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Yankee Clippers: Is Any Team up to Taking down New York in October?
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It's been nine long years since the New York Yankees won their last World Series. It was the year 2000 and the Yankees had won their third straight title.

Bill Clinton was in office, the average price of a gallon of gas was $1.60 and I was only 11 years old!

In fact, the Yankees have only made a World Series appearance twice since then, the last being in 2003 when they lost in six games to the Florida Marlins.

It seems as if the Yankees' postseason struggles began in 2001 when they attempted to win their fourth consecutive World Series title.

After being beaten with ease in the first two games, they took all three home games in dramatic fashion and seemed on their way to their 27th World Series title, easily the most of any franchise in any sport.

However, in Game Six, they gave up a World Series record 22 hits and got throttled 15-2.

Game Seven of the 2001 World Series was one for the ages. If it's not the best Game Seven or the best seven-game series of all time, they both rank near the top.

Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera, the greatest postseason closer of all time, came in to record the final six outs. He struck out the side in the eighth with the Yankees leading 2-1 and it seemed as if the Yanks were three outs away from celebrating in the desert.

Mark Grace, however, had other ideas. He led off the ninth inning with a base hit up the middle and was removed for a pinch runner. Damian Miller then reached on a fielder's choice while pinch runner David Dellucci reached second base on Rivera's throwing error.

Jay Bell was then called upon to bunt, but Dellucci was thrown out at third. So with two on and one out, Tony Womack stepped to the plate for Arizona.

Womack was responsible for the D-Backs' biggest hit of the postseason to that point, as he smacked a base hit to left center in the deciding Game Five of the Division Series against the Cardinals.

Womack delivered yet again with a double down the right field line, scoring pinch runner Midre Cummings and sending Jay Bell to third. Craig Counsell was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for one of the best hitters in the game that season, Luis Gonzalez.

The Yankees brought the infield in to try and cut down the run at home and that would prove costly.

Gonzalez lifted a slow blooper over shortstop Derek Jeter's head, which would have been out number two if the infielders were at their normal positions.

And thus, the Yankees had been dethroned, but little did they know they would only win a total of two World Series games in the next seven years combined.

 

That brings us to this year, 2009. With the offseason signings of 1B Mark Teixeira and CY Young candidate C.C. Sabathia to go along with an already impressive offense, the Yankees were expected to do big things. And big things they did, at least on offense.

At one point during the season, the new stadium was on pace to give up 306 home runs. Not only does this annihilate the total from last year at old Yankee Stadium (160 total home runs), but it would even surpass the record for most home runs in any stadium (303 is the current record at Coors Field in Colorado).

So, with a potent offense and a ridiculously hitter-friendly park, it would be a sin if the Yankees postseason struggles continued.

It appears as if Yankee fans may finally get to celebrate again. They currently have the best record in baseball and have a winning percentage 40 points higher than the next closest team.

Not only that, but thanks to the awful rule that says the winner of the All-Star Game gets home field in the World Series, the Yankees would have that advantage as well.

As it stands now, the three other teams to represent the American League in the post season would be the Angels, Tigers, and Red Sox. The Yankees are 10-3 at home against those three teams this year with three games remaining against Boston.

So can anyone stop the Yankees from their 27th World Series title? My answer is no. However, if any team is capable, I believe it is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies took two out of three from the Yankees during interleague and they did it in Yankee Stadium.

That, along with the experience of the Phillies and the edge in starting pitching could give the Phillies the best shot at taking down those damn Yankees.

But don't get me wrong, this is the Yankees' World Series to lose. If they find a way to lose it, you can be sure Alex Rodriguez will somehow, someway manage to earn the blame. And after that, you can be sure they will go out and spend another $250 million next year to try it all again.

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