Friday, February 13, 2015

The Yankees Dynasty

"It ain't over till it's over" - Yogi Berra

1995 - In 1995, everything came together for the Yankees thanks to manager Buck Showalter, and half of the core four. Even though the Yankees lost to the Mariners in the ALDS, it all seemed to come together. Don Mattingly also played his last year in pinstripes, and Ruben Sierra was still on the team. In game 2, Ruben Sierra and Don Mattingly hit back to back homers, which was Mattinglys only postseason home run. The game ended up going to the 15th inning, until Jim Leyrtiz hit a walk off home run to end it. Not to mention the impressive appearance of Mariano Rivera.

1996 - Don Mattingly retired, and Tino Martinez came to the Bronx to fill the place of the Yankee captain, which seemed almost impossible. Derek Jeter was at shortstop, and won AL ROY. Andy Pettitte had 21 wins, and just came short of winning his first Cy Young award. Mariano Rivera was the setup man for Wettleland, and was lights out for the Yankees. The Yankees would also sweep the Atlanta Braves in the World Series in 6 games, and Wetteland was named MVP of the World Series getting 4 saves in 4 games. The Yankees were doing something special, and Joe Torre would no longer be called, "Clueless Joe."

1997  - The Yankees didn't win the World Series in 1997, but that doesn't mean that they weren't a spectacular team. The Yankees won 96 games that year. They won games 1 and 2 of the ALDS against the Indians, but the Indians won the next 3 to go to the ALCS. The next year, the Yankees dominated the American League.

1998 - The Yankees won 114 games in the regular season, and were unstoppable in the postseason winning another 11 games in the postseason, and sweeping the Padres in 4 games to win their 8th straight World Series game. Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada won their first World Series together.

1999 - Once again, the Yankees finished in first place, and with 98 wins, it was another spectacular season. The Yankees would once again, meet the Atlanta Braves in the fall classic, but this time, they would take care of them very quickly. The Yankees swept the Braves in 4 games, to win their 12th straight World Series game. Mariano Rivera was named World Series MVP, and also earned his 3rd World Series ring.

2000 - The Yankees didn't have a spectacular season, but it sure wasn't bad. They, again, finished 1st in the AL East, while winning only 87 games. The Yankees won the World Series in 5 games, against their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets. Derek Jeter was the MVP of the World Series.

2001 - It wasn't a happy ending for the Yankees in 2001, but they fought for that ending. It was another spectacular season, and the Yankees won 95 games. The postseason was pushed back a week because of a terrible terrorist attack, and for the first time in MLB history, the World Series would be played in the month of November. Everything seemed over, when the A's won the first 2 in the ALDS, but one play changed the whole series. Mike Mussina was on the mound for the Yankees with a 1-0 lead, as Long hit it down the right field line. Shane Spencer finally got to the ball, and made a terrible throw, missing both cutoff men, and out of nowhere, Derek Jeter ran to the first base side, got the ball, and threw the ball to Jorge Posada who tagged out Jeremy Giambi by an inch. The Yankees would go on to win the next 2 games, and advance to the ALCS. Next up was the Mariners. The Yankees won the first 2 games, but the Mariners came back for game 3 and won 14 to 3. That didn't seem to affect the Yankees at all, as they won the next 2 games to advance to the World Series. It was the Diamondbacks, who had Randy Johnson, and Curt Shilling, who were 2 devastating pitchers. The Diamondbacks won the first to games, with the help of Johnson and Shilling. The Yankees were back at home for games 3, 4, and 5, which seemed to energize them. With the help of The Rocket, the Yankees won game 3 by a score of 2-1. In game 4, Orlando Hernandez was on the mound, one of the most dominating postseason pitchers. He did his job. The bullpen did not. In the bottom of the 9th, the Diamondbacks were up by 2, and with 1 out, Paul O'Neil got a meaningless single off of Byung-Hyun Kim. Bernie Williams struck out, and that brought up Tino Martinez, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th with a runner on. Tino Martinez hit a game tying, 2 run home run, and BK looked devastated. You knew the Yankees would win, because when the Yankees came back, they would almost always win the game. That's exactly what they did. With BK still on the mound, Derek Jeter hit an opposite field home run to tie the series at 2. The very next day, with the Yankees down by 2, Jorge Posada doubled, and Scott Brosius came up to bat with 2 outs. After taking a ball, he sent the ball into the left field seats to, again, tie the game. In the 12th, Alfonso Soriano singled to drive in Chuck Knoblauch, and the Yankees took a 3-2 series lead. For the last 2 games, the Yankees had to revisit Arizona. Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks blew out the Yankees, to force a game 7. The dominating Curt Shilling came out for the Diamondbacks, while Roger Clemens tried to win another title for the Yankees. With the Yankees up by 1 in the bottom of the 9th, Mariano Rivera tried to lock down another title for the Yankees, coming in for another inning of work. The most dominating reliever in baseball, who hadn't blown a postseason save in eons. With the bases loaded, Luis Gonzalez, and Diamondbacks slugger, came up to bat. Rivera threw Gonzalez a cutter, but he was strong enough to hit the ball into very shallow center field. Just like that, the game was over, the World Series was over, and the most dominating reliever blew a save. The Diamondbacks did not only beat the Yankees, they beat the team of the decade. They beat the team that had won 3 World Series titles in a row.

2002 - The Yankees, once again, dominated the AL, winning an outstanding 103 games in the regular season. In the postseason, the Yankees were quickly erased by the Angles in 4 games. Although the Yankees were one of the best teams in the regular season, they couldn't pull through to win another World Series.

2003 - In 2003, the Yankees brought in Hideki Matsui, who came from Japan as a free agent. On June 3rd, George Steinbrenner named Derek Jeter captain of the New York Yankees. The Yankees would be against their long time rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in the ALCS. The Red Sox won game 1 by a score of 5-2, the losing pitcher being Mike Mussina. Andy Pettitte would pitch a fantastic game 2, helping the Yankees win 6-2. Everything started in game 3 when Pedro Martinez, the starting pitcher, threw at Karim Garcias head. After everything settled down, a half inning later Roger Clemens threw inside to Manny Ramirez (which was just a brush-back) but Ramirez took that the wrong way, and the benches and bullpens cleared out. Don Zimmer was going after Pedro Martinez, and Martinez threw Zimmer to the ground. The Yankees ended up winning by one run, and game 4 would be on it's way. The Red Sox would win game 4, the Yankees would win game 5, and the Red Sox would win game 6. The Yankees and Red Sox would play each at Yankee stadium for game 7, where Roger Clemens and Pedro martinez would go at it again. Roger Clemens gave up 4 runs by the 4th inning, while Pedro Martinez would dominate, as usual. Mussina would replace Clemens in the 5th, and pitch 2 scoreless innings. Jason Giambi, who wasn't supposed to be in the lineup, hit a solo home run in the 5th inning to put the Yankees on the board. In the 7th inning, Jason Giambi hit another home run, to put the Yankees another run closer. David Wells replaced Jeff Nelson in the 8th inning, and David Ortiz, the first batter Wells faced, hit a solo home run to erase the run Giambi put on the board in the 7th. David Wells thought he had lost the game for the Yankees, but the Yankees would always come back, and they did just that in the 8th. Down by 3 in the bottom of the 8th, and Pedro Martinez still on the mound, Derek Jeter came up with 1 out, and started the rally with a double. Bernie Williams would come up and single to center field to drive in Jeter, and Hideki Matsui would get a ground rule double to put the tying runs on base, and the potential winning run at bat. In between at bats, Grady Little came out to check on Pedro. He left him in the game. Jorge Posada came up to bat with a chance to tie the game, and he didn't miss his chance. Posada dropped the ball perfectly in shallow center field, and both the shortstop and second baseman tried to go for it, which allowed Posada to reach second base, and the game was tied at 5. That was it for Pedro Martinez. Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th, 10th, and 11th innings, and did a fantastic job, not allowing any runs. Tim Wakefield came in in the 10th, and pitched a scoreless inning for the Red Sox, but Aaron Boone got the best of the knuckle ball specialist in the 11th. Leading off in the bottom of the 11th, on the first pitch Aaron Boone took Wakefields pitch to deep left, and just like that, the Yankees were going to the World Series. In the World Series, the Yankees lost to the Marlins in 6 games, and lost another chance at their 27th World Series ring.

2004 - It was another great year for the Yankees, until they met the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Yankees traded for superstar Alex Rodriguez which would complete their lineup for 2004. When the ALCS came, the Yankees won the first 3, but everything went down after that. Mariano Rivera blew a save in game 4, and the Yankees would lose games 5, 6, and 7. The Yankees haven't won a World Seres in 4 years.

2005 - Robinson Cano came up as a rookie in 2005, and was spectacular, coming second in AL ROY next to Huston Street. Alex Rodriguez would win AL MVP, while hitting 48 home runs. The Yankees would finish first in the AL East with 95 wins, but they failed to advance to the World Series, yet alone the ALCS. They lost to the Angles in 5 games, and for the 5th year in a row, they failed to win a World Series title after winning 4 titles in 5 years.

2006 - The Yankees would make the postseason for the 12th year straight, and finished the season at 97-65. The Yankees failed to get to the ALCS for the 2nd year in a row, as they lost to the Detroit Tigers in 4 games in the ALDS. The Yankees lost a valuable member from their dynasty years, Bernie Williams. He helped the Yankees win 4 world series, and now he would be enjoying the life of music.

2007 - The Yankees were starting to lose it, as they came in 2nd in the AL East, and had a 94-68 record. They won the wildcard game, but lost to the Cleveland Indians in 4 games in the ALDS.

2008 - The Yankees had their worst year in over a decade, missing the postseason for the first time since 1994. Brian Cashman had to make some serious additions in 2009, and he did just that.

2009 - The Yankees added CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher. Along with those superstars, the Yankees had the core four, A-Rod, Robinson Cano, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui. The Yankees swept the Twins in the ALDS, beat the Angles in 6 games, and went on to face the defending World Series champs, the Philadelphia Phillies. Cliff Lee got the best of the Yankees in game 1, pitching a gem and giving the Phillies a 1-0 series lead. AJ Burnett pitched a fantastic game 2, and gave the Yankees a 3-1 win to tie the series a 1. Long time postseason pitcher Andy Pettitte always pitched well enough to give the Yankees the win, and even though his stuff wasn't sharp, it was good enough to give the Yankees a win. CC Sabathia had a bounce-back game 4, and helped the Yankees win by a score of 7-4. The Phillies won game 5, but that just delayed the Yankees 27th World Series title, and helped the Yankees win at home. Two nights later, the Yankees captured their 27th World Series title, with Andy Pettitte earning the win, and Mariano Rivera earning the save. The MVP of the World Series was Hideki Matsui, who had 3 home runs, 8 RBI, and a .615 batting average.

2010 - The Yankees had another impressive season, finishing the season with 95 wins, but that wasn't enough to win the AL East. The Yankees won the AL wild card game, and went on to sweep the Twins in the ALDS. The Yankees were looking to win their 2nd straight World Series title, but in their way stood the Texas Rangers. The Rangers got rid of the Yankees in 6 games, and would move on to the World Series, while the Yankees would have to wait until 2011.

2011 - In 2011, Andy Pettitte decided it was time to retire, and that would make 2010 his final season. The Yankees would lose one of the core four. Having some struggles, Jorge Posada decided to leave the game he loved. Only Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were left, and it was up to them to help the Yankees win their 28th World Series title. The Yankees improved by 2 games, with a record of 97-65. The Yankees played the Tigers in the ALDS, but lost in game 5 by 1 run, and would miss another shot at the World Series. Jorge Posada finished his last postseason with an impressive .429 batting average.

2012 - Tired of being away from baseball, Andy Pettitte returned to the Yankees, and signed a 1 year deal. Early in the season, Mariano Rivera injured himself after crashing into a wall, and would undergo surgery. Rafael Soriano would replace him for the year and was spectacular, but he just wasn't Mariano Rivera. 2012 would have been Rivera's last season, but that would have to wait another year. The Yankees, as usual, had another great year, and with 95 wins, the Yankees finished 1st in the AL East. The Yankees signed free agent Hiroki Kuroda, and late in the season, traded for outfielder Ichrio Suzuki. In the ALDS, the Yankees beat the Orioles in 5 games, Raul Ibanez being the hero in 3, as he tied it in the 9th with a solo home run, and won it in the 12th with a solo home run. In the ALCS, the Yankees had the Tigers to deal with. In game 1, down by 4 runs in the 9th, the Yankees did what they've done for years. They came back. Ichiro Suzuki had a rare 2 run home run, then Raul Ibanez, the hero of game 3 in the ALDS, came up and drove Jose Valverde's pitch over the right field wall. In the 12th inning, Derek Jeter lost his balance going for a ground ball, and twisted his ankle. After that, everything was downhill, and the Tigers swept the Yankees in 4 games to advance to the World Series.

2013 - Mariano Rivera would retire at the end of 2013, and received a fantastic farewell tour. Towards the end of the season, Andy Pettitte also announced his retirement, and would retire after the 2013 season. For only the 2nd time in the last 19 years, the Yankees would miss the postseason. After winning 5 World Series rings, two legendary Yankees would retire, and that would change everything.

2014 - Derek Jeter announced his retirement before the 2014 season started and baseball, not only the Yankees, would be saying goodbye to a legendary player. Derek Jeter played 20 seasons, all with New York. Like Rivera, Jeter got a farewell tour, and received gifts from all around the Major Leagues. As for the Yankees, they missed the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row. Going into the bottom of the 9th inning of Derek Jeters last home game, with one out and a runner on 2nd, Derek Jeter singled to right field and drove in Antoine Richardson to give the Yankees the win. In Derek Jeters last at bat, he got an infield single, and that was it for Jeter. Despite the low average, Derek Jeter ended his career with a walk off hit in his last home game.

I've spent many days writing this, I would really appreciate it if you would comment! Thank you for reading! 



  1. I remember most of this happening, even though I did not follow baseball...being in the NYC news area, they talked about them all the time.

    I was wishing that they could win in 2001. That would have been awesome. Not to be I suppose.

  2. Awesome post Frankie! Brings back a lot of memories, although I wish I was old enough to remember watching the 90's teams. 2009 was a treat though, I watched every game of that one and I'll never forget it! I had a good feeling about 2012 until Jeter went down. I teared up at that moment. I don't see them getting very far this year, but I hope they do and will root for them regardless of what happens! Again, awesome man!