The New York Yankees are going to the World Series. Sigh.
The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5-2 in Game 6 of the ALCS.
C.C. Sabathia was named the ALCS MVP. He won Games 1 & 4 for the Yankees. In 16 innings pitched he surrendered only two runs on nine hits and struck out a dozen batters. Sabathia will start Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
It is the first time the Yankees have been in the Fall Classic since 2003 when they fell to the Florida Marlins in six games. The Yankees last won the World Series in 2000 when they beat the cross town New York Mets in five games.
There is one key advantage the Yankees have over the Phillies. The Yankees will have two days rest while the Phillies won't have played for a week. The long layoff hurt the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007. But every year is different.
Here's another observation. The Yankees have a propensity to win World Series when Democrats are in the White House. The last time the Yankees won a World Series during a Republican administration was when Eisenhower was in the Oval Office. This was in 1958 when the Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in seven games. The Yankees have won eight World Series since then all during Democratic administrations - 1961, 1962 (JFK) 1977, 1978 (Carter) and 1996, 1998-2000 (Clinton). The Yankees could hardly buy their way into the World Series under Nixon, Ford, Reagan and both Bushes. The only other time the Yankees and Phillies faced off in the World Series was in 1950 when the Yankees swept the Whiz Kids and Harry Truman was in the White House. The presence of President Obama favors the Yankees although he did root for the Phillies in the 2008 World Series.
As for the Angels they literally threw away the ALCS. They committed three errors in Game 1 not to mention the brain cramp between Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar. Macier Izturis' throwing error in the 13th inning gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.
The Angels also committed back to back errors tonight in the 8th inning on bunt attempts. Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick dropped the ball at first base on a throw from Kendry Morales allowing Nick Swisher to reach. Angels reliever Scott Kazmir then lobbed the ball over Morales head on a bunt attempt by Melky Cabrera. Instead of being down 3-2 they would be down 5-2.
In all, the Angels committed 8 errors in the ALCS. The only two games they didn't commit errors were Game 3 & 5 which they won. The Yankees were the better team despite some good performances from back up catcher Jeff Mathis, Vladimir Guerrero and John Lackey in Game 5. It is worth noting that Guerrero and Lackey are free agents and might not return to the Angels in 2010. Ditto for Chone Figgins and Bobby Abreu. The Angels might have a very different look next season.
As for the Yankees, this is their 40th World Series appearance. Yankees skipper Joe Girardi said his team was going to win one for George Steinbrenner, the former Yankees owner whose health has declined in recent years. He hasn't always been a popular figure but his success and legacy are undeniable. Here he is at the height of his powers with his arch rival the late Billy Martin.