27

In 1923, the New York Yankees opened up Yankee Stadium with the first of their 27 World Series crowns in six games.

Last night, it was deja vu.

The Yankees opened up New Yankee Stadium this season with another great season capped off with their 27th championship, and the first since 2000 after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 to win the series 4 games to 2. It was fitting for this team built on tradition and legacy to close out the decade the same way they opened it. With a World Championship.

All season long, the Yankees were the best team in baseball. they won 103 games, they overcame the demons of A-Rod early in spring training, and they made huge splashes in free agency, signing CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett to big contracts, totaling a combined $423.5M. They took advantage of mistakes made by Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the postseason, giving them their 40th American League pennant, and their first trip to the World Series since 2003.

The Yankees then went up against the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, who went through a similar postseason run to get to the World Series, but the Yankees went with a three-man starting rotation, and with great pitching and timely hitting, captured that elusive championship for Alex Rodriguez, who definitely broke out the postseason slump that has haunted him for years. Was it the fact that he had more help and didn’t feel like he had to do it alone, or was it Kate Hudson? Who knows, but he did show up when his team needed him most. Give A-Rod credit as well for not charging the mound any of the five times he was hit by pitches. That takes a lot of poise and composure to not react, and it showed that this team was focused on winning.

You can not have a World Series without the most valuable player, and the MVP of the World Series was Hideki Matsui. In his contract year, Matsui etched his name among the greats by putting on a Game 6 performance of the ages with six RBIs, tying a World Series, single-game record, and in the process becoming the first designated htiter and the first Japanese-born player to accomplish the feat of being World Series MVP. No matter what he does in the future, whether it is going back to Japan, staying in New York with the Yankees, or going to another MLB club, he has put his name in the annals of World Series time.

The Yankees were complete, and they were the best team in the season, whether you love them or hate them. They paid their dues and it was rewarded last night with championship number 27. Just like in 1923, the opening of a new stadium produced a great end result, and a dominant legacy afterwards.

2009 brought the same result. New stadium, World Championship. The question remains: will the dominant legacy continue?

Time will only tell.

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