This New York Yankees team is unlike any other we’ve seen in quite some time. But just how do they match up with their brothers from 1998?
The year was 1998. Your name is likely Emily or Michael if you were born that wonderful year. Whenever the TV was turned on, the chances of it being on shows like “Seinfeld” and the beginning seasons of “Sex in the City.” It was also the year where the names Bill and Monica took over the news.
Most importantly, 1998 served as one of the most dominant seasons in history for the New York Yankees.
Finishing with 114 overall wins, the Bombers were just two wins shy of tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs. The Seattle Mariners tied that record themselves just three seasons later with 116 victories.
Wins don’t mean anything unless you win the last game of the year and that’s exactly what the Yankees did. Regarded as one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport, the 1998 New York Yankees found a way to win with several homegrown talents and some high-quality All-Stars.
According to stats guru Katie Sharp of Talkin’ Yanks, the Yankees have their second-best record in 111 games since, you guessed it, the 1998 Yankees.
Yankees are 72-39, their best record thru 111 games since 1998 (82-29).
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) August 5, 2019
The 1998 Yankees were entirely out of this world, putting together a lineup where four batters ended the season batting well over .300. The Core Four was in their prime. The Warrior was salivating for another championship. Even the little guys in the lineup stepped up to lead their squad to the Fall Classic.
Perhaps the most recent comparison that’s been stated is the fact that in both 1998 and 2019, the Yankees stood pat at the trade deadline. No moves were made and the team was set with what they had moving into October.
It’s easy to compare the two. The way the 2019 Yankees have dominated their opponents is absolutely ridiculous. They have that “it factor” that makes them a force to be reckoned with. They are 39-14 against their own division, known to be the toughest in the American League. They also have a dangerous .705 winning percentage at home.
The 2019 Yankees are nothing to mess with, much like the 1998 Yankees squad. However, it’s unfair to compare the two just because of the dominance. The 2019 Yankees are doing so amid several hurdles and it’s truly miraculous how they are in this position with these struggles.
The 1998 Yankees barely had significant injuries during their season while the Yankees have been playing without key players for a giant chunk of their current season.
They’ve been without their ace, Luis Severino, for the entire season. They’ve been without their dominant reliever Dellin Betances for the entire year. Giancarlo Stanton has barely stepped up to the plate and Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks have now spent multiple stints on the injured list.
Those are significant players missing and yet, the Bombers are still a dominant eight games up in the American League East. They have controlled the East from Game 1 and are tearing through opponents left and right.
The production is coming from up and down the lineup and from names who weren’t even on the radar on Opening Day. Mike Tauchman has proven his worth in the outfield and put together a solid performance at the plate in July. Gio Urshela has been a valuable asset to the lineup with his sparkling defense. And of course, could we forget about DJ LeMahieu?
On paper, this team doesn’t seem like they would be doing what they’re currently doing. It’s become just miraculous to watch. It’s must-see tv. The year is not 1998 anymore and this 2019 team has its own flair and flavor that should be respected.
This is 2019. It’s the year of oversized, floppy hats. It’s the year of Olivia and Liams being born. It’s also the year of the unexpected surge of this New York Yankees team.
And, boy, has it been fun to watch. Almost as fun as, shall we say, 1998?