Thursday, November 05, 2009

Yankees Win 27th World Series!!!!

It's hard to put into words the emotions and excitement after watching my Yankees win their 27th World Series! It's also not half bad to do it in a brand spanking new Stadium! 2009 has been an incredibly satisfying year for me in the sports department. (My Tarheels won their 5th NCAA Championship against Michigan State earlier this year.) What can I say about this team that won 103 games during the regular season, which is the most in all of baseball. They led the American League in Home runs and RBIs. They had the most saves, this was a dominant Yankee baseball club. They were also a thrill to watch, I think my Grampa Ned would have loved to watch this team do battle.Now the first thing the pundits have thrown out is that the Yankees have finally bought their World Series Championship. Is it true that the Yankees spent a lot of money in the Pre-Season? Yes they have. But these talking heads are missing the bigger picture. The Yankees as a club have spent billions in the last 9 years trying to catch that elusive 27th World Series and have met failure in ways no fan would like to remember. I get it, they have the biggest payroll in sports, but if anything these 9 years have proven that no matter how much money you throw at a problem it will not get you a championship. So what made this year so different? Obviously the pitching between the big three C.C. Sabaithia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte were a major factor. But I really believe that the relaxed attitude in the dugout mixed with the strong bond between these Yankee players is ultimately what got the job done. These Yankees were hungry but they also played as a team. Unlike in previous seasons where the Bombers won many games and their bats were heavy, time and time again The Yanks were unable to put the pieces together in the post-season, and I firmly believe it was because of the business like attitude they took toward the game. They weren't having fun they weren't enjoying it. It was frustrating to see this the past few years. But after the first game this year I could tell a world of difference thanks to manager Joe Giardi and the fun Bench guys like Nick Swisher and A.J. Burnett, they calmed this team down which I think contributed to their success in this series. 17 Pies to the face is proof in the pudding.This was a World Series for the ages, and I have to give the Phillies their props they almost gave me and Cody Dee a few heart attacks along the way. What can you say about Chase Utley and his monster bat. He tied our own Reggie Jackson for 5 homers for the World Series record. The spinedly Jayson Werth and his big bat was also quite overwhelming and of course the tenacity of Cliff Lee and his ability to shut down the Bombers in Game 1. These are great contenders and I'm almost certain they will be here in November again. They are a also a cocky group, I believe it was the Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins who said to Jay Leno that he would beat the Yankees in 5. And what the hell was Pedro talking about being the King of New York after Game 2? Who's your Daddy now Pedro? Even though they beaned A-Rod 3 times and Tex once, the blood didn't seem to be too heated between these teams which allowed a fairly clean series to unfold. I also think the officiating was much better in the overall series then it was in ALCS division series. Maybe next year they will try to utilize the playback a bit more, it's a fine line but I think this post season has shown that the eye in the sky could make for better play calling in the future.
There were some instances in this series that stick out in my mind as key moments to the World Series. Regardless of AJ Burnett's meltdown in game 5, his shut down performance at home for Game 2 allowed the Yankees to recover off of the blistering game 1 loss to Cliff Lee. He went 7 innings and only gave up a run, 4 hits and he struck out 9 for the night. Say what you want about A.J. Burnett but when he's cooking you ain't getting in his kitchen. Andy Pettitte also came up big in Game 3 when he gave up 3 runs early but recovered his stride and even hit an RBI single to build out of the defecit. Andy proved the Yankees were making their case to stay in every game no matter what the Phillies tried to do. Pettitte truly earned his place among champions as he dug in and gave a gutsy pitching performance in Game 6 on only 3 days rest. I will admit I was worried going into the game but I never had any doubts about Andy. Game 4 was a wild one but Johnny Damon rose to the challenge in the top of the ninth inning as he fought his way onto base with a single. But what he did next was the stuff of legends, he miraculously stole 2 bases off of one pitch just because someone on the Phillies couldn't be bothered to cover third base. This move allowed A-Rod to crush a two run double and Posada to single bringing in two more. This was the decisive game for the Yankees, without Johnny Damon's play this series could have ended very differently. Even though the Yanks lost Game 5 I felt they battled honorably in the 8th and 9th innings cutting a 6 point defecit to 2 but it wasn't to be when Tex whiffed one for strike 3. But I firmly believe that the Yankee bats put the fear of God into these Phillies which brings up the last hero of the series Hideki Matsui. His performance in Game 6 was incredible. He made Pedro his bitch as he hit a two-run homer in the second, a two-run single in the third and a two-run double in the fifth. He almost hit for the cycle which had never been done before in the World Series. He had 6 RBIs which is a World Series record for a single game. He also received the MVP trophy which has never gone to a DH before.

Note to Yankees Management: DO NOT LET MATSUI GET AWAY FOR THE 2010 SEASON!!!What a rush this season has been between lows of A-Rod and his steroid problem, the Wang Meltdown, Joba's struggles to pitch a full game to the highs of A-Rod becoming Mr. October with clutch hits down the stretch in both the ALDS and the ALCS. To Damaso Marte and his level-headed pitching in the post season. His strike out of Chase Utley in the 7th inning was big time but Marte topped himself by then striking out Ryan Howard in the top of the 8th. I mean this is the same guy earlier in the season who had an ERA of 9.45. What a difference a World Series makes. Although to be fair the guy was recovering from an injury earlier this season. What else can I say, it's been a hell of a year! My Yankees played exceptionally and they kept on chugging through all season through thick and thin. I'm proud of my boys and I'm proud to be a Yankee fan. As my Grandfather and Father before me and hopefully my son and his kids after me---YANKEES FOREVER!!!

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