Bleary eyed, but sated with my celebratory Belgian pecan waffles, turkey link sausages, numerous cappuccinos, and with a goofy grin plastered on my face, I am happy to report that the New York Yankees have won their 27th World Series Championship. Woohoo!!
The Yankees have christened their new stadium with their 27th World Series Championship in 40 tries. They won the Series 4 - 2 over a gutsy, exceptional Philadelphia Phillies team with a strong 5 2/3 showing by Andy Pettitte. Pettitte gave up 3 runs, but battled hard for outs and got the ones that counted even though he only had 3 days rest. Pedro Martinez was operating on regular rest, but that didn't keep the Yankees from driving him out of the game early. Joba Chamberlain and Demaso Marte held down the fort until the Yankees could bring in the greatest reliever of all time, Mariano Rivera. Rivera got the last 5 outs of the game, capping a phenomenal year, and post-season, with a final score of 7 - 3. Derek Jeter recorded his 175th hit in his post season appearances, and had a hit in all but one game in the entire Post Season. Alex Rodriguez was hit by pitches three times, as was Mark Teixiera, but A-Rod also provided a tremendous spark to the offense, casting of the demons of post seasons past.
UPDATE: The Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, won 3 World Series rings as a Yankees player (catcher), and has now won 1 as a manager in only his second year at the helm. That is quite a feat. And quite a feat to have done both for the same team. Not only is he a great manager, and a great player in his day, but a great humanitarian, too. On his way home from the stadium last night, after their big win, he stopped and helped a woman who had crashed her car into a wall. Not only did he check on her and make sure she was okay, but he flagged down a police car for her. Oh, and he had to run across a highway on which people routinely go 80 mph, according to the article link above. He didn't tell the woman who he was, either. She found that out after the fact. That's one helluva guy.
The Yankees, with the best record in baseball (103 wins in the Regular Season), played like the best team in baseball, and earned this 27th World Series Championship.
(Gallery of Photos, NJ.com)
Hideki Matsui earned the World Series MVP on the strength of his bat, driving in 6 runs Weds. night, tying a 49 year old record held by Bobby Richardson, also a Yankee. Matsui's contribution to the team throughout the postseason was simply outstanding.
This team started out slowly at the beginning of the season, losing their ace, Chien Ming Wang, early in the season. Alex Rodriguez was out for almost a month following hip surgery, with more surgery to follow in the off season. Mark Teixeira was also off to a very slow start with his bat, but not his defense. Yankee fans were dismayed, to say the least, when the Yankees were swept by the Red Sox - TWICE - early on.
But then something happened - A-Rod came back, Tex's bat began to match his defensive prowess, the pitchers started locating their pitchers, and the team became a team. People often complain about how much money the Yankees spend on their players, but all the money in the world doesn't buy you a Championship - it has to be won. This team, this 2009 club, is just that - a TEAM. They enjoy each other, have fun with each other, and they are passionate about playing the game. We usually hear about the highly paid players, like A-Rod, or Tex, or CC Sabathia. But there are plenty of players on that team who contributed who do not rake in the big bucks. The point is something happened this year. Despite their slow start, despite losing some crucial players, this team jelled as a team. They backed each other up, they worked for every win, and as a result, they are now the new World Series Champions.
Oh, and for all of the Yankee haters, here is a little piece of trivia for you - when the Yankees win the World Series, historically stocks go up, especially when they do it in 6 games! So, even if you hate them, there is a total bonus to them winning!
Here is Hal Stein Steinbrenner, son of The Boss, George Steinbrenner, talking about this team, and this win:
This win came exactly 9 years after the Yankees lost the World Series in Game 7 back in 2001. That was an emotional year for the Yankees, for the entire country, coming as it did on the heels of the attacks on the World Trade Towers. It is fitting that this week, the week the Yankees claim their Championship, in New York City Harbor is the USS New York awaiting its commission. This new ship is partially made with 7.5 tons of reclaimed steel from the rubble of the World Trade Towers. While traditionally only submarines are named for states, former NY State Governor Pataki lobbied to have this state of the art ship named for New York as both a memorial and a monument to those who were lost, and for those who will take the fight to our attackers. The ship's motto: Never Forget. Here it is sailing into New York City Harbor this week:
(AP Photo, Newsday.com)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will commission this assault ship on Saturday. Secretary Clinton will represent the Administration, but as a NY State senator at the time of the attacks, and one who worked diligently for the First Responders in New York City, it is most fitting that she has this honor.
It is a big week for New York City, for the Yankees as they clinch their 27th Championship, and as this great monument to those who were lost at 9/11 is commissioned into active duty.
Go, Yankees! Only four and a half more months until Spring Training starts!
Correction Update: I told you I was bleary eyed when I wrote this. I did not check on the whole submarine naming issue, kindly pointed out to me by a reader at NQ. Here is the correction:
How are submarines named?
Previously, attack submarines were named after fish and ballistic missile submarines for famous figures in American history. Today, attack submarines have principally been given names of cities, and ballistic missile submarines have usually received the names of states. The newest classes of fast attack submarines are named for states, famous Americans, and earlier classes of submarines.”
My apologies - I heard Gov. Pataki mention why he had to lobby to name a ship a state's name, but failed to check to see when that practice began. Oops!