Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yankees Win World Series; Some More Thoughts

Just a few thoughts about the New York Yankees on winning their 27th World Championship, and their first since 2000.

"The Core Four"+ One. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and manager Joe Girardi; OK, for all you baseball nit pickers, Jorge Posada didn't play in the 1996 World Series, but was on the roster, and was the primary catcher on the 1998-2000 championship teams. And Andy Pettitte did leave the Yankees for a while in the early 2000's. But can you imagine going back in time to 1996 and telling the "Core Four" and the catcher in 1996, Joe Girardi, that they'd win it all in 1996, and for three consecutive years starting in 1998...and THEN all five would be part of a team that that won in all again in 2009? Girardi is the skipper, and Pettitte, Rivera, Posada, and Jeter are all veterans in their late thirties, all of whom will be Hall of Famers or at least get Hall of Fame consideration. All of the players are still productive parts of the team, and are not hanging on for "one more shot". To me, this was the most remarkable thing about this team. Much is said about the Yankee's use of big bucks to bring in free agents, like CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. But its the home grown "Core Four" who are the heart and soul of this team.

Hideki Matsui- if this was the last game for this beloved Yankee, and the most popular player in the history of Japanese baseball, what a way to exit. As essentially a part-time player in this series because he is now a fulltime designated hitter, and three games were played in the DH-less National League park in Philadelphia, "Godzilla" was the Series MVP. His six RBI's in the Series tied a major league record for one game. He appeared in all six games, as a pinch hitter in games three, four, and five and had only 14 plate appearances in all. He had eight hits in 13 at bats, hit three home runs, drove in eight runs and scored three runs- he had a batting average of .615! Matsui had 18 total bases with those eight hits, and his hits/rbi ratio was one to one. A remarkable performance.

Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain- these young Yankees in the bullpen had a rough time in the post season. But the Yanks don't get to the post season without them. And Joba Chamberalin- he belongs in the pen. When he's on he can dominate.

Current Yankees Johnny Damon and Eric Hinske are part of a small group who have won World Series as both Yankees and Red Sox. Hinske is only the second player to appear in three World Series in three consecutive years with three different teams (Red Sox, Rays, Yankees). Don Baylor is the other player.

Johnny Damon- what else can you say about his at bat in game four? He kept fouling pitches off and then singled, stole second and third on the same play, and then scored on a base hit. And with his pulled calf muscle in last night's game sending him to the bench, it became imperative to win Game Six and close out the Series. Damon was too valuable at the top of the lineup, and his absence in a Game Seven would have been hard to deal with.

Andy Pettitte was the winning pitcher in the clincher in all three post season series. Not bad for a guy who didn't know if he'd even be pitching in 2009.

And finally...there is A-Rod. At last the ghosts of the past failures in the post season have been exercised. His numbers in the World Series weren't eye popping but his five hits drove in six runs when they mattered. Overall he knocked in a remarkable 18 runs in this post season, and his home run in Game Three in Philadelphia was the turning point of the game. He came through big.

Thanks for a great post season, Alex Rodriguez.

And for that matter....thank you, Kate Hudson!


Sue said...

Isn't Kate cute!

I'm from the Phillies age of Mike Schmitt, Larry Bowa, Garry Maddox,
Jay Johnstone, Tug McGraw etc.etc. Then one day they broke my heart and I stopped watching cuz I could not take the anxiety. I started back watching again because my Mom insisted, but then the unthinkable happened. Mitch blew it bigtime and I was devastated once again. So, I watch just once in awhile and never put my heart and soul into it. Glad I didn't watch last nights game...

TomCat said...

Congrats to the Yanks!

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Thank God they won it last night and we didn't get to Game 7, because it is raining like crazy as I type this (at 6:20 PM Thursday).

I'm elated, but sad because the ride is over....and counting the days until pitchers and catchers report in Tampa!

Oh...great picture of Kate Hudson, heh? She looks so much like her Mom its uncanny.

You're a very lucky man, Mr. Rodriguez.

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