The 2009 (New York is the greatest city in the) World Series wasn’t exactly one for the ages.
The Yankees won their 27th Fall Classic title. Ho-hum. The Bronx Bombers clinched it in the sixth game against the (double ho-hum) defending World Champions Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies looked like they couldn’t wait until the Series was over. And that was while they were playing Game 3.
Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel managed the team like he was back with the hapless Cleveland Indians.
Phillies slugger Chase Utley tied Reggie Jackson’s home run total for a World Series at 5. But it was all for not.
The Yankee bench was deeper. Heck, they could’ve even made room for A-Rod’s actress squeeze Kate Hudson to get a turn at bat. Rumor has it she can hit lefties better than the Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard. Who played more like Moe Howard during the Series.
The Series went according to plan, with Yankee Skipper Joe Girardi even overcoming the ex-Cub factor —- which in baseball lore decrees that the team in the Fall Classic that field the most ex-Cubs on the the field is bound to lose. Girardi, who won World Series rings as a Yankee catcher, actually went to the Cubs to don the tools of ignorance in the earlier part of the decade.
No jinx this time. See, the Yankees are too big to fail. Unlike banks in America. The Bronx Bombers are almost mythological in a country that knows how to worship its myths and legends.
And it’s a sure sign that the Yankees’ winning the World Series means good times are ahead.
Or so Yankeedevotees (including some sports reporters and historians) will swear by.
The franchise is so powerful an icon it seems to bring a feeling of confidence that’s contagious throughout the nation.
So that means optimism is stepping to the plate to knock one out of the park. And everyone will start finding work and the economy will turn around.
Because the Yankees are back on top, baby! As George Costanza might bellow.
Pinstripes can replace the stripes on the flag. The stars can become dollar signs.
Love ’em or hate ’em, when they deliver, the Yankees do it up big.Large in a Big Country.
Brash and arrogant, the Yankees are a metaphor for America: They’re the best money can buy and they expect to win. The team with the most World Series titles, as the Yankees go, so go the nation.
Anyway, the best season for sports —- when baseball, basketball, football and hockeywereavailable for the sports fanatic to view on any given night —- ended Wednesday night when the Phillies left disappointed at the new Yankee ballpark.
The House that Free Agency Built.
The Series had a few memorable moments: certainly Utley’s home runs, and Johnny Damon’s steal of second and then catching the Phillies infield asleep and almost matter-of-factly taking third in the same breath.
Damon, who won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 before he joined the enemy, was certainly a candidate for World Series MVP, which would’ve driven a collective stake through the hearts of the Fenway faithful.
Maybe it was appropriate that the MVP award went to designated hitter Hideki Matsui, who was a baseball superstar in his native Japan before making his mark as New York’s own Godzilla. The honor indeed puts the word world in World Series.
During the post-game honors, the usual suspects were hanging around the winners to get a shot at being with the Big Boys. Looming behind the Steinbrenner family and Girardi and some of the team was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had just the day before spent almost as much money getting re-elected as the franchise spent fielding a World Series winner.
Too bad Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins made the second to the last out. It would’ve been poetic justice if he made the last out, because prior to the Series getting under way, he was bragadocious and said the Phillies would beat the Yankees in 5 games.
Like the Al Pacino character says to the Kevin Spacey character in David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glenn Ross”: “You never open your mouth until you know.”
Rollins’ comment was the proverbial bulletin board item to post in the Yankees’ locker room for inspiration.
You know, right next to the photo of Kate Hudson.