Yankees find balance with youngsters and vets

BY Ken Rosenthal • October 26, 2009

Six years after their last World Series appearance, hundreds of millions of dollars later, the Yankees finally put together the right mix.

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Their expensive new additions thrived in New York. Their core players continued producing at elite levels. And Alex Rodriguez rebounded from the low point of his career to reclaim his place among the best players in the game.

The pieces never quite seemed to fit in previous postseasons, mostly because the Yankees' starting pitching wasn't good enough. But all of the proper elements, even quality young players, are in place now.

Doesn't mean that the Yankees will roll over the Phillies in the World Series. Doesn't mean that they will form another mini-dynasty similar to what they had from 1996 to 2000, because all of their huge contracts might suffocate them in the coming years.

But at the moment?

The Yankees are pretty darned impressive all around.

"I think the biggest difference is we had players play big in the series," manager Joe Girardi said after the Yankees eliminated the Angels with a 5-2 victory in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.

"CC (Sabathia) was huge for us. Alex was huge for us. Mariano Rivera was huge for us. Our starting pitching has been outstanding throughout. Our bullpen has been pretty good throughout. Guys have gotten big hits.

"It all started with Alex with the home runs, the game-tying home runs. The home runs that he hit in the seventh, the ninth or the 11th. We've had big players do big things. And that's why we got a chance to go to the World Series."

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