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When everything has settled down and we look back, we will know that 2009 is the year that Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez finally earned his stripes — pinstripes, that is.

A-Rod had such a tumultuous start to 2009 with the steroid confession, hip surgery, and his divorce finally becoming official.

While Hideki Matsui may have been the MVP of the World Series, A-Rod was the MVP of the entire playoffs. He hit .365/.500/.808 over 68 plate appearances with six home runs and 18 RBIs.

Benjamin Kabak at River Ave. Blues illustrates what changed about A-Rod this year and why he is finally raising the World Series Trophy over his head for the first time ever.

While A-Rod will never be one of my favorites and I won’t consider him the greatest Yankee ever, I definitely respect all he has accomplished.

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…is what Tyler Kepner characterizes the season by the Yankees in one of his blogs yesterday afternoon.

Everything came together for the Yankees this year. They shed a lot of unnecessary contracts, and actually trimmed payroll this year, in spite of a $450 million spending spree. A-Rod stopped trying to do too much and became more natural, aided by Tex and Swisher.

The Yankees finally had good arms after the struggles of Brown, Johnson, Pavano, et al.

So this year was peaceful and easy….definitely!

 

The Yankees are the talk of the nation today.  For the first time in nine years, New York City and its surrounding areas are abuzz with the elation of a New York World Series Championship.  The first of many posts regarding the afterglow is about Joba Chamberlain and his father’s personal celebration last night.

Joba’s father Harlan was a victim of polio as child, forcing him to a wheelchair/scooter for most of his life.  Harlan first came into the lives of Yankee fans in 2007 as Joba burst onto the New York stage with his dominating relief pitching.

Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain celebrates the Yankees 27th World Series title with a hug from his dad, Harlan. (Photo credit to Big League Stew)

 

Here is a blurb from Big League Stew:

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The throng of media members around the makeshift stage seemed impenetrable, but Harlan Chamberlain motored his way through all of the cameras and notepads anyways. Reaching a blue barrier, he stopped his scooter, strained to look over a crowd of world champion Yankee ballplayers and tried to get a glimpse of his son. When that proved useless, he simply resorted to his considerable vocal chords.

“Jaaaaaaahba!” he yelled. “Jaaaaaaaaaahba!”

Harlan said his son’s name a few more times, then spied AJ Burnett in the crowd.

“Burnett!” he said. “Can you get my son!”

Burnett could and a few moments later, Joba put down the giant blue Yankee flag he had been waving up on stage. The big Yankees pitcher hopped off the stage, disappeared from the view of the Fox cameras and quickly made a beeline for his father. When they came together, they wrapped each other in a huge rocking bearhug.

It wasn’t long before both were crying.

They said the same thing over and over.

“We did it, dad,” Joba said.

“We did it,” Harlan said.

“We did it,” Joba said.

“We did it,” Harlan said.

And on and on. They held tight for almost a minute. Their eyes were red when they let go.

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This is the type of story that makes you tear up a little.  Moreover, this is the type of thing that Yankee baseball is all about – winning, but doing it the right way and remembering the people who helped you get there.  Later on, ‘Duk caught up with Harlan and had a chance to ask him how he felt.

______________________

“I told my son for years that he would do this, we would talk about getting to the World Series all the time” said Harlan while stopped near home plate of Yankee Stadium. “We just shared that moment while realizing that he did it. I pinched myself a few times. It’s pretty awesome.

“We love each very much. This whole adventure in life is about family and in our case, it’s about father and son.”

Hat tip to Big League Stew

I have to get up soooo early to go to work. I won’t have time to do my usual game recap today, but I will be back on this blog later this afternoon. Maybe Trevor will have a chance to post something. But there are a few things I’d like to say.

I’m sick of the comments on Twitter and on Facebook that the Yankees “bought their world series.” I’m going to do a blog post on this very topic later. That whole notion is ridiculous. Period.

Andy Pettitte is the man of the hour. No disrespect to CC Sabathia. CC was brilliant, no question. But Pettitte pitched the AL East clincher, the ALDS victory, the ALCS victory, and now the World Series victory. This is why he came back last January.

Jayson Stark has this article on ESPN about the Gang of Four (I like that name, I’m going to copy it). Pettitte, Jeter, Posada and Rivera.

Rivera pitched an amazing number of innings and all during the Postseason. I don’t think anyone could have asked for more from him.

I’m going to take some advil. My head is throbbing from the lack of sleep. I want to part all of you with this image for the rest of the day.

27rivera

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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