When the Yankees played the Braves in 1999, the media hyped the event as a battle for the title “Team of the Decade.” The Yanks had made the playoffs five times in the ’90s – in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 – and won the World Series twice: in 1996 and 1998. If the Braves had won, they would have had won the same amount of championships (2) but with more playoff appearances they would have taken the title. As we all know, the Yanks swept the series 4-0 and rightfully claimed the title of “Team of the Decade.”
The next year, the start of the Aughts (as this decade is commonly known) ushered in a Subway Series for the first time in over 40 years and NYC was in a flat out tizzy. The Yanks picked up right where they left off and beat the Mets (thank the good lord) in five games to complete their quest for a third title in three years.
Now, with their 27th Championship (I’m happily watching the City Hall “keys to the city” ceremony in the background as I write this post), the New York Yankees can be considered repeat winners of the “Team of the Decade” title. Over the past ten years, the Yankees won more regular season games than any other team, made the playoffs nine times, made the World Series four times (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2009) and won it all twice (2000 and 2009), winning in the first and last years of the decade. No other team made the playoffs has many times as the Yankees. No other team appeared in four World Series. No other team won more than two. Once again, the Yankees rightfully have claimed the title of “Team of the Decade.”
Let’s see what the next decade brings. With Hal and Hank leading the charge, the Baby Bosses are ready to keep fielding teams that not only have a chance year in and year to make the playoffs but to win it all. A “Team of the Decade” three-peat sounds pretty good to me…
UPDATE 1: I just called into NY1’s live broadcast from City Hall and basically talked about this post and how the Yanks are the team of the decade, again. The “Sports on 1” anchor Tom McDonald said to Pat Kiernan at the end of my comment,
“Aren’t you impressed Pat when people call up, Jeff had all of the numbers (Pat chuckles in the background) as to when the Yankees were doing this, when they were doing that, you know, and when you do what I do for a living, you think you know a lot and then you hear from your audience and you realize they know as much if not more…”
I’ve often said that I know more than the television announcers. Now a television announcer has confirmed this belief. Nice.
UPDATE 2: ESPN has a page up on its site about this very topic titled “The Decade of the Yankees?” The page basically is a lead in for a poll and comment thread and right now, 67% of the nation believes the Yankees are the team of the decade.