The Yankees finished off the Phillies in six games to win the World Series. Philadelphia put up a good fight, but in the end, the Bronx Bombers had too much firepower.
This is good news and bad news for Boston.
First, the bad news.
The Yankees will be back in 2010 to defend their world championship. They are not going to pack up shop and decide 27 titles is enough.
They will be gunning for No. 28, and the pinstripes will have plenty of quality players to help them make a run. The captain, Derek Jeter, isn’t going anywhere. Neither is Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain or Robinson Cano.
Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera will be a year older, but they seem to be impervious to the aging process. At 38, Posada hit 22 home runs and 81 RBIs during the regular season — not too far off from his 25 HR-98 RBI career averages. Rivera looks the same as he did as a rookie and continues to break bats and shut down offenses with a cutter that should be registered as a lethal weapon.
Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Andy Pettitte are free agents. They’re all closer to 40 than 30, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see all three wearing pinstripes on Opening Day next spring. This postseason, they did more than show they can still play. Without them, the Yankees wouldn’t be hungover this morning and celebrating all offseason.
The core of the Yankees remains, and based on the past 26 years that George Steinbrenner has owned the team, they will not be sitting on their hands this winter. If they want to have an All-Star at every position, they will pay whatever takes to make that a reality.
The good news is the Red Sox are not the struggling franchise that went 86 years without a World Series.
Boston has proven it’s a playoff contender every year. The Red Sox don’t need any additional motivation, but a Yankees championship will certainly add more fuel to the fire. It could be just the kind of push a team needs heading into a long offseason.
You can bet that the image of a smiling A-Rod holding up the World Series trophy will inspire extra sets in the gym, extra hours in the cage, extra time spent working on mechanics.
The Red Sox want to win a World Series every season, no matter who wins. But having the Yankees on top of the world will give the entire organization just one more reason. When the Phillies are world champs, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. When the Yankees are king, it’s a sickening feeling.
The Yankees have raised the bar. The Red Sox will be ready to meet the challenge. They had some flaws this season, but even with those flaws, they were able to win 95 games.
The pinstripes now have what the Red Sox want. Boston has to do whatever needs to be done to win it back.