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This Day in Yankees History: Just bad things

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The Yankees hire a doomed manager and lose three World Series games

Arizona Diamondback pitcher Randy Johnson fires a Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. As the offseason has begun much sooner than anyone has ever hoped for, the Pinstripe Alley team has decided to continue the revived program in its new format. These daily posts will highlight two or three key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!

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41 Years Ago

Dick Howser, the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles, is hired after Billy Martin’s dismissal. Howser had previously managed exactly one game for the Yankees in 1978, before being brought back ahead of the 1980 campaign. The Yankees won 103 games in his only season at the helm, as frictions with owner George Steinbrenner doomed Howser after a first-round playoff exit.

Howser would end up winning the World Series a few years later, leading the 1985 Kansas City Royals to glory.

39 Years Ago

Buckle up, because this will be a recurring theme on this day. The Yankees lose a World Series game, and in fact the Series itself, dropping Game Six to the Dodgers in 1981. The game was highlighted by a controversial decision by then-manager Bob Lemon, who pinch-hit Bobby Murcer for starter Tommy John in the fourth inning with two men on. Dave Winfield also committed a throwing error that led to a huge sixth inning for the Dodgers, which was the frame that iced the series.

19 Years Ago

Twenty years to the day after losing the championship to the Dodgers, the Yankees were stymied by Randy Johnson in Game Two of the 2001 Fall Classic. The Big Unit threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out 11. Andy Pettite nearly matched Johnson in the early goings, throwing five perfect innings in his first six, before wearing down in the seventh.

Roger Clemens would take the mound - after President Bush, of course - two days later in Game Three, as the Yankees began what would ultimately be a futile comeback.

11 Years Ago

The Yankees lost another World Series game, this time at the hands of Cliff Lee and the Phillies in the opener of the 2009 Series. Lee dominated the vaunted Yankee lineup, pitching a complete game, allowing a single unearned run, with a 10:0 K:BB ratio. Lee would end up being one of the few bright spots for the Phillies overall, as he paced the team to a Game Five win as well, their only two wins in the series.

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We thank Baseball-Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.