5 Comparisons Between the 2009 Yankees and the 2012 Team
The 2009 New York Yankees captured the franchise's 27th World Series title and now the 2012 Bombers are chasing the franchise's 28th.
Comparisons can be made to the team the Yankees are putting on the field this season, as is the case with every team the Bombers have put on the field over the past few decades.
But despite the predictability of what the Yanks do on the diamond, it has been a solid recipe for success in their history.
Let's take a look at some comparisons between the 2009 and 2012 Yankees that could lead to New York's 28th championship ring.
Questionable Playoff Rotation
The 2012 Yankees have faced all sorts of questions with their rotation, but that's nothing new for this team.
In 2009, the Bombers went into October baseball with a rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte, a three-man rotation which is the biggest difference between that team and the 2012 version.
It wasn't thought the Yanks had enough depth in that rotation to be successful, but that was a notion that was proven wrong.
This year the Yankees still have CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte as the top two starters in their playoff starting staff, but new additions Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes have been added to the mix.
Hughes has been the most inconsistent of the four pitchers this season and, while the questions about depth still exist, the Yanks can match up well with any team in the American League.
If the 2009 team won a World Series with that three-man rotation, there's no doubt this year's team can do it.
Reliant on the Long Ball
They aren't called the Bronx Bombers for nothing.
New York's ball park is a home run haven, so naturally the Yanks' lineup is built to accommodate that.
In 2009, the Bombers finished the season with a league-leading 244 homers—20 more than any other team in baseball. 2012 has been much of the same story with the Yanks racking up 245 homers, good enough for 31 more than any other team.
The 2009 Yankees hit for a better average with runners in scoring position, but that doesn't change the fact that home runs are a large chunk of this team's offense each year.
Living by the long ball is something that gets the Yankees by in the regular season, but when it comes to the playoffs, relying on the home run can be a recipe for failure.
The Yankees are always active in the free-agent market, so signing aging players to short-term deals is nothing new. Not to mention, the Bombers sign their players to long-term contracts that often have the player on the payroll until their later years.
In both 2009 and 2012, the Yanks' average age on the roster was a little over 30. Year in and year out, the Yanks are among the oldest, if not the oldest, team in the major leagues.
Having an older roster can be dangerous because older players tend to break down and injuries could become plentiful. But overshadowing that fact is the amount of experience a veteran team has and while it doesn't guarantee a championship, it certainly couldn't hurt.
Lack of Small Ball
Being that this team is always reliant on the long ball, it isn't likely the Yanks will be playing much small ball. It's hard to do that when everyone in the lineup can hit the ball out of the park.
In 2009, the Yanks were more active on the basepaths with 111 stolen bases as compared to the 2012 team tallying 93.
What is most comparable is the amount of sacrifice hits both teams had. Both versions of the Yankees had 31 sacrifice hits apiece, so moving runners over was never either teams forte.
World Series Champs?
Anyone who says the 2012 Yankees can't win a World Series because of whatever issues they have just needs to look at the 2012 team. This team is as capable as any other that the Yanks have put on the field in their past.
The 2009 team wasn't very different from the 2012 version, but what will be the difference is how the 2012 team ends up hitting and pitching in the clutch during October.
The Yanks last championship team got the big hits and stellar pitching performances when they needed them, and the 2012 team will need the same if it hopes to raise the franchise's 28th World Series banner.