Yankees, Not Red Sox, Were MLB's Team of the Decade

Colin LinneweberSenior Writer INovember 5, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04:  The New York Yankees celebrate after their 7-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 Wednesday night in the Bronx to win their record 27th World Series championship.

The Yankees, who went 103-59 to establish 2009's best mark in Major League Baseball, simply outclassed the Phillies over the course of six games.

“I really believe in this club,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was widely scrutinized for his decision to utilize a three-man rotation throughout the playoffs. “I’ve always believed in this organization, the job the Steinbrenner family has done, Cashman and his staff and it’s where we wanted to be and the guys did it.”

Despite New York’s exorbitant payroll that exceeded $208 million, Girardi stressed that the Yankees chemistry and perseverance is what ultimately brought another crown to the Bronx.

“It’s unbelievable how this team came together in spring training,” he said. Girardi decided when he was hired by the Yankees in October 2007 that the number on his jersey would be 27, to emphasize that his sole mission in pinstripes was to win another championship. “They just kept fighting and fighting and fighting.”

Hideki Matsui, twice an All-Star since he made his Bronx debut in 2003, was named the World Series Most Valuable Player after batting .615 with three home runs and eight RBI.

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The Yankees are an extremely deep and talented squad and Matsui, whose contract has now expired, expressed immediate interest in returning to the Bronx to help defend their title.

“I hope it works out that way,” said Matsui, 35, through an interpreter. “I love New York. I love the Yankees and I love the fans here.”

Provided that the Bombers brass makes sound decisions this offseason, the Yankees should be a considerable force again next year.

The Yankees are the most successful organization in North American professional sports.

However, despite the fact that New York averaged an astounding 97 wins this decade, they were deemed a failure by many onlookers because they had not won a championship since they beat the New York Mets in the 2000 Subway Series.

“All of them were great,” said legendary closer Mariano Rivera of the five championships he has amassed with the Yankees. “But this one is special. It was a drought for nine years and we finally got one.”

Largely because of the significant economic advantages that are afforded to the Yankees, nine years without winning a championship is viewed as an eternity in the Bronx.

Still, nine-year drought or not, the Yankees were absolutely the team of this decade.

It has long been touted that, since there was no year zero, the new millennium commenced on Jan. 1, 2001.

Under that rationale, the Yankees 2000 championship would not be considered part of this decade.

In actuality, anyone with even a granule of sensibility understands that when the calendar flipped over to 2000, the 1990s concluded.

Therefore, the New York Yankees captured two championships in this decade and they were baseball’s elite franchise once more.

The Boston Red Sox are the Yankees' central competition in the argument over who dominated the diamond in the 2000s.

The Red Sox finally exorcised the Curse of the Bambino in 2004 and won their first title in 86 seasons.

Boston supplemented their landmark victory in with another championship in 2007.

Hence, the Yankees and the Red Sox combined for four World Series championships in this decade alone.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the Yankees trounced Boston in every other significant category over the course of the past 10 years.

The Yankees accumulated four American League Pennants and eight A.L. East divisional titles since the 2000 campaign.

Furthermore, the Yankees tallied the most victories this decade and failed to make the playoffs on only one occasion.

In comparison, the Red Sox accrued two American League Pennants and earned one measly A.L. East divisional crown in 2007.

Additionally, Boston didn't qualify for the postseason four times.

It is indisputable that the Yankees are the most successful team in the history of baseball and it is equally inarguable that they were the best organization in this era.

Rivera, 39, a 10-time All-Star selection and the owner of numerous MLB records on the hill, was asked what it feels like to earn another championship alongside longstanding teammates Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. He answered, “It is beautiful.”

“I’ve been blessed because I have been able to play for 15 years and we have done almost everything together. It feels wonderful. I am so grateful for them. We have been through so much together, bad times, good times, and we finally got number five together.”

The Yankees have experienced many more “good times” than they have “bad times.”

Considering their lofty standards, the Bombers did struggle a tad this decade.

Nevertheless, in the end, fans of the Bombers should be “so grateful for them.”

Regardless of all the adversity the Yankees faced since the 2000 World Series, they were still the most accomplished team in all of Major League Baseball this decade.

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