The New York Yankees have reclaimed their Evil Empire title from year’s past but they aren’t quite the same. This time around, they may be the Evil Empire but in a completely different way.
The entire baseball world is familiar with the fabulous term “Evil Empire” when it comes to the New York Yankees. That’s what happens when you’re a part of the most successful franchise in the history of sports.
It seemingly comes with the territory. The more success you have, the more likely you are to attract hatred from other teams.
In the past, the Yankees have been the Evil Empire with an attitude. Originally coined by Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino back in 2002, the term grew on the team, which was composed of hard-nosed, no-nonsense veterans. They were on the back end of a dynasty and still dominating at age 30.
The new Evil Empire has emerged and has a completely different look from the past. Back in 2002, the New York Yankees average age for their starting lineup was 29.5. This upcoming season? It’s projected to be right around 26.
This Evil Empire is younger, newer to the big stage and hungry for the taste of victory. This Evil Empire is far more dangerous because they know how to have fun while winning games, as demonstrated last season.
When the Yankees signing Giancarlo Stanton, they ended up stacking their team enough to earn that title once again. Regardless of whether he has set foot in the batter’s box at Yankee Stadium or not, Stanton’s signing has represented the old school Yankees: spare no expense for the best of the best in order to win.
But it’s unfair to compare this new version of the Evil Empire to the last. Why? Because this current team is loose and fun. They are young players who have no idea what it is like to win a World Series championship, yet they are hungry for it. They are ready to bring that glory home without ever once tasting that success.
We’ve seen it in their attitude towards the game. They have fun every chance they get, whether it be with the “Toe-Night Show” in the dugout or crashing each other’s interviews on the MLB Network.
Only one player in their starting lineup for next season has won a World Series Championship (Brett Gardner). Also, he’s the only player in that potential starting lineup is over 30 years of age (Gardner). They are by no means an experienced team.
Aaron Judge has one full season under his belt. Gleyber Torres has absolutely no major league experience. Gary Sanchez just wrapped up his sophomore season. And yet, all of the Yankees’ opponents are referring to then as an evil entity after just one season of success.
But it is kind of a thrill, isn’t it? After one year of exceeding expectations, the Yankees are hated beyond belief. Other teams are cowering in fear over the idea of facing this lineup, especially in their home ballpark. Because this young team isn’t used to being despised, maybe that will fuel them further this season.
The old Evil Empire was just that: old. The 2002 squad has six of their starting nine players over the age of 30. This 2018 squad has only one, as mentioned earlier, in Brett Gardner.
They’re young. They’re fresh and they’re talented. They are a whole new look when compared to the old visions of the Evil Empire. And that makes them even more terrifying.