Calling All Ghosts from Championships Past…

 

It’s a different team now…

 

Andy Pettitte

Mark J. Terrill/AP

 

So says Derek Jeter when asked to compare the 2009 Yankees to the 2004 team that lost the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox.  Yankee confidence seems to be very high based on the comments that I’ve read by a number of players.  Of course, the confidence on the other side is equally high despite the 3-2 series advantage for the Yanks.  Torii Hunter, in particular, intends to “shock the world”.  Nevertheless, tonight’s game should be a classic regardless of the outcome. 

I have felt all along that this series would go the full seven games.  There is a reason that the Angels are one of the best teams in the American League and they certainly showed it in their elimination of the Boston Red Sox in quick order.  Hi Julia, how are you doing?  ;)

 

Elise Amendola/AP

 

There seems to be significant criticism of manager Joe Girardi and his pitching decisions late in games.  Some have even called for his head if the Yankees lose the ALCS.  While I do not agree with the decision to use the ineffective Damaso Marte to relieve A.J. Burnett in Game 5 or some of the other moves involving Alfredo Aceves or even why Burnett was even brought back into the game after the Yankees dropped 6 runs on the Angels the other night, I am not ready to say that he should lose his job if he doesn’t advance to or win the World Series. 

I still remember 1980 when the Yankees fired the late Dick Howser after he had won 103 games in the regular season but lost the ALCS to the Kansas City Royals.  That was one of the worst decisions of the George Steinbrenner era, and Howser went on to enjoy a highly successful managerial career with the Royals before his untimely demise.  I do not expect Hal Steinbrenner to follow his father’s decision-making pattern, and I am convinced that Joe will be the manager of the 2010 Yankees.

 

 

 

I think the decision to leave Eric Hinske off the ALCS roster was a mistake.  The team opted for the speed of Freddy Guzman, but I think a pinch hit appearance by Hinske in the 9th inning of Game 5 with the bases loaded could have yielded a different outcome than allowing the ice cold Nick Swisher to hit (or lack thereof!). 

If the team is able to advance to the World Series, I am hopeful that they’ll add Hinske for some pop off the bench.

 

Kathy Willens/AP 

 

It’s crazy to think that Pedro Martinez will be a potential Game 3 starter in the World Series for the defending champion Phillies.  Of course, the staff is led by Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, and includes the impressive young J.A. Happ.  But Martinez has revitalized his career and is now in position to significantly contribute for another championship. 

I was surprised it took so long for anyone to sign Martinez this year, but the Phillies did a great job in solidifying both the front and back ends of the rotation with the acquisitions of Martinez and ace Cliff Lee.  At the time, I thought that Martinez would have made a great #5 starter for the Yanks but they were never players for his services. 

So, should the Yankees advance, they’ll be facing a former foe who was one of those players responsible for the end of the Curse in Boston.  If the Angels advance to the Series, I’ll root for Martinez…despite the past history…and the Phillies.

 

Pedro Martinez

Harry How/Getty Images

 

The Yankees should have ended the ALCS in Anaheim, but of course, the celebration would have been muted.  So, maybe it was meant to be for the series to return to the Bronx.  We’re home…we’re ready…and it’s time to succeed!  Let’s Go Yankees!

 

Richard Perry/NY Times

 

 

4 Comments

You can’t take anything for granted against the Angels, even Games 6 and/or 7 at home.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/

“If the Angels advance to the Series….” Ssshhhh! Don’t even think it! Andy will carry us to victory and be the old reliable pitcher he’s been, and the Yanks will be celebrating. I can picture it perfectly. Now it just needs to happen!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Why I am doing just fine! How sweet of you to be concerned! ;-) If they can get tonight’s game in, I agree that it is a critical one – if the Angels win game 6, game 7 will be very, very interesting. I too was surprised that Hinske was left off of the ALCS roster. Imagine if the Yankees had him as an option in game 5? And Pedro? I still find it strange to see a player I associate so much with the Red Sox wearing another team’s uniform. (Like seeing Carlton Fisk in a White Sox uniform….sigh..) I would love to see him get a shot at pitching again in the World Series! And if he is pitching against the Yankees? Sorry my friend – I will be hoping for better results then in game 2 of the 2004 ALCS!!

Have a great evening!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Congrats Scott! Fans like you have waited a long time! And I will have to agree with you – I wish our teams had faced off in the ALCS. Good luck – and rest up before Wednesday!;-)

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

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