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The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Brad Harris View Post
    I wish someone would provide a clear definition of what "buying a championship" means and provide some suitable examples.
    "Buying a championship" is when a team wins the World Series and has a payroll larger than the team you root for.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by mwiggins View Post
      "Buying a championship" is when a team wins the World Series and has a payroll larger than the team you root for.
      Indeed - there is a DIRECT correlation there.
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      • #33
        Are, um, we still talking about a book?
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        • #34
          Yes, the book? I'm one Yankee fan who is also sick and tired of the "they buy championships!" whining, but I have little stomach for another one of those discussions now. I think Olney made the book less enjoyable by framing the story around Game 7, because truthfully I just wanted to gloss over the minute recap of a game that turned out so painful. IMO Olney would have been able to make the same point by instead flipping back to Game 5, which you could also say was the last night of the dynasty in the sense it was the last night the magic worked for the Yankees.

          But then again, I think with the greater passage of time, the thesis that the 01 WS was the end of the dynasty is invalidated by the fact that the 04 ALCS stands out more as the year that the magic really ended, especially in light of how the team fought hard to win the epic 03 ALCS. And now that the Yankees are back on top, the book's long-term value I think becomes even more diminished. I really wish that authors would show more of a willingness to write about the eras of Yankee greatness from a positive standpoint like Joel Sherman in his book on the 96 team instad of overly obsess on how things declined, which to me was the biggest flaw of Torre's book.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by epaddon View Post
            Yes, the book? I'm one Yankee fan who is also sick and tired of the "they buy championships!" whining, but I have little stomach for another one of those discussions now. I think Olney made the book less enjoyable by framing the story around Game 7, because truthfully I just wanted to gloss over the minute recap of a game that turned out so painful. IMO Olney would have been able to make the same point by instead flipping back to Game 5, which you could also say was the last night of the dynasty in the sense it was the last night the magic worked for the Yankees.

            But then again, I think with the greater passage of time, the thesis that the 01 WS was the end of the dynasty is invalidated by the fact that the 04 ALCS stands out more as the year that the magic really ended, especially in light of how the team fought hard to win the epic 03 ALCS. And now that the Yankees are back on top, the book's long-term value I think becomes even more diminished. I really wish that authors would show more of a willingness to write about the eras of Yankee greatness from a positive standpoint like Joel Sherman in his book on the 96 team instad of overly obsess on how things declined, which to me was the biggest flaw of Torre's book.
            The dynasty in my opinion clearly ended on that fateful Game 7 in 2001. In 2003, a reporter asked a question about how the team is so used to winning or something like that, but Jeter somewhat coldly remarked "Some of us have won," clearly implying that the team had already begun to transform into a group of has-beens and over-paid busts. I'm not saying the entire 2003 team was a disaster (although I will definitely say that the 2004 team was - it epitomized everything that was wrong with the Yankees and Steinbrenner from 04-08), it surely wasn't the same group of guys who pulled through thick and thin together.

            I gathered this from reading Buster Olney's epilogue, which is posted on ESPN.com, needless to say I was fascinated by it. I plan on buying the book for Christmas, I love the amount of insight it has. It really puts things into a more human perspective. For example, Olney mentioned something about how Pettitte felt that George never quite accepted him and was eager to get rid of him. Apparently this really hurt Pettitte and never made him feel completely welcome, especially when he was never wined and dined like some of the come-and-go 'superstars' were. Stuff like that just really makes me appreciate the game on a different level outside of the usual 9 innings.
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            • #36
              I understand that the process was underway in 03, but I think the reason why I have to differ slightly is that in the 03 ALCS, you at least did see Mussina essay perhaps his finest moment as a Yankee when he came on in relief in Game 7, and Giambi to his credit hit two important homers that in a way helped to partially immunize him from the same kind of loser stigma that affixed A-Rod until this year. And let's face it, if they win the 03 WS which IMO they should have done, Olney's thesis would really be out the window and we'd be forced to view 04 as the year the Yankee greatness as we once came to define it, ended (maybe one could even say that the Jeter in the stands game from July 1, 2004 was the last time Yankee fans could still claim invincibility over the Red Sox).

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              • #37
                Originally posted by epaddon View Post
                I understand that the process was underway in 03, but I think the reason why I have to differ slightly is that in the 03 ALCS, you at least did see Mussina essay perhaps his finest moment as a Yankee when he came on in relief in Game 7, and Giambi to his credit hit two important homers that in a way helped to partially immunize him from the same kind of loser stigma that affixed A-Rod until this year. And let's face it, if they win the 03 WS which IMO they should have done, Olney's thesis would really be out the window and we'd be forced to view 04 as the year the Yankee greatness as we once came to define it, ended (maybe one could even say that the Jeter in the stands game from July 1, 2004 was the last time Yankee fans could still claim invincibility over the Red Sox).
                You're completely right about Giambi. I think if it weren't for his HR's in Game 7 (that is, if the Yanks lost the game), he wouldn't have become a favorite with the fans. He would've been just like A-Rod: ridiculed until he got NY a ring. Although on that note, I do think that the A-Rod hate in NY died down the most when he hit 500. Since then I don't think he's been booed regularly by fans.

                I just think the 90's Dynasty crumbled in such an interesting and systematic way. From winning the series, to losing the series, to losing the ALCS...the pieces of the puzzle just slowly drifted apart.
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                • #38
                  Yeah, it would have been nicer if the dynasty as we knew it had the kind of "clean" ending of a last championship with the core group (the way the 70s Steelers had four SB wins and when they declined it wasn't with a pratfall in a SB). Thankfully, this year's success means no one can ever write some silly book about long-term "curses" arising out of '04! (or that moving out of the old ballpark would produce one).

                  Now that Sherman's written a long-term look at the 96 team, I hope someday another author will do the same for the 98 team which has to be regarded as belonging to a class all by itself, and which unlike the 86 Mets assured themselves of not being remembered as an underachieving one-shot wonder by following up in 99 and 00.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by epaddon View Post
                    [...] in the 03 ALCS, you at least did see Mussina essay perhaps his finest moment as a Yankee when he came on in relief in Game 7
                    I brought that game up in one of the Mussina Hall threads, along with his fabulous duel against Hershiser in '97, when someone claimed he didn't have any signature October moments. Somehow his pivotal role seems to slip between the cracks when the story of that game comes up.

                    It was a weird feeling that night for me, because I was rooting for the Red Sox (something I probably wouldn't do now) but I've liked Mike since his Oriole days and I was sort enjoying the professional way he was dispatching them and keeping the Yanks within striking range.
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by epaddon View Post
                      Giambi to his credit hit two important homers that in a way helped to partially immunize him from the same kind of loser stigma that affixed A-Rod until this year.
                      Giambi was never part of any Yankee dynasty. The very fact that you can cite him as a key player supports the notion that his Yankee teams were a different animal than the last dynastic team.

                      Originally posted by epaddon View Post
                      And let's face it, if they win the 03 WS which IMO they should have done, Olney's thesis would really be out the window and we'd be forced to view 04 as the year the Yankee greatness as we once came to define it, ended
                      IMO they were lucky to get as far as they did in both '03 and '04.
                      Last edited by Pere; 12-14-2009, 09:22 AM. Reason: syntax

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by spark240 View Post
                        Giambi was never part of any Yankee dynasty. The very fact that you can cite him as a key player supports the notion that his Yankee teams were a different animal than the last dynastic team.
                        Not 100% different since you had a pitching staff that made the team *much* better than say, the 87 win 00 team that won a championship and had their share of losers in the hired gun category (Denny Neagle and scrap-heap waiver pickup Jose Canseco) whose performance in post-season pressure wasn't as good as what Mussina and Giambi did in 03. If the Yankees win that WS which I think they should have, then we'd be talking a lot less about 01 as the night everything somehow ended, and Giambi gets remembered more in the same way that Yankee fans think of Chuck Knoblauch as a vital part of the championship formula, even though Knoblauch from an overall performance standpoint was never the same player he was before being a Yankee just like Giambi.

                        I think they were more lucky in 04 with weak starting pitching to get as far as they did compared to 03 when they had true starting pitching depth, but then again, how much would our perceptions of that be colored if Rivera just gets three more outs in Game 4 of the ALCS? One things for certain, Kevin Brown gets remembered as no worse than Kenny Rogers is remembered (since Rogers subpar performance didn't keep them from winning a championship).

                        All of this I think just demonstrates how the real danger of Olney's argument is that it tries to boil things down too neatly to fit a preconceived notion that fits a narrative structure. I'd prefer a look at the Yankees of this era to view things with a little more complexity because as I said, I think focusing in minute detail on Game 7 of 01 as a framing device ultimately hinders the book greatly.

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