Tag: 2009 World Series

Aaron Boone’s 2003 Homerun Has Become Bittersweet…Even for a Yankees Fan

 To view the article this rant is based on, click here. 

Take a look at this video. Yankees fans should get a warm feeling inside; Sox fans, not so much.

I don’t mean to incite nostalgia, good or bad. Or maybe I do, but not in the way that you might think.

I’ve harped on this quite a bit, but I am going to continue to harp on it for quite a while. It may not be a fixable issue, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t constantly irritate me for the foreseeable future.

While you’re either basking or melting in the glory of this video, take a hard look at the stands whenever the camera pans away from the field. There’s hardly an empty seat in the house.

Yes, this is one of the most thrilling moments in the history of the sport. Not only that, but it took place in extra innings of perhaps the biggest game between the two franchises that constitute sports’ most tenuous rivalry—and at the apex of that rivalry, no less.

So no, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the stands are full.

But let’s think about this. This was a four hour playoff game, meaning it ended after midnight. I looked it up, and it turned out that this was a Thursday. I would think there would be plenty of people on hand that night who had work early the next morning. Or who had kids who had school that Friday. Or both.

But they all stayed. There might be a few who walked out that night, but there sure weren’t a lot.

Transport this moment to the new Yankee Stadium in 2011, and I would think it would have unfolded quite differently.

The crowd on hand would surely be delirious. There would be plenty of fans who remained. But there would also be plenty of fans who didn’t.

How do I know this? Well, I think anybody who’s spent enough time at either of the two venues would vouch, but let’s quickly jump in the DeLorean once more.

I attended Game 1 of the 2009 World Series at the Stadium, easily the biggest game in the Bronx since the Yanks collapsed in ’04 against the Sox. It was a close game, but a miserable one. Cliff Lee blanked the Yankees. They looked so hopeless offensively that Chase Utley’s solo home run in the first felt like a debilitating punch to the crotch. You didn’t even get hit that hard, but you also couldn’t manage to bring yourself to your feet after collapsing in a heap. When he homered off CC again in the sixth—another solo shot—it felt more like a visit to the guillotine than a punch in the groin. The Yankees simply weren’t recovering from that. At least on that night.

So yes, it was a bleak game, and the crowd’s mood was understandably somber. I was too. But if you looked around the stadium that night, there were clusters of empty seats everywhere. The stadium wasn’t even full when the game started, with visible vacancies in sections all around the ballpark (except the bleachers, naturally). But when Utley went deep that second time, people started leaving. In the World Series. In the sixth inning. Of a two run game, for christ’s sake.

Part of what made the Boone home run so special was that it served as the culmination of a massive comeback.

In that game, the Yankees trailed by four after three-and-a-half innings. After six innings, they had managed just three hits off a still effective Pedro Martinez. Yankees fans had no reason to think Grady Little’s bullpen phone didn’t work—those first 5 innings were as bleak as they could possibly be. Even after Little left Pedro in for the 8th, the right-hander managed to get Nick Johnson to pop out to lead off the inning. As Derek Jeter stepped into the batters’ box, baseball-reference’s win probability chart had the Red Sox having a 94% chance of winning the game, meaning the Yankees had just a six percent chance of survival.

When Chase Utley went deep for the second time in 2009, the Yankees still had a 25 percent chance of winning the game.

They were far from dead, and the thought of losing that game could not even compare to the dread Yankees fans would have experienced if Grady Little had even had a shred of sense in him.

You have two big games in October. Two playoff games in the Bronx where the opposing team had a knife to the collective throat of the Yankees and their fans.

In one game, the home team and their faithful spectators stuck around, standing and sweating for four hours with 50,000 compatriots, feeling defeated until their fears were vindicated as bedlam was unleashed in the Bronx.

In another, 35,000 sat in their seats, lamenting their favorite team’s fate long before it was sealed. Thousands more put the WCBS broadcast on their respective car radios, and turned the volume down as they drove home on the turnpike or highway of their choosing.

For a full-length and explanatory rant on this phenomenon, click here.

Jesse Golomb is the creator and writer of Soap Box Sports Byte. He currently works for Baseball Digest. If you enjoyed this article, or want takes on the rest of the Major Leagues, the NFL and more, you can read the rest of his work on soapboxsportsbyte or follow  @SoapBxSprtsByte

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Pitching Preview: Champion New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Game 2

Pitching Preview: Champs vs. Phillies Game 2 focuses on the game two match-up, in this 2009 World Series revival between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees .

Game 2:

The Yankees’ AJ Burnett will face the Phillies’ Kyle Kendrick on Wednesday night in the Bronx. Both pitchers are coming off horrible starts, so it’s safe to say both want to turn it around for this game.

Kyle Kendrick had a 2.79 ERA over his last six starts, until he bombed against the Marlins in his last start on June 8. Kendrick got moved in the roaster so Halladay could pitch against Sabathia on Tuesday, so Kendrick threw out of the bullpen for two innings on June 11th to keep his arm warm.

This youngster is a Yankees virgin, which is to his advantage, as the Yankees do not fair well against first-time pitching opponents. He has to figure out to rattle guys the Yankees from the start and keep them on their toes.

Kendrick’s main job is to locate his fastball well, because it lacks speed. Kendrick’s doom against the Yankee bats is if he becomes predictable. He has a solid sinker, a good change-up and a newly added cutter (thanks to Halladay).

His career ERA against lefties is 7.02, so he has to be careful with switch hitters like hotter-than-hell Posada and Swisher. Kendrick has to keep his confidence in a very intimidating place, against a line-up that could be it’s own all-star roaster.

AJ Burnett, another pitcher whose cutter comes via Roy Halladay . Even Halladay admits that Burnett’s cutter is the best in the game, but only if he can maintain control.

This is the same old song for Burnett. It’s that one inning (usually the 3rd  or  4th) where the mound turns to complete chaos, as Burnett can throw hard and he tends to hit batters.This season he leads the majors with eight batters hit.

Burnett has struck out 60 batters in just 84 innings, which is insane. He has walked 29 batters, which is a big improvement compared to this time in his last two season. Burnett has to locate and control himself better, or Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will demolish him. It is in AJ’s hands, as he will control the game more so than any other pitcher.


Burnett will win, as it’s time for AJ to have a kick-ass night, and pitching against the Phillies is just what the doctor ordered.

Kendrick will fair all right, but Posada will go yard once again. Yankees win 4-1.

I decided to make this a three post series, so up next is Pitching Preview: Champs vs. Phillies Game 3. It is a battle of the ageless veterans, Jamie Moyer vs. Andy Pettitte . Who knew Pettitte was so young?

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Yankees Minor League Pitching Coach has WS Ring Stolen

The Yankees minor league pitching coach for the Single-A Staten Island Yankees since 2008, Pat Daneker, had his 2009 World Series ring stolen from him by two women he had met in a bar that night.

While in Tampa, Florida, Daneker was out drinking when he took two women back to his Holiday Inn Express hotel room.

A hotel clerk said Daneker and the two women came in at 3:00 a.m. and the women left alone at 4:00 a.m. Daneker reported the ring stolen.

Apparently he took a couple of women back to his hotel room, passed out, and they took his ring from him.

They also took some money and a pair of cell phones, one issued to him by the Yankees. The women were later arrested and charged with grand theft.

I actually know Daneker from my time covering the Staten Island Yankees. I wouldn’t go as far as to call us friends, but we had a very friendly working relationship and I really enjoyed interviewing and talking pitching with him.

Knowing Pat, I initially laughed at this story, but the more I think of it the worse I feel because as far as I know Pat is still married (he got married in October of 2007). So Daneker could end up losing two rings in this deal, his World Series ring and a wedding ring.

I hope all goes well for him from here on out, but this just goes to show you that baseball players have to be extremely cautious when it comes to women and relationships.

No offense to Pat, but a guy who looks like him probably needs to be more careful. I don’t know what these women look like, but I’m sure he’s not used to bringing two chicks back to his hotel room.

He let his guard down for a minute, or 45 in this case, and he’s put his job on the line and his marriage.

Daneker pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 1999. He had a 4.20 ERA in three games and two starts.

I wish him the best.

BTW, his wife is pretty hot.


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