"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Be a Part of It in Old New York

Photos from ESPN/Getty Images

Photos from ESPN/Getty Images

Andy Pettitte clinched the AL East, the Division Series, and the ALCS for the Yankees this year, so it only makes sense that he’d be on the mound for the the last game of the 2009 World Series. He looked bone-tired tonight, more than 220 innings and seven months into his age-37 season, muttering darkly into his glove; but as you probably should have expected by now, he figured out a way to pitch just as well as he needed to. Hideki Matsui, your Series MVP, provided all the necessary offense, and the Yankees earned their 27th Championship with a 7-3 win over the Phillies.

Tonight, for a change, was not about Pedro Martinez – who, even more than Pettitte, seemed to be pitching on fumes and experience. He worked slowly and painstakingly, never hit his stride, and when he made mistakes he did not get away with them. It’s funny – I thought Matsui had hit Pedro well throughout his career, but that turns out not to be the case. It’s just that the hits he does have were big ones, from his part in the Yankees’ rally in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS through Game 2 of this World Series and tonight’s show of strength.

2009WSMatsui

Matsui put the Yankees on the board in the second with a big two-run home run. The Phillies got one back right away on a triple and sac fly, but the Yankees padded their lead in the bottom of the third: Jeter singled, Damon walked, Teixeira was hit by a pitch (definitely an accident this time), and after A-Rod struck out, Matsui came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. He promptly unloaded them with a single to center, plating Jeter and Damon (who, unfortunately, injured his calf running home and had to be replaced by Jerry Hairston Jr; be thankful there was not a Game 7). Pedro got out of the inning, but that was the end of his night, and a patchwork of five Phillies relievers finished the game.

In the bottom of the fifth, after Jeter doubled and scored on Teixeira’s single, Matsui did it again, doubling in Teixeira and Rodriguez to make it 7-1 Yanks. He ended up with three hits and six RBIs, and one triple short of the cycle, though with the state of his knees, you’re more likely to see Alex Rodriguez actually turn into a centaur. He’s also the first DH ever to win the Series MVP.

2009WSMatsuiCano

Meanwhile, Pettitte was in full Battle Cat mode. After the top of the 4th, feeling (with some reason) that he was being squeezed, he started yelling at home plate ump Joe West and had to be pulled away by Joe Girardi. This is not a fight you want to pick in Game 6 of the World Series. But Pettitte persevered into the sixth inning, at which point he gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Howard – hi, Ryan! – but talked Girardi into letting him stay in. He got Jayson Werth out, gave up a double to Ibanez, and finally running out of what little gas he’d had to start the night, was removed to a long, loud ovation. Pettitte hasn’t said anything about retirement this year… and I don’t see why the Yankees wouldn’t want him back… but it is possible that this was his last start for New York. If so, he certainly went out on a high note.

2009WSPettitte

Joba Chamberlain took over, and he looked pretty good, picking up where he left off a few games ago. He got three outs before running into a little trouble – and so with two out in the seventh and two on, the Yankees still up 7-3, Girardi brought in Damaso Marte to deal with Chase Utley, who could have pulled the Phillies to within one. It was probably the tensest moment of the game. I’ve groaned every time Marte came in this postseason, more out of habit than anything else, but he has been terrific, and he continued in that vein tonight, getting Utley to half-chase a slider for strike three.

Mariano Rivera took over with one out in the eighth – it was not a save situation, but no way Girardi was going to mess around here – and though it was not one of his seemingly effortless performances, he was never in real danger. When he completed the ninth he’d tossed 16 postseason innings while allowing one run, to the surprise of no one. Give Shane Victorino credit, though, he did not go gentle into that good night – his last at-bat, and the Phillies’, took took 10 pitches, but finally it ended the way most at-bats against Mariano do: a groundout.

And then there were a series of tableaux, some familiar – Jeter’s raised arms and yell, Rivera’s grin, Posada’s near-skip towards the mound – and some new: Mark Teixeira’s fiercely goofy expression as he jumped up and down, Nick Swisher tearing wide-eyed and open-mouthed towards the infield, Francisco Cervelli hopping around like a caffeinated bunny, Joe Girardi’s gaunt face an open book of anticipation and then, for just a moment, pure, unguarded happiness.

2009WScelebration2

I think almost all of us realize that nine years, in the scheme of franchise championship droughts, is not a long time at all, sometimes just a drop in the bucket. But it’s still a significant chunk of life, and most of us have probably gone through considerable changes since the 2000 Fall Classic – gained and lost loved ones, maybe started a family, changed careers, changed cities, grown up. And who knows where we’ll be the next time the Yankees win? All of which is, I guess, a long-winded way of saying: enjoy the moment.

Other thoughts/notes:

-”Empire State of Mind,” as I said a few weeks ago, has a nice catchy hook but isn’t a great song, and far from Jay-Z’s best. Still, it’s neat that this postseason had such an obvious anthem – if only because now I’ll think of the 2009 Yankees every time I hear it, probably for the rest of my life. And I mean, say what you want about the tune, but the song that makes me think of the 2000 Yankees is “Who Let the Dogs Out,” so count your damn blessings.

-The Canyon of Heroes parade is set for Friday at 11 AM. I think I have to go.

-I hope George Steinbrenner is at least lucid enough to know what happened tonight. Of course we already knew he was unwell, but the fact that he wasn’t at tonight’s game at all is still a little startling.

-I’m a little sorry Mike Mussina couldn’t have been part of this one; he did right by the Yankees, and retired with flair at the top of his game – but he arrived the year after a World Series and left just before another, Mattingly-style.

-I’m much sorrier that Todd Drew couldn’t be here for this one. But, as Alex and many other people mentioned tonight, this one’s for him.

2009WSJeterARod

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span

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36 comments

1 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 5, 2009 8:18 am

Mission 27 is complete! Now gentleman, you next mission if you choose to accept it is #28!

We can deal with that another day...now is the time to bask in the glory and enjoy all the whining from around the country.

2 Emma Span   ~  Nov 5, 2009 8:25 am

This is the Girardi moment I was talking about: http://bit.ly/3IQCZV

Also, I forgot to mention the highlight of the clubhouse celebration footage - Kim Jones interviewing Johnny Damon, who was being doused with booze throughout the proceedings. First he said, regarding his double-steal from the other night (I'm paraphrasing), "every time I see the highlight, I think I'm kind of crazy". Then, as he was talking about something else, Joba came up behind him, whispered "I love you" in his ear, and poured a whole can of beer down the back of Damon's shirt while he talked. Damon didn't react in the slightest.

I dunno if they should re-sign him or not, but if that was his last game, I have to admit I'm going to miss the guy.

3 rbj   ~  Nov 5, 2009 8:48 am

Snoopy and the Dancing Bunnies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRwsTyUPIYE

That about sums it up.

4 Simone   ~  Nov 5, 2009 8:52 am

I am still hyped up from the win. So many thoughts, mostly good ones though.

I also hope Steinbrenner is lucid enough to be aware of and enjoy this win. Goodness knows he is a flawed and sometimes terrible man, but he is at the end of his journey and the Yankees organization is his legacy.

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 5, 2009 9:11 am

Home drunk now from celebrating, the highlight was a pair of drunk Australians in the joint seeing my Yankees journey and saaying "Nice one, mate. Don't know fuck all about baseball but winning is winning and it feels great". Great indeed!!

TV news here just opened with Matsui of course, but I couldnt get a sports paper on the way home, all sold out! tomorrow morning i hope, not time for water and rest.

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!

6 unmoderated   ~  Nov 5, 2009 9:12 am

i was thinking a lot about Mussina during the later innings. It wasn't the same feeling I had regarding Mattingly and 1996, but close. I really loved Moose.

I might just have to make my way down to the city for the parade.

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 5, 2009 9:17 am

Oh yeah, heard three salarymen on the train talking about Matsui and the Yankees, i just flashed my jersey and they all smiled and gave me the thumbs up! The New york Yankees, greatest team in the world!!

8 jjmerlock   ~  Nov 5, 2009 9:30 am

Yes, Yes, Yes, God Bless!!!

Thought about friends I love who are no longer with us, what a special night.

What a special year, was wonderful to spend it with all of you.

Hideki - could there be anyone you wanted to see this for more than Hideki?

Hentai my kind of guy

My man

My team

My Yankees!!!!!! Our Yankees!!!!

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 5, 2009 9:49 am

Matsui. So gratifying to see him crowned as a champion.
He's been a postseason slugger for us.
Check it: .312/.391/.541
39 RBI in 56 games
at least 1 RBI in 10 of 11 postseason series. The Yanks are now 6-5 in his 11 postseason series.
He's had a monster run.
Arigatou gozaimasu.

10 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:02 am

What a beautiful mornin'

Waking up top of the heap. Too many things to remember from the year and the game. I'm sure we'll be chasing them down for awhile with no games to get amped for or watch. I remember how grim the mood was here in spring, with A Rod down and Tex scuffling badly. Our post-A Rod-return numbers are about as good as the best Yankee teams ever, though. Just stellar. Monstrous.

Oh, and speaking of Monsters ... I admit I blinked when a DH who mostly sat 3 games got MVP, but then I was so really happy for him. Class act his whole career. Gamer, gentleman. My own (sad) bet is he's not back, since DH is an issue for us, needing to rotate people in, but when his knees let him, the man is a major, major bat and nothing but good for a team.

I want to give another shout out to Cashman. I didn't see him last night, or hear him named enough in the interviews, but this must be SO satisfying for him.

Marte. Wow. SIX pitches to K the #3 and #4 hitters? Who are beasts. Suddenly that 3 year deal looks a lot better, I'd say. He got it back together just in time but he really did.

I feel almost boring when I talk about Jeter and - especially - Mariano. DJ hit .400+ in a QUIET World Series. It is almost absurd how reliably excellent he is. Mo, injured (who knew?) remains on a level that feels almost unfair to other teams. Damon said something like that: that the certainty that comes when he steps out there is unfair to HIM.

I think there was some JoPo irritation at times this fall, but the reality is that he's still one of the 3-4 best hitting catchers in the sport in his late 30s. And Andy? How really really good that he came back and was on the mound (as Emma said) for all the clinchers. Two more solid years and there's really legit HoF talk to be had. Meanwhile, we can just share how easy it is to enjoy and admire him.

I'm buzzing. Can anyone tell?

11 Raf   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:02 am

He’s also the first DH ever to win the Series MVP.

That would be Paul Molitor

12 Simone   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:05 am

Mo was injured?

I wish Mussina could have shared in this championship.

Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO, thanks for the report straight from Japan. I am so happy for Matsui. He deserves respect and admiration for his accomplishments.

I saw Cashman drenched with champagne. He was very happy in his own calm way.

Can't wait to read all the NY articles.

13 RIYank   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:06 am

I just can't believe we had to wait so long merely because of William's fear of commitment...

14 The Hawk   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:06 am

Man I had to go to sleep last night right after the game. Sooooo tempting to "get into it" here and watch the post game extensively but I resisted - aside from a heartfelt "whoo hoo!" - in the interest of next-day functionality.

Anyway. That game was so much fun to watch. I too wanted the championship most for Matsui, who is probably on his way out but has been a consummate Yankee and the only real drought years signing that I loved. What a performance by him - I liked that 0-2 hit the best. It was almost sad to see Pedro try to elevate and get it by him - I don't know what they were thinking there! Also he bailed out Joe West and that bad strike three call on A rod.

Pettitte delivered a vintage performance. I am proud of him today because cliche as it sounds, he gutted it out and did a great job. (Have I mentioned that Joe West is a turd?)

There was something poetic about watching Gardner flail away in the final victory of the season, like spilling soup on your shirt as you win the lottery.

Sabathia = huge. I wonder if his opt out clause looms larger now, though. Mission accomplished?

The best thing I can say about Teixeira is he didn't bring his struggles at the plate into the field.

Congrats to Alex Rodriguez, the transformed man. His WS mirrored the regular season - not gaudy numbers, but exceedingly well-timed hits. Keep it up!

There's really not much I can say about Jeter, and certainly not Mariano. I'll just say I really appreciate those guys, a lot.

Credit to Girardi. Big credit, in fact, for taking the near-universal criticism of his antsy managing and cooling it a bit. He made more bad moves in single games in the previous series than he did in the entire World Series.

Finally, it seems like the consensus is that a team pool tournament during spring training is largely responsible for this championship. Fascinating!

15 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:11 am

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!!!

16 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:16 am

Mornin' Ragin' ... ready to be Joyous Tartabull today?

17 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:18 am

I'm "Working off of 5 hours sleep and feel like I could run through a brick wall and not feel a thing Tartabull" this morning

so any Banterites heading to the parade? I know I'll be there

18 novayankeefan   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:30 am

I've lived and died with all the Banterites this past season! The ups and downs of this season, and culminating in the uttter joy of "#27". I have been a Yankee fan all my life, I'm 59 years old. I have seen alot of years ending like last night, and I have suffered through the Dark years. Living in Philly, this championship is one of the sweetest. I can now walk around wearing my Yankee gear with pride.
My wife and her family are rabid Phillies fans, and I can just sit back and smile when I see them during the year. I got alot of grief when they took 2 out of 3 back in May, but now when it counted, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!

19 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:37 am

[18] I have suffered through the Dark years

Nova, dude, I NAMED myself for the memory of the Dark Years!

Enjoy the baseball sunshine in Philly this winter!

20 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:43 am

Never worry, ladies and gedderbong. I was not just saying that to be inspiring. The Yanks did just as we thought they would; it was so money we should all feel like jackpot millionaires!

Man, I wish I could attend the parade, but I have to work Friday and I can't afford to skip work even for that. But I hope anyone who's there will represent Banter in the finest of manners possible. Enjoy!

(By the way, how prescient was it for Score Truck to feature Matsui on the side and Jeter on the back? Awesome!

21 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:44 am

Emma-great recap as ever. I never tire reading your stuff. Very artful. I always feel as though you're dipping into my brain and rearranging my thoughts

I feel as though we Banterites have been through a lot together; births, untimely deaths. I'm surprised how many huge belly laughs I've had reading the posts. I've also done my fair share of tearing up (which doesn't come easily).

This Yankee team was a fun one to watch get put together in the midst of our off-season chats, culminating in a most satisfying WS win.

Thank you Alex, Cliff, Diane, Emma, Will, Bruce, Hank and Todd (RIP). You have made this experience even more enjoyable. Mostly, thanks to my fellow Banterites who at once, funny, insightful, talented, erudite and a host of other adjectives that are alluding me.

I, too am sad that Mussina didn't get a chance to get a ring, but I'm beyond thrilled that Matsui came through rocking the jernt.

I'm actually free tomorrow morning. I usually don't do crowds. Maybe this time, I'll make an exception.

22 Chyll Will   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:48 am

Todd Drew, Jim Dean and all the Banterites who've either fallen by the wayside or have transcended time and life to a new and better place; we honor you with this, Mission Accomplished. We miss you and thank you for blessing us with your presence.

>;)

23 Bama Yankee   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:57 am

What a great morning. It's good to be Champs again. I never thought it would take this long to win another Serious, but I think the wait makes me appreciate it more.

Sorry I couldn't join in on the game thread last night, I just read through it and noticed that some of you were asking about me. Thanks for thinking about me. As Shaun and Chyll mentioned in the thread last night, I've had a lot going on lately. My father-in-law passed away suddenly last week from a heart attack. We were very close (he was like a father to me since my father passed away when I was a child). He loved baseball (he was a former high school coach) and was a fan of the Yankees. I am so thankful that he got to go to Yankee Stadium with me last summer. We had a great time and those memories are something I will never forget.

Sorry for bringing all this sad stuff up on such a great day, but this place is like family and I wanted to let you guys know why I have been absent from the Banter lately. Also, I wanted to let everyone know that we are not guaranteed tomorrow and you should make sure you take advantage of the time you have with your family. Don't put things off that you plan to do with your family, do them now.

Again, sorry for the downer this morning, but after a week of nothing but sadness it's good to finally have something good to think about again.

24 wcyankee   ~  Nov 5, 2009 10:58 am

Good...no, GREAT Morning Everyone. I'm so jazzed I can't stand it. I don't think I'll come down from this for quite some time. And I'm perfectly fine with that. Yes, everything truly is right with world now!

25 Yankee Mama   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:03 am

[23] Boy, I'm so sorry for your loss, my palindrome friend. How sad you must feel. I'm glad that the Yankees could give you something to smile about. Thanks for the inspiring words. I'll try to remember that when I want the kids out of my hair.

26 Raf   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:17 am

So did Pete Abe make the switch, catering to his audience, or does he really feel this way?
http://tinyurl.com/yh8e7do

h/t to MJ

27 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:29 am

[23] you've been missed here, Bama. Sorry about the loss of your father-in-law, and condolences to you and your family. It's great that you got to the new place with him, and that you got to create some great memories together there.
Hang in there, Banter brother.

28 Bama Yankee   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:35 am

[25] & [27] Thanks guys.

Sliced, it was actually the old place we got to see. He loved the Stadium tour and taking the Yankee Clipper to the game (you were the one who suggested we take the boat ride to the game, thanks again for the tip).

29 mrm1970   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:43 am

Y.A.N.K.E.E.S.
Here come the YANKEES
Let's get behind and cheer the YANKEES
They're gonna learn to fear the YANKEES
Everyone knows they play to win, cause

They're the New York YANKEES
Show them today why you're the YANKEES
No other way when you're the YANKEES
Wadda ya say we win a brand, new, ballgame

We're gonna shout when ya powder the ball
We're gonna scream, "put it over the wall"
The other teams gonna know what it means to play the Y.A.N.K.E.E.S
We love the Yankees
Shout it out loud , We Love The YANKEES
We're really proud of our YANKEES
And we're gonna win today
2, 3, 4, Hit, Run, Fight, Score, Go! Go! Go!

We're gonna shout when ya powder the ball
We're gonna scream "put it over the wall yo"
The other teams gonna know what it means to play the Y.A.N.K.E.E.S
We love the Yankees
Shout it out loud, We Love The YANKEES
We're really proud of our YANKEES
And we're gonna win today

Y.A.N.K.E.E.S. Yes
Y.A.N.K.E.E.S. Yes

30 a.O   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:48 am

I'm pretty much speechless. Amazing performances all around. Even more amazing feeling now. Thank you, Matsui-San.

31 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:51 am

[23] Condolences to you and your family Bama...I am glad you guys had the chance to share that game...that memory will last forever.

32 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 5, 2009 11:53 am

[28] I remember you took the ferry. Don't know why I thought that was this past summer. Damn. Time flies on the Banter.
Old Stadium, new one, doesn't matter where the memories were created, right? As long as you have them to cherish.

33 Bama Yankee   ~  Nov 5, 2009 12:20 pm

[31] Thanks William.

[32] It's hard to believe that our trip was over a year ago. We had been saying for years that we needed to take a trip up to see a game at The Stadium. We just kept putting it off until the final year of The Stadium forced us to make the trip.

34 Pete   ~  Nov 5, 2009 2:25 pm

[11] First *full-time* DH to win a World Series MVP, it should have read.

35 thelarmis   ~  Nov 5, 2009 3:08 pm

Bama - i'm so sorry for your loss, man. hang in there, buddy!

36 Bama Yankee   ~  Nov 5, 2009 3:29 pm

[35] Thanks thelarmis.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver