Yankees back winning — good for baseball?
Homegrown talent and store-bought superstars — the Yankees formula for success for their 27th World Series championship claimed Wednesday with a Game Six victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that returned the team to the winners’ circle for the first time in what seemed to Yankee Nation like an endless nine years of waiting.
Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, four pillars of the Yankee teams that won four Fall Classic titles in five years starting in 1996, all came up through the farm system and were still thriving on the October/November stage in 2009.
Young fireballers Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes were developed by the Yanks, as was second baseman Robinson Cano.
There is no question, however, that the New York high-rollers have a big advantage in their gambles to hit the jackpot with the right free-agent signings, and the Yankees have been vilified in some quarters for outspending the competition to win their titles.
Their 2009 payroll of $200-plus million was about $100 million more than the Phils. More than $420 million in off-season free agent signings netted the Bronx Bombers CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira.
Baseball’s highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, mans the middle of the batting order, and Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui single-handedly overpowered the Phillies in the Series clincher with a record tying six RBIs.
Meanwhile, TV ratings for this World Series were the highest in recent years.
So the Yankees back to winning — good or bad for baseball?
PHOTO: New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia holds the MLB World Series championship trophy while being sprayed with champagne in the locker room after the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 2009 Major League Baseball World Series in New York November 4, 2009. The victory was the 27th World Series win in Yankees history. REUTERS/Mike Segar