NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years, getting mathematically eliminated Wednesday night during an 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Slowed by age and hobbled by injury, the Yankees (82-76) were chased with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning when the Cleveland Indians completed a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. Despite baseball's highest opening-day payroll at $230 million, the Yankees failed to claim one of the 10 playoff berths.
Since starting the latest run of success in 1995, New York had missed the playoffs only in 2008 - when the team bid goodbye to old Yankee Stadium. This time, the Yankees are saying goodbye to Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, who are retiring when the season ends Sunday.