Sciria: Yankees flashing back to the early 1990s
A new generation of New York Yankees fans are likely to experience something they never have seen — a losing season.
How long has it been since the Yankees finished a season under .500?
Well, the last time it happened, there was another presidential election involving a Clinton and a billionaire, except it was Bill Clinton and H. Ross Perot on the ballot (as well as incumbent George H.W. Bush).
Remember 1992? Mobile phones were the size of phone books (my kids are asking, “what’s a phone book?”) and a tweet was the sound a bird made.
The Yankees were starting to show signs of life after bottoming out with the worst record in baseball in 1990. It would be the 11th straight season with no postseason baseball at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees finally have acknowledged the reality that they are not a playoff contender, and it’s time to rebuild and trade established players for prospects.
Finally, after this season, New York will be rid of high-paid players such as CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. Alex Rodriguez has one year left on what can be called one of the worst contracts in MLB history, and to be honest, would anyone be surprised if the Yankees dumped him and ate the remainder of it?
A-Rod doesn’t seem to be too worried and why should he? He’s made tens of millions of dollars and a life of leisure awaits.
George Steinbrenner has been dead for six years but his system of signing big-name stars to huge contracts survived him. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has tried to field a competitive team using a mix of big names and prospects but after a wild-card berth last season, he has finally realized it’s time to tear down the foundation and build from scratch.
The Mets are the darlings of the Big Apple’s eye coming off last year’s NL pennant; a young team that has its best days ahead of it.
The Yankees have parlayed their recent trades of Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran into a bevy of prospects that could be the nucleus of a rebirth in the Bronx.
There’s one more thing that happened in 1992 that Yankees fans can use as hope. That’s the year Derek Jeter was drafted. The last great homegrown Yankee was the symbol of a farm system that produced Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite. The prospects the Yankees received this week may not reach those heights but there’s some potential and for next year, that’s all Yankees fans are going to have.
If you look at the teams with the best records in baseball this season (Cubs, Nationals, Rangers, Indians) you see they all have good farm systems and don’t depend on free agents to be the key to success.
The Yankees are finally getting back to this philosophy and while it may be a few years until fans know if this plan worked, they’ll have to understand a playoff team isn’t put together in one offseason.
So to the young fans who have never seen their team lose more than 81 games in a season, put on some early 90s music, a flannel shirt and enjoy a new group of Yankees trying to start a new dynasty.