Yankees Capture 27th World Series Title With 7-3 Win

Yankees Capture 27th World Series Title With 7-3 Win NEW YORK — Paint the town in pinstripes! Nearly a
decade after their dynasty ended on a blooper in the desert, the New York
Yankees are baseball's best again.

Hideki Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBIs,
Andy Pettitte won on short rest and New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3
in Game 6 on Wednesday night, finally seizing that elusive 27th title. It was
the team's first since winning three straight from 1998-2000.

Matsui powered a quick rout of old foe Pedro Martinez
and when Mariano Rivera got the final out it was ecstasy in the Bronx for George
's go-for-broke bunch.

What a way for Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and crew to
christen their $1.5 billion ballpark: One season, one championship.

And to think it capped a season that started in turmoil —
a steroids scandal involving A-Rod, followed by hip surgery that kept him out
until May.

About 100 miles south, disappointment.

For Chase Utley and the Phillies, it was a frustrating
end to another scintillating season. Philadelphia fell two wins short of
becoming the first NL team to repeat as World Series champions since the 1975-76
Cincinnati Reds.

Ryan Howard's sixth-inning homer came too late to wipe
away his World Series slump, and Phillies pitchers rarely managed to slow Matsui
and the Yankees' machine.

In a fitting coincidence, this championship came eight
years to the day after the Yankees lost Game 7 of the 2001 World Series in
Arizona on Luis Gonzalez's broken-bat single off Rivera.

New York spent billions trying to get back. At long
last, it did.

Hey Babe and Yogi, Mr. October and Joltin' Joe — you've
got company. Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and a new generation of Yankees have
procured their place in pinstriped lore.

And for the four amigos, it was ring No. 5.

Jorge Posada, Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera came up
together through the minors and were cornerstones for those four titles in five
years starting in 1996.

Now, all on the other side of age 35, they have another
success to celebrate. And surely they remember the familiar parade route, up
Broadway through the Canyon of Heroes.

Indeed, a New York City-sized party is next. Nine years
in the making, with all the glitz and glamour this tony town can offer.

For Steinbrenner, it was the seventh championship since
he bought the team in 1973. The Yankees had talked about winning another for
their 79-year-old owner, who has been in declining health.

Though he stayed back home in Tampa, Fla., he certainly
wasn't forgotten. The grounds crew wore "Win it for The Boss" shirts last week,
which were on sale outside the ballpark Wednesday.

New York wasted its chance to wrap things up in Game 5
at Philadelphia, then set its sights on clinching the World Series at home for
the first time since 1999.

While nine years between titles is hardly a drought for
most teams, it was almost an eternity in Yankeeland.

New York's eight seasons without a championship was the
third-longest stretch for the Yankees since their first one, following gaps of
17 (1979-95) and 14 (1963-76).

Reggie Jackson's three homers in Game 6 against the Los
Angeles Dodgers made the Yankees champs in '77. On this November night, Matsui
delivered a sublime performance at the plate that must have made Mr. October

Playing perhaps his final game with the Yankees, Matsui
hit a two-run homer off Martinez in the second inning and a two-run single on an
0-2 pitch in the third.

A slumping Teixeira added an RBI single in the fifth off
reliever Chad Durbin, and Matsui cracked a two-run double off the right-center
fence against lefty J.A. Happ.

A designated hitter with balky knees, Matsui came off
the bench in all three games at Philadelphia. Still, he had a huge Series, going
8-for-13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBIs. His go-ahead shot off an
effective Martinez in Game 2 helped the Yankees tie it 1-all.

Bobby Richardson was the only other player with six RBIs
in a World Series game, doing it for the Yankees in Game 3 against Pittsburgh in
1960. Richardson had a first-inning grand slam and a two-run single in the

Matsui's big hits built a comfortable cushion for a
feisty Pettitte, who shouted at plate umpire Joe West while coming off the field
in the fourth. Still, Pettitte extended major league records with his 18th
postseason win and sixth to end a series.

The 37-year-old left-hander, pitching on three days'
rest, became the first pitcher to start and win the clincher in all three
postseason rounds. He beat Minnesota and the Los Angeles Angels in the AL

Pettitte lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, four
hits and five walks. Joba Chamberlain and Damaso Marte combined for 1 2/3
innings of scoreless relief before Rivera secured the final five outs.

It had been nearly a half-century since players had won
five titles with one team. The last to do it? Of course a bunch of Yankees: Yogi
(10 titles), Mickey Mantle (seven) and Whitey Ford (six) in 1962,
according to STATS LLC.

For second-year manager Joe Girardi, a three-time
Yankees champion as a player, it was the fulfillment of a mission. When he
succeeded Joe Torre in October 2007, Girardi chose uniform No. 27, putting his
quest on his back for all to see. His tenure didn't start out so well, with New
York missing the playoffs in its final season at old Yankee Stadium following 13
consecutive appearances.

Steinbrenner's well-paid players hadn't soaked
themselves in bubbly after the season since Bernie Williams gloved Mike Piazza's
midnight flyout at Shea Stadium to win the 2000 Subway Series and cap the
Yankees' third straight championship and fourth in five years.

Two outs from winning in 2001, the Yankees stumbled in
the desert. New York then spent more than $1.6 billion after that trying to
regain glory, falling short with infamous flops such as Kevin Brown, Javier
and Carl Pavano.

But last offseason the Yankees got smart, adding a trio
of top free agents — Teixeira, Sabathia and A.J. Burnett — for $423.5 million.
They jelled with Rodriguez, the game's highest-paid player but a winner for the
first time in 16 major league seasons.

A-Rod became a newly minted champion following a sordid
spring in which he admitted using steroids from 2001-03 with Texas and then
needed hip surgery.

Maybe now, demanding fans in the Bronx will consider him
a true Yankee.

Howard set a World Series record with 13
strikeouts. … Derek Jeter batted .423 in the Series. … Teixeira had been 2-for-20 before his RBI single in the fifth. … It was the fourth time Rivera got
the final out of a World Series. … Yankees LF Johnny Damon left after three
innings with a strained right calf. … All-Star CF Shane Victorino was in
Philadelphia's lineup despite an injured index finger. Victorino was hit on the
right hand by A.J. Burnett's fastball early in Game 5 and removed in the eighth

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