The Yankees entered the 2011 season with baseball’s biggest payroll at $202.7 million and their 25-man postseason roster had about $192 million in combined salary, twice that of the Tigers.
When Alex Rodriguez -- the sport’s highest-paid player with a 10-year, $275 million contract -- struck out for the third time, it ended both the game and the Yankees’ season while sending Detroit into the American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers.
“Maybe in years past I felt like I put too much pressure on myself, but I have no regrets,” Rodriguez, who went 2-for- 18 in the series, said in the Yankees’ locker room. “It’s hard to tip your hat, but you’ve got to do it.”
The Yankees’ nine-man starting lineup, which features seven players making more than $8 million this year, was held to two hits in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position by Detroit pitchers Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde. Fister and Scherzer, who together pitched 6 1/3 innings, have a combined salary of about $1 million this season.
“Right now it’s tough to handle,” said Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, who went 4-for-19 in the series, including a bases-loaded strikeout to end the seventh inning last night. “Collectively, as a team, we couldn’t get it done and now we have to take that into the offseason.