Yankees rightfully reclaim World Series title again
As I watched the New York Yankees celebrate their 27th World Championship at around 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday, I couldn’t help but think, “It’s about time.” It had been nine years since the Yankees last won the World Series, and those nine years were probably the most frustrating nine years of my life. For the last decade, the “Bronx Bombers” have been throwing money at big-name players in the hope of fielding an unstoppable team in order to try and keep their storied franchise on top of the baseball world. However, something went wrong every year, and they always fell short of that elusive World Series championship. This season, they finally got it right.
The Yankees spent a whopping $423 million this off-season locking up three of the top players in baseball: first baseman Mark Teixeira and starting pitchers C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. After these signings, I doubted the capability of these three players to mesh with the already star-studded team that they were about to join. Then the season began, and the Yankees got off to a typical slow start. Fans became restless, especially when they lost their first eight games against their most hated rival, the Boston Red Sox. Fortunately, the team began to play to their potential, and the Bronx Bombers won the division and entered the playoffs feeling very confident about their chances at a championship.
Entering the playoffs, the Yankees faced some big questions. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Sabathia, notorious playoff flops, would have to prove that they could perform under the pressure. These doubts were quickly squashed as A-Rod and Sabathia led the Yankees to win the World Series with phenomenal performances.
One of the main reasons for the Yankees’ success this year was their deep lineup, both hitting-wise and pitching-wise. There were no easy outs in this Yankee batting order to go along with the top-of-the-line starting pitching, featuring a former Cy Young Award winner (Sabathia) along with three more above-average starters. And of course, if the game ever were close, closer Mariano Rivera, considered by many to be the best in history, would be able to handle any situation and close out a win.
But what made the Yankees better than every other team this year was not only the skill level of the players, but also team chemistry. There was a great mix of both veterans and younger players, and as I watched the games I began to realize that all 25 members of the team were very close.
From special handshakes to blasting Michael Jackson before every game, a wide variety of team-first personalities helped create a very loose clubhouse, almost taking all the pressure off a normally uptight team. The players trusted that if they played a bad game, someone else would pick up the slack and they wouldn’t have to worry too much.
Ultimately, the Yankees proved that they were the best team in baseball this year. If they spend their money well by acquiring players with the personalities to match the statistics, the Yankees will be contending for championships for years to come. The team will come back again in March to start spring training with possibly more talent, and once again baseball will decide if the Yankees are the favorite to win it all.