Home > Uncategorized > Wrapping Up The Yankees’ 27th Title With Some Reflection

Wrapping Up The Yankees’ 27th Title With Some Reflection

Champions! Chris Rose is ready to get catch Derek Jeter's dating table scraps

I told you I would be back.

I didn’t think it would be almost 24 hours later, but it was a long night. And then an early morning.

I had a good time celebrating with my father at a local sports bar. Last night and today has been one of those times when I don’t think there are enough editions of SportsCenter. Every replay makes this championship feel brand new again. But in the live moment, I didn’t know what to feel as a Yankees fan.

You have to understand that I have always liked baseball, but I fell in love in 1994, a year in which many lost their love. I had surgery that year which confined me to a hospital bed all summer, from June to when school started again in September. With a lot of time and nowhere to go, I spent that entire summer playing the ground-breaking 3DO and watching baseball.

If you can remember, the Yankees were rolling along in 1994 with a lot of help from the likes of Paul O’Neill, Mike Stanley and Jimmy Key. Now, as a kid growing up growing up in Southern California, I feel like I should discuss why I loved the Yankees and hated the Dodgers, but just deal with it. And don’t doubt my fandom.

The Yankees were crushing the American League with a 70-43 record when the strike hit. But at the age of 9, you don’t really have a great concept of money and what exactly is greed. So when the sport started up again in 1995, I held no ill will toward the game. I just knew that I loved the Yankees and they were pretty damn good.

Yet, they continued to be pretty good and it got to the point that I took it for granted. When they won the World Series in 2000, I remember taking five minutes to celebrate with my family before going back to my high school French homework. I didn’t really know any other way of life with the Yankees but winning.

So, obviously, 2001 was a shock to the system and a infamous day for my right hand as I punched a cabinet as soon as Luis Gonzalez’s single hit the turf. My right middle knuckle is still swollen. The postseasons of 2002 and 2003 ended in disappointment, but 2004 was an entirely different animal. To lose a seven-game series when up 3-0 changed my entire thinking on the Yankees. Now, I EXPECTED them to somehow find a way to lose.

Around this time, I became a sports writer for my college newspaper. I found that building an attitude of being non-biased toward sports helped me deal with the Yankees’ relative futility. Instead of living and dying with every pitch (and in some cases, that’s exactly what happened in the past), I found ways to remove myself from the action. It certainly didn’t lessen my love for the Yankees, but it probably added some years to my life through all of the stress taken off my heart.

The next three seasons all ended with first-round losses. These were the new Yankees, the ones that had no fight when the going got tough late in games. They were going to fall; I just had to prepare for the crash.

They didn’t even make the playoffs in 2008. Oh well, whatever. My indifference toward the losses hit an all-time low.

And now they go from that to soundly defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to win the World Series. Huh?

As Iwrote my running blog on the game, I had forgotten what it felt like to celebrate a Yankees championship. Even worse, I had gotten so used to the playoff losses and was so influenced by my non-biased way of thinking, I had forgot how to actually enjoy it. While my dad was pumped up after every out, I just sat there, actually wondering how to feel about this situation. When the last out was made, I was excited, but it seemed so unreal. It just felt like a surprise even though I know that if they had lost the series with that team, I would feel that disappointment again.

I was rather subdued until I got to see the replay over and over today. I suppose I didn’t react how a die-hard fan should when your team wins a World Series title, but I think it’s settling in now.

Some post-game observations:

Watching Mariano Rivera on that last out was pretty funny to me. He initially reacted as if he had just saved a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in August. And then as people begin to pile onto the field, it seemed to click that, “Oh yeah, we are champions.” Jorge Posada had a very similar celebration span.

OK, so there is a lot of talk today with Mark Teixeira and his ski goggles in the locker room-champagne fest. I dearly hope that this catches on. There is something very nerdy about swim goggles. Ski/snow goggles are just much cooler (AND MORE EXTREME!!!) But here’s hoping that the next wave of celebration eye wear includes aviators!

Alex Rodriguez wins a World Series championship. That sounds awkward and it certainly looked strange to see him raise the trophy. He had a tremendous postseason to exterminate all that October choker talk. I guess I’m happy for him, but he really shouldn’t be dating Kate Hudson.

And yes, he is a true Yankee now. I’m still not really sure what that even means though.

Hideki Matsui probably wasn’t going to be a Yankee next season even before yesterday’s game. And the chances that he returns after that game certainly went down. He earned himself at least an extra $5 million on the market from that performance. The Yankees aren’t going to pay an inflated price for a mediocre DH.

And now for my favorite part: The undeserving winners. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Cody Ransom, Brett Tomko and Kevin Cash. You all have a ring now for reasons that no one can justify. You did absolutely nothing to make this team better.

In related news, Ted Williams still without a ring. And a head.

I don’t know enough about all these teams to say whether I do or don’t agree with this ranking. But that 1998 squad, for all of its numbers, was not THAT good.

My dad talked a lot last night about the 2010 season, but I’m just going to relish this for a while before I start thinking about next year. But I will say this: It’s going to be nice when spring training starts up in February to hear “World champion New York Yankees” again. I won’t be taking that for granted.

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