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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Yankees? record sets them up for championship

By Bryan Chouinard

Prior to tonight’s Fall Classic game, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys will be performing a song from Jay-Z’s new CD, The Blueprint 3, titled, “Empire State of Mind” in which Jay-Z said, “I made the Yankees hat more famous than a Yankee can.” Although it might be true that the hip-hop mogul has done better with a Yankee hat on than the Yankees have since the last time they won the World Series8212;20038212;that’s going to come to an end this week when the pinstripes win their 27th world championship.

The series gets under way in the Bronx tonight, where the Yankees not only had the best home record in the majors during the regular season but also are a perfect 5-0 during the postseason. In the first season at the new Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers have made themselves right at home. The American League won the All-Star game, giving the AL representative home-field advantage in the World Series.

But the Yankees have also been able to win on the road this postseason, winning games in both rounds against the Twins and the Angels (who had the best record in the majors this season behind only8212;you guessed it8212;the Yankees).

In tonight’s opening game, former teammates will be going head-to-head when C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee square off as game one starters. Both have been untouchable in the 2009 postseason with Sabathia boasting a 3-0 record with a 1.19 ERA, and Lee has gone 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA. But Sabathia has done it against far more dangerous lineups in the Twins and Angels as opposed to Lee, who has done it against the likes of the Rockies and the Dodgers.

In 2008, when the Phillies made their run to being crowned champions, they relied heavily on the arm of Cole Hamels. But Hamels has failed to reproduce the magic this year and has gone 1-1 in the postseason with a 6.75 ERA. In fact, Hamels not only will not be starting game one, he also won’t even be starting game two. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has decided to go with 38-year-old Pedro Martinez in game two. Martinez, who wasn’t even on a major league roster and was all but retired early in 2009, is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two postseason starts in the Bronx as a member of the Red Sox.

But more so than the starting rotation, the Yankees will gain their edge in the bullpen, where they have solidified the three-man rotation of Joba Chamberlain in the 7th, Phil Hughes in the 8th and the most successful closer in postseason history, Mariano Rivera, in the 9th.

Pitching aside, the Yankees come into the World Series with arguably the most potent offensive lineup in the majors. They had seven players hit 20 or more home runs and 80 or more RBIs in the regular season.

Both teams have been hitting the ball out of the park at a surprising rate during this postseason, and going into the Fall Classic, both teams have 14 home runs. But the big difference for the Yankees from years past is the production from third basemen Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been on fire in 2009, racking up five home runs and 12 RBI with a .438 batting average.

In the end, it won’t matter how much you hate the “Evil Empire,” or that the Yankees spent more than $200 million in the offseason. All that will matter is that the Yankees will be World Series Champions for the 27th time in MLB history. And when they win, if you’re really quiet and listen very closely, you’ll hear the cries of Red Sox fans everywhere.

That’s my favorite part.

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