Winning the 2011 World Series Would Take a “Monkey” Off the Yankees Backs

The New York Yankees have won 27 World Championships since 1923. They have lost the World Series 13 times.

The only teams that have an edge over the Yankees in World Series play are the St. Louis Cardinals (3-2), the Florida Marlins (1-0) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (1-0).

There is a chance that in a few weeks, the Yankees will have the opportunity to even their World Series record against either the Cardinals or the Diamondbacks. Don’t think that some in the Yankees universe are not aware of that fact.

The worst defeat a team can suffer is the one that occurs in the last game of the season. The way the Yankees lost the 2001 World Series to the Diamondbacks makes it the most painful, repugnant defeat they have ever suffered. Don’t cite 2004 when the Boston Red Sox beat them in the ALCS. A playoff loss is not a World Series loss, no matter how it happens, at least not to the Yankees and their fans.

With Mariano Rivera on the mound, the Yankees were leading the Diamondbacks 2-1. Arizona had outplayed the Yankees in the Series, but the Yankees now had them where they wanted them. Only they didn’t.

How often are Tino Martinez’ or Scott Brosius’ dramatic ninth inning home runs that tied games on consecutive nights in the 2001 Series mentioned?

For most teams, getting to the playoffs is considered a successful season regardless of what follows.

No team was ever more elated than the Tampa Bays Rays were last night, and that includes the 1986 New York Mets. The Rays, who will probably be knocked out of playoffs by the Texas Rangers, merely won the Wild Card. The Mets won the World Series.

The Yankees and Cardinals first World Series meeting was in 1926. A key play occurred in the seventh game when Tony Lazzeri hit a deep drive down the left field foul line off Ronald Reagan –whoops — Grover Cleveland Alexander. The ball curved foul and the Cardinals won the game and the World Series.

In 1928, the Yankees swept the Cardinals. They met again in 1942 and 1943. The Yankees had the better team in 1942, but the Cardinals won. The following year, the reverse occurred. The Cardinals seemed to be the better team, but the Yankees won.

The last time the Yankees and Cardinals met was in 1964. Bob Gibson dominated, Whitey Ford missed most of the Series and the Cards won in seven games.

After the 2001 loss to Arizona, the Yankees didn’t return to the Series until 2003 to face the Florida Marlins.

To many, it seemed as if Aaron Boone’s playoff-winning home run that won the pennant resulted in the Yankees considering the season a success since they beat the Red Sox. The Marlins, led by Josh Beckett, a pitcher the current Yankees seem to own, beat the Yankees in six games.

The Philadelphia Phillies, with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt are favored to win this year’s World Series. The Yankees swept the 1950 Phillies and beat them is six games in 2009.

The Milwaukee Brewers, a team that was in the American League until 1998, could be the dark horse.

They will host the Diamondbacks in the first round and are favored. It will not be easy to beat the Phillies, but it is possible that the Cardinals, in a five game set, might allow the Brewers to avoid playing the Phillies.

The Brewers are an expansion team. The were the Seattle Pilots and moved to Milwaukee in 1970 after only one season in Seattle. They and the Yankees have never met in the World Series.

If the Yankees lose the World Series, it won’t really matter who beat them. The losses all hurt the same, but three of the four teams that might win the pennant are expansion teams. Against expansion teams in the World Series, the Yankees have won once and lost twice.

The only expansion team the Yankees have beaten to become World Champions are their friends from Flushing.

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