It took nearly a decade but the New York Yankees were finally back where they belong, in the World Series. The most prestigious and well known sports franchise in the world captured their 27<sup>th</sup> world championship by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.
Some may argue with that the Yankees deserve to be in the World Series each and every year. Is it because they have the highest payroll year after year resulting in rosters looking something like an all-star game?
One thing is for certain the Yankees do spend the most and more often than not post a dangerous line up card putting them in prime contention every season. But that hasn’t happened the past few years (this writer thinks it was because Jason Giambi’s presence on the team – “The Curse of the Giambino”) as the Yankees have come up short every postseason since 2000.
Some may attribute the Yankees wild off-season free agent shopping spree to the fact they didn’t make the playoffs last season and the reason they are in this World Series, ironically against the reigning champions Philadelphia Phillies. The last time the Yankees faced a current champion was in 1996 against the Atlanta Braves, which the Yankees went on to comeback and win the series. This also started the Yankees torrid pace of winning four World Series crowns in 5 years.
We don’t know if a new dynasty will result again but many of the familiar faces of the team will be back in pinstripes next season, with the exception of Johnny Damon, World Series Most Valuable Player Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettitte (for now), all of them are unrestricted free agents and will be free to sign with any team once the off-season begins.
Contrary to last off-season the Yankees have their big guns already locked and loaded for next season. While they could definitely use a starting pitcher, after using a 3-man rotation all postseason, don’t forget about two-time 19 game winner Chien-Ming Wang who was injured for the second consecutive season and or Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes returning to the rotation. However that would mean a big hole in the bullpen.
But for right now the Yankees are enjoying a perfect season, one that resulted in a championship and although the Yankees and their fans have the rite to brag, there will still be “haters” present at every turn. But for most Yankee fans that’s ok, they deal with the “highest payroll” line from every other fan from every other team in the sport, they hear that A-Rod is a cheater and can’t produce when it matters (I hope these people watched this postseason) or that Jeter has no range on defense and Jorge Posada couldn’t throw out your grandmother.
All of these are fine, trust me. As a Yankee fan I implore other Yankee fans alike to simply take that criticism on the chin and smile and simply say one thing, “27 and still counting.” For if one thing is for certain the Yankees aren’t going anywhere, they’re back in their rightful place.