February 22, 2007

ROTTING FROM THE HEAD:

Even the Yankee way can't last forever (Larry Stone, 2/22/07, Seattle Times)

While the names and details change, frantic upheavals are a staple of Yankees camp. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Oh, something is going on with the Yankees, all right. Something big, potentially even profound.

An era is grinding to a close. The Yankees' way of doing business is in flux.

For more than a decade, what a glorious ride it has been -- four World Series titles in Joe Torre's first five years, and a core of players that have earned their place in the Yankees pantheon: Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada.

But the signs of change are everywhere. Partly, it's the cycle of baseball. Players grow old, and they're replaced. It happened with cornerstones of the early dynasty, like Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez and Andy Pettitte (back in pinstripes after three years in Houston), and now it's happening with Williams, who refuses to come to camp as a nonroster player. Posada and Rivera, entering the final year of their contracts, could be next out the door.


Even for Yankee haters it's kind of sad that the two men most responsible for killing the Yankee Way are Joe Torre and Derek Jeter, who don't seem like bad guys. Buster Olney's Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty was brutally frank about how the two lost interest in the entire team concept once that late '90s team started turning over. Rather than smoothing the way for new guys they resented and snubbed them. That's presumably a big reason why they've done so little with so much talent for the last half decade.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2007 6:39 AM
Comments

I may have to read that book. When I was sick a couple of weeks ago, I watched my 2001 World Series DVD. It was just as exciting as it was in 2001.

Posted by: Brandon at February 22, 2007 10:53 AM
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