-Once again last night, the Yanks outperformed the Angels in what was supposed to be the Halo’s strength, playing clean, aggressive Baseball. The Yanks execution of fundamentals (walks, fielding, bunting) and the Angels inability to do so was clearly the difference in this series. Credit goes to the Yankee players and coaching staff for that, who stressed fielding balls cleanly in the outfield and getting balls back quickly to the right base. People wondered where the Angels running game went, and that’s what happened to it.
-You would expect to hear this from young players like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, but I was amazed at how many veteran players said they were leaning on the ‘Core Four ‘ throughout this postseason. During the post game festivities I heard AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, and others say that they leaned on those 4 guys and the tone they set was critical to how the team played. The largely mistake-free Baseball was evidence of just that. Even ALCS MVP CC Sabathia said that Andy Pettitte helped him so much, which was surprising to me. People always talk about how loose he is, but he said that the difference between this post season and previous ones was NOT trying to carry the team on his back, which he credited to the team he’s playing on and conversations he’s had with Andy. Expect Andy to be back next year.
-Another thing that struck me in the post game celebrations is just how close this team is. They weren’t high-fiving each other in celebrating, they were hugging each other. The extended Mo-Posada embrace after the last out was to be expected, given how long those two have played together. But it was everyone in the field and even the coaches in the dugout as well. Mariano Rivera said in more than one of his post game interviews that the Pool Party in spring training really set a tone that lasted throughout the year. At the time I thought it was a bit silly, and the kind of thing that doesn’t mean much. But apparently it meant more to guys on the team than it did to fans and media types.
-We’ll have more detailed breakdowns of the World Series upcoming, but the Yanks hold the clear edge in 2 of the 4 main elements (Starters/Bullpen/Lineup/Fielding) of a Baseball team, and the remaining two are about even. The Yanks clearly have an edge with their starting rotation, a big edge in the bullpen, Lineups are about equal and so is fielding among the starting players. Yanks in 6.
-Finally, let me ask you folks something. Anytime the Yanks MAKE the World Series, I consider it a hugely successful season. To me, the 40 pennants is even more impressive than the 26 World Series titles. I sort of have the Super Bowl attitude towards the Fall Classic, that just getting there is a huge accomplishment, winning it is gravy. I stress out enormously over the ALDS and ALCS, but I feel like I’m playing with house money in the World Series. I realized this in 01 and 03, when we got to the World Series and lost and found (to my surprise) that it didn’t bother me one bit. As Derek Jeter said to every reporter last night “It’s hard just to get here” and its something I don’t take for granted. After 6 years away, I would think most Yankee fans would appreciate just getting there more as well. 40 Pennants in 88 years represents consistent excellence year in and year out for almost 5 generations. That’s mind boggling. No other franchise in any sport comes close. I think that’s the Yanks biggest accomplishment as a franchise. Anything can happen in a short series, and as we’ve seen so often in recent years it doesn’t always tell you who was the best team. Anyone else agree?
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