The New York Yankees have won 40 pennants since 1921. They have been World Champions 27 times.
Joe Girardi is a smart man. So are Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher. They all know that based purely on mathematical probability, a team that plays in 40 World Series should win 20 and lose 20.
So Joe, tell us, how did the Yankees win seven more World Championships than expected and lose seven fewer?
Sitting in an interview a few days after the 2011 Yankees' season ended at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, Girardi used the term “luck” 10 times when rationalizing why the Yankees' vaunted offense failed in the clutch.
"Please, make no mistakes. Detroit wasn't lucky. Detroit beat us. But some of your at-bats can be a product of just good fortune," Girardi said.
"You can get jammed and get a base hit or you can hit a rocket and it gets caught. The bottom line is you have to have good at-bats. I thought our guys had some good at-bats. I do. We just didn't get that big hit when we really needed it."
So Joe, tell us, if the Tigers didn’t beat your team because of “luck,” and you said that Detroit wasn’t lucky, how did they win?
Man, Billy Martin must have used up all of his luck in the 1953 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers when he had 12 hits, including the Series winner in the ninth inning of the sixth game.
In 1956, Yogi Berra was really lucky when he faced Brooklyn’s 27-game winner Don Newcombe. Yogi faced the big right-hander four times. He hit three home runs, including two in the seventh game. The only other time he faced Newk, he walked.
In 1958, Yogi doubled with two outs in the top of the eighth inning of the seventh game of the World Series at Milwaukee. Ellie Howard singled him home with the run that turned out to be the World Series winner. Everyone knows how lucky Yogi has been.
Possibly no one was quite as lucky as Bobby Richardson in the 1960 World Series. He hit a grand slam and a two-run single in the third game for six RBI. He drove in 12 runs in the World Series, but the Yankees lost in seven games to the Pirates.
Wait a minute. Reggie Jackson was luckier than Richardson when he hit three home runs off three different pitchers in the sixth game of the 1977 World Series.
The Yankees have been so fortunate to have had so many lucky players during the World Series. One of those players was Joe Girardi.
During his career, Girardi batted .267/.315/.350.
On the night of Oct. 26, 1996, Girardi batted against the Atlanta Braves Greg Maddux in the third inning of the sixth game of the World Series with Paul O’Neill on third base and one out.
Joe got so lucky that he hit a drive to deep center field for a triple. The Yankees won the game and the World Series.
So Joe, tell us. How come the 2011 Yankees had so many unlucky hitters?