Is history on New York’s side?

The good guys head into play today with the best record in all of baseball. They also find themselves making a mockery of baseball’s very best division, the AL East (currently up by 8 games). The second-half of the season started with a bang on Friday. Now the Yankees look to put the pedal to the medal as they try to claim number 28. Fortunately for the team out of the Bronx, history is on their side. Or is it? One would think so considering they possess the best record in all of baseball to date.

Here is a little history tutorial. The Yankees have been a member of the mighty American League East since 1969 (year of the Miracle Mets). During that time, the Bombers have captured seven World Series titles and eleven pennants. Not too shabby for most franchises. New York not only wants to win every year, but they expect to win every year. The AL East took its current form (with the current five teams) back in 1998. Since 1998, the Yankees have made the playoffs 13 of 14 years, won six pennants, and four World Series. Oddly enough, in two of those four most recent World Series seasons (2000 and 2009), the Yankees did not enter July 15th in sole possession of first place in the AL East. In 2000, they were tied with the Toronto Blue Jays (crazy I know) and in 2009 they were three games behind that team who must not be named.

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Requiem For An Unlikely Season

Later this evening, the 2011 season will end. It is a season in which the Yankees were sent home early, where the preseason favorite Red Sox and Phillies won a combined 2 playoff games, and where you could make a strong argument that no matter who wins tonight, the best team did not win it all. And yet, despite all that, I have a feeling that this is a season that will stick out in the minds of many of us for a long time as one that reminded us of why we love baseball. When people ask me why Continue reading Requiem For An Unlikely Season

A Very Good Day In Recent Yankees History

Yesterday, I highlighted the anniversary of the Yankees loss to the Marlins in the 2003 World Series, focusing particularly on Joe Torre’s gaffe in Game 4. I decided to balance the ledger by focusing on some more positive memories today, and was pleased to notice that October 26th is one of the better days in recent Yankees history. Let’s take a look at 2 fantastic games that occurred on this date: Game 6, 1996 World Series The Yankees clinched their first World Series since 1978 on October 26th, 1996, with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. After losing the Continue reading A Very Good Day In Recent Yankees History

How the Yankees have fared in playoff series that have gone the distance since 1995

The Yankees’ lopsided 10-1 victory in Detroit on Tuesday night ensured that the Bombers would have the opportunity to return home to the Bronx to finish the Tigers off in a winner-takes-all Game 5 of the 2011 American League Division Series. The victory was the Yankees’ second-ever road win in an ALDS Game 4 to force a Game 5 at home — the first was against Oakland in 2001. The last time the Yankees played an ALDS that went the distance was in 2005, when they lost to the Angels in Los Angeles. The Yankees have played five previous ALDS Continue reading How the Yankees have fared in playoff series that have gone the distance since 1995

Looking for More Game Two Magic

The 2009 post-season run by the Yankees was obviously fantastic. They swept the Twins ALDS, beat the Angels 4-2 in the ALCS, and then beat the Phillies 4-2 in the World Series. Somehow, it didn’t hit me until last night while watching Game One of the ALDS versus the Twins (moving to the bottom of the seventh as I type this): each Game Two in the playoffs last year had something special. ALDS Game Two We all remember this one. The David Robertson escape act. The A-Rod homer against Nathan to tie the game in the ninth. Mark Teixeira’s walk Continue reading Looking for More Game Two Magic

National League wins All-Star Game for first time in 14 years

In a contest with a final score that seemed rather appropriate for the so-called “year of the pitcher,” the National League finally beat the American League in the All-Star Game for the first time in 14 years, winning 3-1 on the strength of some ridiculous pitching. Though I enjoy giving the NL a good ribbing from time to time, there was nothing to laugh about last night, as the National League All-Star pitching staff was flat-out filthy, limiting the AL to one run over nine innings (an unearned run, at that) and holding the hitters to a .194 batting average. Continue reading National League wins All-Star Game for first time in 14 years

Baffling Brett and other observations

Quite frankly, Brett Gardner confuses the hell out of me. First off, I’m always surprised that he had a sub .400 SLG in the minors. I know he doesn’t have much power, but even that seems a bit “much” (or little?) if you get what I mean. How did he manage to have an OBP of .389 (and a fantastic IsoD of .100) without any noticeable power? Probably a combination of two things: a good batting eye and pitchers with iffy control. Secondly, Gardner just makes me think. A lot. He makes me wonder how a player without much power Continue reading Baffling Brett and other observations

Examining some of the 28 Reasons

With yesterday’s paper, the New York Daily News included a special pull out section, previewing the baseball season. Therein was an article giving 28 reasons why the Yankees will win the World Series again in 2010. Breaking down all 28 would be tiresome and repetitive, so I’m just going to look at a few, and give some quick reactions. “8. A-Rod is hip-hip-OK” This is big. Huge. Monstrous. Gargantuan, even. Despite missing Rodriguez for a month, the Yankees had the best offense in baseball in 2009. This season, he’s fully healthy and ready to go from Opening Day. Perhaps this Continue reading Examining some of the 28 Reasons