Eleven years ago

By Jon Lane
Chris Shearn’s entertaining rant got me thinking.
While this year’s Yankees won’t match the legendary team from 1998,
like 11 years ago, they’ve been playing out of their minds. Here’s a snapshot comparison of where the 2009 Yankees currently stand to the 125-win team of ’98:

Record on August 31
2009: 82-48
1998: 98-37

Games ahead in first place
2009: 6
1998: 18.5

Team leaders (hitting)
2009: Average – Derek Jeter (.335); HRs – Mark Teixeira (32); RBIs – Teixeira (101)
1998: Average – Bernie Williams (.339); HRs – Tino Martinez (28); RBIs – Martinez (123)

Team leaders (pitching)

2009: Wins – CC Sabathia (15); ERA – Sabathia (3.56); Strikeouts – Sabathia (158)

1998: Wins – David Cone (20); ERA – Orlando Hernandez (3.13); Strikeouts – Cone (209)

Key acquisitions
2009: Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Teixeira, Nick Swisher (acquired for Wilson Betemit)
1998: Chuck Knoblauch, Scott Brosius, Hernandez, Tim Raines

Lights-out closer
2009: Mariano Rivera
1998: Mariano Rivera

Managers
2009: Joe Girardi
1998: Joe Torre

Tests of character

2009: Twelve walk-off wins, to date their highest total since 1978 (13); 41 comeback victories

1998: Seven walk-off wins; 50 comeback victories; Rallied from 2-1 ALCS deficit to defeat the Indians in Game 4. The Yankees did not lose another postseason game.

2 Comments

Jon I am one of those waiting for the shoe to fall off…afterall I cheered them on since 2000 and since then it’s not been the best of times….Red Sox always feel they are going to come from behind and overtake the Yanks at some point..that freaks me out.
But….
This year this team is special..as a long distance fan I can see that they do believe that there is no I in team and it’s all about combined effort where they pull together. I think that might attribute to Jeter’s upswing. This is the type of team worth grinding for and it’s easy for him to tell the guys…you either lead…follow or get out of the way. I believe this could be the year

I agree on all counts. There is a special vibe, for sure, but they’ll have to finish the job.

Thanks for reading,

Jon

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