|2009 New York Yankees|
|World Series Champions|
American League Champions
American League East Champions
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Brian Cashman|
|Local television||YES Network|
(Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, several others as analysts)
|Local radio||New York Yankees Radio Network|
(John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman)
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The 2009 New York Yankees season was the 107th season for the New York Yankees franchise. The Yankees opened their new Yankee Stadium on April 3, 2009, when they hosted an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs. The new stadium hosted its first regular-season game on April 16, when the team played against the Cleveland Indians and their first playoff game against the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS on October 7, 2009. The Yankees swept the Twins in three games to win the divisional series. They won their 40th American League pennant on October 25, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 6 games to advance to the World Series, where they defeated the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies in six games to win their 27th World Series title on November 4. The Yankees finished the regular season with 103 wins and 59 losses. To date, this is the most recent season the Yankees won the World Series, as well as the last season they won the AL Pennant.
George Steinbrenner stepped down as the main decision maker for the team on November 20, as Major League Baseball's owners approved passing control to his youngest son, 39-year-old Hal Steinbrenner. The patriarch of the Yankees success over three and a half decades since buying the team from CBS in 1973 had been in failing health, and had been reducing his role in the ownership the last several seasons. Despite his limited role, he remained as a team chairman with his two sons until his death on July 13, 2010.
After the Yankees failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993, General Manager Brian Cashman made clear that there would be offseason changes. Mike Mussina retired from baseball on November 20, 2008. Infielder Wilson Betemit was traded to the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Nick Swisher on November 13, 2008. The Yankees declined options on first baseman Jason Giambi and starting pitcher Carl Pavano. Giambi went on to sign a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics on January 1, 2009, and Pavano signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians on January 6, 2009. Right fielder Bobby Abreu signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and catcher Iván Rodríguez signed a one-year pact with the Houston Astros. From those departures, the Yankees shed nearly $89 million from their payroll, enabling them to spend money to fix their team. Furthermore, the Yankees non-tendered the contracts of Chris Britton and Justin Christian, allowing them to become free agents; Britton signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres and Christian signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees began retooling the team, when they acquired first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher, along with relief prospect Kanekoa Texeira, from the Chicago White Sox for infielder Wilson Betemit, relief prospect Jhonny Núñez and starting pitching prospect Jeff Marquez.
On December 18, 2008, the Yankees announced the signings of starting pitchers CC Sabathia to a 7-year deal worth $161 million and A. J. Burnett to a 5-year deal worth $82.5 million. On January 6, 2009, the Yankees signed first baseman Mark Teixeira to an 8-year deal worth $180 million with a no-trade import. The signings of Sabathia, Teixeira and Burnett filled the Yankees' biggest needs: starting pitching and first base.
On December 22, the Yankees re-signed Chien-Ming Wang to a 1-year deal worth $5 million, avoiding salary arbitration; they would later reach deals with Brian Bruney, Melky Cabrera and Xavier Nady.
On January 26, the Yankees re-signed Andy Pettitte to a 1-year deal worth $5.5 million contract with performance-based incentives.
The Yankees signed starting pitcher Sergio Mitre to a split (minor/major league) contract, and signed former major leaguers such as Justin Leone, Ángel Berroa, Doug Bernier, Jason Johnson, Kevin Cash, John Rodriguez and Todd Linden; they also acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the White Sox for a player-to-be-named later.
In addition, to prevent them from becoming eligible for the Rule 5 draft, they placed starting pitchers Wilkins De La Rosa, Christian Garcia and Michael Dunn, as well as relief pitcher Anthony Claggett, on the 40 man roster.
Third base coach and former player Bobby Meacham did not get his contract renewed and special pitching instructor Rich Monteleone was fired as well. Former major leaguer Mick Kelleher was hired as the new first-base coach, with Tony Peña moving to bench coach, and Rob Thomson moving to third-base coach.
In early 2009, before spring training, third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids while playing for the Texas Rangers during the 2001–2003 seasons. This happened right before a hip injury to Rodriguez, and that stopped his playing time from early March until mid-May. A-Rod would come back with a bang, having a 3-run homer on the first pitch he had seen since early spring training.
Former manager Joe Torre, who at the time was managing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, published a book called The Yankee Years about his time in New York that criticized Steinbrenner, Cashman, and Rodriguez, among others.
The Yankees traded prospects Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson for OF/3B Eric Hinske of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
They traded a player to be named later for Colorado Rockies minor leaguer Jason Hirsh.
Hours before the trading deadline, the Yankees traded catching prospect Chase Weems to the Cincinnati Reds for 3B Jerry Hairston, Jr.
On August 7, 2009, the Yankees also traded for P Chad Gaudin for a player to be named later.
They have signed several minor league free agents throughout the season such as Russ Ortiz, Josh Towers, Brian Peterson and Yurendell de Caster. They also released players such as Jason Johnson and Justin Leone. Todd Linden was sold to a Japanese League team per his request.
|2009 New York Yankees|
In March, Alex Rodriguez was diagnosed a hip injury and underwent surgery, sidelining him for 6 to 9 weeks. The Yankees announced that journeyman Cody Ransom would start the season as the third baseman; Ramiro Peña was assigned the back-up infielder spot.
Playing at Camden Yards, the Yankees lost the first two games of the season due to poor performances by starters CC Sabathia and Chien-Ming Wang, though they rebounded to take the third game of the series as well as win the next two series they played against the Kansas City Royals and defending AL East Champions Tampa Bay Rays. On April 16, the Yankees played the first game in their new Yankee Stadium, but they lost the game because of a shaky bullpen. They won the next game to split their first series at the ballpark. The Yankees were swept later in the month by the rival Boston Red Sox in three games at Fenway Park.
In his first game back from the disabled list on May 8, Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw of the season, giving the Yankees a 3–0 lead in a game they would go on to win 4–0 with the help of a four-hit shutout by Sabathia. On May 15, 16 and 17, the Yankees had three consecutive walk-off wins against the Twins, including a home run by Rodriguez in his first series at the new Yankee Stadium.
Late in the month, Phil Hughes, who had struggled as a starter, was moved to the bullpen. His addition stabilized the bullpen and helped to turn it from a liability to a strength, as he posted a stellar 1.40 ERA as a reliever, serving as a highly effective eighth-inning set-up man for closer Mariano Rivera.
On the first day of June, the Yankees set a Major League record with 18 consecutive errorless games. Late in the month, the Yankees struggled in interleague play, losing two of three to the Nationals and Marlins, falling to five games back in the division. When the Yankees lost the first game of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, Yankee GM Brian Cashman flew down to Atlanta to motivate the team in a closed-door meeting. Initially, his words seemed to do little, as in the next game (6/24), the Yankees were being no-hit through six innings. After Brett Gardner walked and was picked off at first base – a borderline call by umpire Bill Welke – Joe Girardi protested and was ejected from the baseball game by Welke. The next batter, rookie catcher Francisco Cervelli, hit his first big-league home run to tie the game at 1, and the Yankees went on to win the game 8–4. Many sports analysts viewed this game as a major turning point in the Yankees' season.
The Yankees emerged on a hot streak after the All-Star break, winning eight consecutive games. This included sweeps of Detroit and Baltimore.
The Yankees took control of the best record in baseball, highlighted by a four-game sweep of their archrivals the Boston Red Sox from August 6–9. Entering the series, the Yankees had lost all 8 games in which they had faced the Red Sox in 2009. During Game 1 of the series, the Yankees pounded Red Sox starter John Smoltz for nine hits, four walks, and eight earned runs in 3.1 IP. Jorge Posada finished a triple shy of the cycle as the Yankees recorded 18 hits total and went on to win 13–6. On Friday night, the second game of the series, it took 15 innings for a run to be recorded in the form of a walk-off two-run home run by Alex Rodriguez. Josh Beckett and AJ Burnett had started the pitchers' duel and each pitched at least seven shutout innings. The Yankees also won the third game of the series on Saturday 5–0 behind CC Sabathia's 7.2 shutout innings. In the series finale on Sunday Night Baseball, Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to propel the Yankees to a victory. The sweep also gave the Yankees a stranglehold over the American League East and for the rest of the season, no other team would come within five games of first place.
Derek Jeter became the all-time hits leader as a member of the Yankees (2,722), passing Lou Gehrig on September 11, 2009. The hit was a single off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman in the 3rd inning. On September 22, 2009, after defeating the Los Angeles Angels, the Yankees became the first team to clinch a playoff spot for the 2009 MLB post-season. By beating the Boston Red Sox on September 27, the Yankees won their 100th game of the season, and clinched the American League East Division title. This win proved especially significant because the Yankees had started out the season 0–8 against their rivals in Boston, and they ended up splitting the season series 9–9.
On October 4, Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run home run, the 243rd home run of the team's season to date, breaking the team's previously set record in 2004 of 242. Later in the same inning he hit a grand slam, breaking the American League record for most RBI in one inning by a single player, setting it at seven. The last two at-bats of Rodriguez's season allowed him to finish with 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
|New York Yankees||103||59||0.636||—||57–24||46–35|
|Boston Red Sox||95||67||0.586||8||56–25||39–42|
|Tampa Bay Rays||84||78||0.519||19||52–29||32–49|
|Toronto Blue Jays||75||87||0.463||28||44–37||31–50|
|Yankees win||Yankees loss||Game postponed|
|2009 game log|
Main article: 2009 American League Division Series
The Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins in the Division Series, 3 games to 0. The two teams previously met in the 2003 and 2004 Division Series, with the Yankees winning both series in four games.
The Yankees won Game 1 behind a strong start from CC Sabathia, a pivotal two-run home run by Derek Jeter, two huge RBI singles by Alex Rodriguez and a two-run homer by Hideki Matsui.
Trailing 3–1 in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 2, Alex Rodriguez hit a game-tying two-run homer off Twins closer Joe Nathan. David Robertson escaped a bases-loaded, no out jam in the Top of the 11th, and Mark Teixeira lined a walk-off home run off José Mijares to lead off the bottom half to give the Yankees a 4–3 win.
Former Yankee Carl Pavano threw shutout ball through 6 innings in Game 3 in what would turn out to be the final baseball game ever played at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. However, in the top of the 7th, Rodriguez and Jorge Posada each hit a home run to give the Yankees a 2–1 lead. In the bottom of the 8th, the Twins' Nick Punto made a wide turn at 3rd base after a Denard Span infield single with no one out, and was thrown out attempting to retreat back, killing the Twins' threat. The Yankees tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the 9th, and Mariano Rivera shut the door in the 9th to give the Yankees their first postseason series victory since the 2004 ALDS.
Rodriguez played a pivotal role in the Division Series, hitting two home runs (both of which were game-tying), batting .455 (5-for-11), and collecting 6 RBI. Before 2009, Rodriguez had only 4 postseason home runs in a Yankee uniform, and hadn't batted above .300 in a postseason since 2004.
Main article: 2009 American League Championship Series
The Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Angels in six games in the ALCS. This marked the franchise's 40th American League pennant, and the first time the Yankees had defeated the Angels in a postseason series. Yankees ace CC Sabathia was named ALCS MVP, with a 2–0 record in two starts against the Angels, and posting an ERA of 1.13.
Sabathia hurled 8 brilliant innings in a Game 1 4–1 Yankee victory, helped by three uncharacteristic Angels errors.
In a classic Game 2, the score remained tied at 2 heading to the 11th inning. In the top half, Chone Figgins broke out of his postseason slump by blooping an RBI single to left field to score Gary Matthews, Jr. to give the Angels a 3–2 lead. However, in the bottom half, Alex Rodriguez lined a home run into the short right-field porch off Angels closer Brian Fuentes to tie the game at 3. In the bottom of the 13th, Maicer Izturis threw away a potential double play ball from Melky Cabrera to score Jerry Hairston, Jr. with the winning run, giving the Yankees a 2–0 series lead.
The Angels returned the favor in Game 3 with a walk-off win of their own. Vladimir Guerrero hit a huge game tying two-run homer off Andy Pettitte with two out in the bottom of the 6th, and Jeff Mathis laced a game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the 11th to win the game for the Angels, 5–4. This came after a controversial decision from manager Joe Girardi to lift David Robertson for Alfredo Aceves with two out and no one on in the 11th. Aceves served up a single to Howie Kendrick, followed by the Mathis double. Four solo home runs accounted for the Yankees' scoring, hit by Derek Jeter, Rodriguez, Johnny Damon and Jorge Posada.
Sabathia threw 8 more brilliant innings in Game 4, this time on three-days' rest. Melky Cabrera sparked the Yankees with four RBIs, including a two-run single in the 4th. Rodriguez added a two-run homer, tying a postseason record with RBIs in eight consecutive games. Damon put the game away with a two-run homer in the 8th, and the Yankees won 10–1, putting them one win away from their 40th American League pennant.
A. J. Burnett allowed four runs before recording an out in the bottom of the first inning of Game 5, but settled down soon thereafter. The Yankees rallied for 6 runs with two outs in the top of the 7th inning, including a 3-run double by Mark Teixeira, a game-tying single by Hideki Matsui, and a two-run triple by Robinson Canó. However, in the bottom half, the Angels rallied for 3 runs of their own to regain a 7–6 lead. Phil Hughes allowed a game-tying RBI single by Guerrero and a go-ahead RBI single to Kendry Morales. The Yankees threatened in the top of the 9th, but with two out and the bases loaded, Fuentes induced Nick Swisher to pop out to shortstop Erick Aybar on a 3–2 pitch to send the series back to New York.
In Game 6, Damon sparked the Yankees with a 2-run single in the bottom of the 4th to give the Yankees a lead that they would not relinquish. Pettitte hurled 61⁄3 strong innings, allowing only one earned run. Mariano Rivera came on in the 8th for a 6 out save, but allowed an RBI single to Guerrero to make it a 3–2 Yankee lead. It was the first postseason run allowed by Rivera at home since 2000, and the only one he would give up in the 2009 postseason. In the bottom half, errors by Kendrick and Scott Kazmir gave the Yankees two insurance runs, and Rivera shut the door in the 9th to give the Yankees their 40th American League pennant.
Main article: 2009 World Series
The Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 World Series, 4 games to 2. The Phillies were playing for their second consecutive World Series title and 3rd overall, and the Yankees won their first title since 2000, and 27th overall. The two teams' previous postseason meeting came in the 1950 World Series, with the Yankees sweeping the Phillies. After Jimmy Rollins predicted that the Phillies would win the series in five games or "six if they were nice", the Yankees went on to win the series in six.
Cliff Lee shut down the Yankees in a complete game 6–1 victory for the Phillies in Game 1, but the Yankees responded in Game 2 with a 3–1 win. Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui homered off Pedro Martínez, and A. J. Burnett pitched 7 great innings.
The Yankees won Game 3 behind 6 gritty innings from Andy Pettitte, coupled with the first instant replay-overturned home run in World Series history by Alex Rodriguez and homers from Nick Swisher and Matsui.
In Game 4, the Yankees carried a 4–3 lead into the 8th inning. But with two out and no one on, Pedro Feliz lined a solo home run to left off Joba Chamberlain on a 3–2 pitch to tie the game. However, in the top of the 9th, Johnny Damon grinded out a 9 pitch at bat with two outs off Phillies closer Brad Lidge, lining a single to left center field. Damon then stole second base, and with the infield overshift on with Teixeira batting, Damon alertly stole an unoccupied third base. After Teixeira was hit by a pitch, Alex Rodriguez lined a double down the left field line to give the Yankees a 5–4 lead. Jorge Posada added two insurance runs thereafter, and Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect 9th to put the Yankees one win away from winning the series.
Burnett imploded in Game 5, allowing six earned runs in only two innings pitched. The Yankees rallied late, but fell short as the Phillies sent the series back to The Bronx with an 8–6 win.
Matsui earned the World Series MVP award with a performance for the ages in Game 6. He became only the second player in baseball history to collect six RBIs in a World Series game, finishing a triple short of the cycle. This included a 2-run home run in the 2nd, a 2-run single in the 3rd, and a 2-run double in the 5th. Matsui finished the series with a .615 batting average with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs. Pitching on three-days' rest, Pettitte earned his 4th win of the postseason, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history to start and win the clinching game of all rounds in a single postseason (Derek Lowe did the same in 2004 but with one of his wins coming in relief). Rivera recorded the final five outs to give the Yankees their 27th World Series Championship, by far the most in the history of baseball and the most in North American sports.
|Yankees win||Yankees loss||Game postponed|
|2009 Postseason game log|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; BB = Walks; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
|Jerry Hairston, Jr.||45||76||15||18||5||0||2||12||11||.237||0|
Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; CG = Complete games SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
|A. J. Burnett||13||9||4.04||33||33||1||0||207||99||93||97||195|
See also: Minor League Baseball
|AAA||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees||International League||Dave Miley|
|AA||Trenton Thunder||Eastern League||Tony Franklin|
|A||Tampa Yankees||Florida State League||Luis Sojo|
|A||Charleston RiverDogs||South Atlantic League||Torre Tyson|
|A-Short Season||Staten Island Yankees||New York–Penn League||Josh Paul|
|Rookie||GCL Yankees||Gulf Coast League||Jody Reed|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Tampa, Staten Island