the new york yankees defeated the defending champion philadelphia phillies in game six of the 2009 fall classic, 7-3, to win their 27th world series title. mariano rivera recorded the final four outs in typical fashion, to the delight of the cheering crowd at the spanking new, $1.5 billion yankee stadium. yankees designated hitter hideki matsui was named most valuable player. matsui, in limited duty, hit an astonishing .615 with three homers & eight runs batted in to help a balanced offensive attack.
manager joe girardi wore number 27 with the intention of inspiring his players to return to the coveted championship game, their first series appearance since losing to the, then, expansion club, arizona diamondbacks in 2001. during the off season the yankees spent $420 million to secure left-handed starting pitcher cc sabbathia, right-handed starting pitcher aj burnette & first baseman mark texiera. all three players were instrumental in the yankees' success.
before, during & after the regular season most of the media focus was on alex rodriguez, who, earlier this year admitted to using a banned substance in 2003. the charismatic all-star third baseman embraced the support of his teammates, as well as the loyal, albeit fickle yankee fans. one local paper headline called him a-roid, yet he finished the year with 30 homers & 100 runs batted in, despite losing over a month of playing time due to a hip replacement surgery.
the yankees also acquired outfielder nick swisher who finished the year with 29 homers, while sometimes batting ninth. the yankees slugged 243 homers in their new park, a franchise record. all-star shortstop derek jeter & second baseman robinson cano became the first infield pair (second base/shortstop duo) to record 200 or more hits in a season. texeira led the american league with 122 runs batted in & tied tampa bays' carlos pena for the lead in homers with 39.
while sabbathia & rivera are likely cy young award candidates, it was the consistent pitching of 37 year-old veteran lefty andy pettite players lauded in their world series journey. in fact, pettite clinched the winning game in all of the playoff series; first against the minnesota twins, who the yankees defeated three games to none, secondly against the feisty los angeles angels, who the yankees defeated in six games & finally against the phillies. pettite was 2-0 in the world series, winning game three & six.
phillies all-star second baseman chase utley tied yankee legend reggie jackson's major-league record by hitting five homers. phillies all-star first baseman ryan howard set a dubious world series record with 13 strikeouts. veteran pitcher pedro martinez, acquired from the mets during the regular season, lost both games he started. phillies lefty cliff lee, former cleveland indians teammate of sabbathia & last year's american league cy young winner was victorious in game one & five.
the yankees held a parade in downtown manhatan friday. the day b4 several of their players attended an espn televised game in madison square garden to watch the cleveland cavaliers play the new york knicks. knicks fans applauded their newly crowned champions but lost the game anyway. the yankees got a prime return on their investments. some folks say they paid for their title. baseball is a business. maybe next year i'll be able to afford a ticket to see them play. in the meantime, it feels good to be associated with a winner...
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.