continue to dominate their respective leagues on both sides of the ball. I've hated watching the Yankees without a player of that caliber (Jacoby Ellsbury led the Yankees' hitters in WAR with 3.6, tied for 48th in all of baseball; yes, every team in the league has a better player than the Yankees' best and most teams have two).
My favorite thing about the season has probably been just watching the players around the majors interact with Derek Jeter. I'm not talking about the staged pre-game ceremonies, either. The #RE2PECT has understandably frustrated some fans, but it really is remarkable to see how many players around the league looked up to him. It all seemed very genuine, and as a fan, it's refreshing to see players step out from the guise of formality and occasionally seem just as starstruck as any fan would be. As much as some snide writers might grumble about it, there's a reason the players treated him like a legend. For them, he was their hero.
The worst part of the season has been the UCL-tearing plague. It's been quite disconcerting to watch the staggering amount of young pitchers go under the knife, and the fact that my favorite pitcher is seemingly destined to fall prey at some point that is impossible to gauge doesn't make it any easier. Baseball's a jerkstore.
My favorite thing about the 2014 season was watching Tanaka and Betances pitch...it's too bad we didn't get to see more from Tanaka, but they were both truly electric. My least favorite thing was seeing Robinson Cano play in another uniform while the Yankees couldn't score runs. I get that losing a home grown player on a Hall-of-Fame track in the midst of his prime is something that fans of other teams have to deal with from time to time, but it's not something we've experienced much...if at all. In the future - and unfortunately it's going to be a long time before it's an issue again - the team needs to make sure this doesn't happen.
Favorite thing was Jeter's last at bat at Yankee Stadium. Least favorite thing was all the other nonsense regarding the Jeter retirement tour.
Favorite things about the 2014 MLB season? Brett Gardner, Masahiro Tanaka, Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Shane Greene, Brandon McCarthy and his twitter account, Seeing teams that never make it to the postseason make it to the postseason. Seeing the Red Sox be incredibly terrible, and all our Eduardo Nunez scenarios
Least favorite things about the 2014 MLB season? The Yankees sucking on offense, the injury bug/Humbler
My favorite things about the 2014 seasons were Tanaka and Dellin being awesome, Foul Territory, the Red Sox being embarrassingly terrible, and the Jeter walk-off in his final home game. My least favorite things were the Yankees being practically unwatchable, the two-hole clause, everything that had to do with Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew, Tanaka getting hurt, Rob Thomson somehow keeping his job as the windmill, and the fact that we might not have D-Rob next season.
My favorite thing about the 2014 season was definitely seeing the emergence of Dellin Betances into arguably the best relief pitcher in the game. And of course Derek Jeter's final home game was one of my favorite things as well. Seeing Jeter hit a game winning single in his final home at-bat was spectacular.
My least favorite thing about the 2014: the Yankees missing the postseason.
My favorite part of the 2014 season was definitely watching Masahiro Tanaka dominate in the first half. He had such broad arsenal of pitches, which gave him numerous weapons for making opposing hitters look silly. The 2014 Yankees were a pretty unremarkable team, but Tanaka was certainly a joy to watch. For a while there, it felt like Tanaka's starts were the only games the Yankees had a good chance of winning.
On a related note, my least favorite thing was the spike in elbow injuries to pitchers -- especially those that necessitated Tommy John surgery. The Yankees were pretty unlucky to have both Tanaka and Ivan Nova go down with UCL injuries, but plenty of other pitchers were also affected. Dozens of exciting pitchers missed significant time in 2014 because of Tommy John surgery: Matt Harvey, Jose Hernandez, Tyler Chatwood, Martin Perez, A.J. Griffin, Matt Moore, Patrick Corbin, Bobby Parnell, Jarrod Parker, Brandon Beachy, Luke Hochevar... and the list goes on.
To start with the bad, the ridiculous number of injuries across baseball was sad. I mean, yes, the Yankees missing the playoffs wasn't fun, but considering the first season I remember is 1996, I can get over a few lean years. Young guys having major injuries that could have a significant impact on their futures sucks.
Now for the good. It's been mentioned a lot already, but Derek Jeter's final home game. As un-fun as this season was a from a Yankees' perspective, that at least gave us something to look back fondly on. Tanaka and Betances were awesome. The two of them combined only had a handful of bad outings. Anytime you can almost guarantee a fun pitching performance is wonderful. And in a sorta gallows humor moment, there was the time I predicted that the Yankees wouldn't be shut out two days in a row.
Now that you've seen our answers, it's your turn. What have been your favorite and lease favorite things about the 2014 season?