Yankees win 2009 World Series

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, the New York Yankees were at home on their couches watching as their 2009 World Series counterparts, the Philadelphia Phillies, defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to become world champions.

One of the big reasons the Bronx Bombers were at home during the Fall Classic and not participating in it was because their pitching wasn’t good enough. That’s why GM Brian Cashman opened George Steinbrenner’s fat checkbook to sign starting pitchers CC Sabathia (7-years, $161 million) and A.J. Burnett (five-year, $82.5 million). And just to make sure he had enough offense, Cashman also inked the top bat on the free agent market, Mark Teixeira, to an eight-year, $180 million deal.

The end result is that the Yankees got what they paid for.

With their 7-3 victory over the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series, the Bombers won their 27th championship in club history. Hideki Matsui (who was later named Series MVP) went 3-for-4 with six RBI and a run scored, while Derek Jeter finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Long-time veteran Andy Pettitte earned the victory, yielding three runs on four hits over 5.2 innings of work.

The Yankees are clearly at an advantage because they’re willing to spend. But at least they spend their money the right way unlike clubs like the Mets, who spend widely only to miss the postseason every year. The Yankees want to win and they knew last year that they’re pitching wasn’t good enough to match their offensive firepower. So yes, they spent and spent big. But they spent to win and they accomplished their one and only goal: To win a World Series.

It’s easy to get caught up in how much the Yankees spent on free agents last winter, but let’s not overlook how homegrown players like Jeter, Pettitte (even though this is his second stint in the Big Apple), Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera continue to produce in pressure situations.

Stat geniuses love to boast about how Jeter is overrated defensively and how his numbers continue to drop offensively, but this guy continues to shine when it matters most. He continues to be the backbone of the Yankees’ offense and provided the top of the lineup with a spark night in and night out during the postseason. There’s a reason why so many Yankee fans love him: He produces when everything is on the line. And these idiots with all their numbers and calculations continue to miss what he does for his club in the postseason.

I imagine this will be a bitter night for a lot of baseball fans that hate to see the Yankees win. Personally, it’s hard night to root for guys like Jeter, Posada and Rivera. Guys who play the right way and who are natural winners. So congratulations, Yankees.

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