Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and the rest of the suits who run the New York Yankees need to come to grips with their true identity.
On semi-chilly autumn night of Oct. 20, 1996, one singular baseball marked a turning point for a franchise.
The ball that left the right hand of John Wetteland, struck the bat of Mark Lemke, and landed ever so perfectly in the glove of Charlie Hayes not only signaled the first World Championship for the New York Yankees in 18 seasons, it marked the turning point for a franchise.
For so many seasons with fans painfully enduring the irrational behavior of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees were back on top and trending in the right direction.
Of course nobody knew what was to come. Not even Nostradamus could have predicted three straight titles and four straight pennants from 1998-2001, but even the casual onlooker understood what Gene “Stick” Michael and Buck Showalter built was there to stay for the long-haul.
Through it all – the five World Series Championships, seven AL Pennants, and 18 playoff appearances (in the last 21 seasons) – this organization knew exactly what it was. It was a brash, unapologetic organization that spent like crazy and accepted nothing less than on-field brilliance.
Although we can argue whether or not the irresponsible spending – beginning with Jason Giambi – started to hurt the club, the overall point of dominance out of the organization still holds true.
It’s that exact philosophy that allowed so much success for so long, is what’s devastating them now.
Instead of understanding who they truly are, they continue the madness that is fielding an old, tired, broken-down team they believe can contend. This is not only holding them back from proceeding with a much needed rebuild, it’s completely insulting to the fanbase.
Here are a multitude of reasons that support this ongoing madness that is the New York Yankees philosophy: