Why are the NY Yankees so good?

OK, let me start off by saying that I’m not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination. I do know, however, that the Yankees have won the World Series many more times than any other team. Since we’ve gone through several generations of ballplayers, how is it that they’ve managed to maintain this record over such a long time?

BTW, let’s not let this deteriorate into a debate over which team is really the best…

In the old days, the Yankees probably came by their success through honorable ways – intelligent drafting and trading. The last couple of years, however, they win because they purchase their championships. There is no mechanism to stop the Yankees from bringing aboard another great, high-priced player almost any time they wish. The NFL and the NBA have salary caps to keep this from happening. But until Major League Baseball overhauls its financial structure, the Yankees will be good because they are rich.

It’s not that simple, Snoop.

True, the Yankees are a big-market team that can easily lure a high-priced player just about anytime they want. But take a closer look at the core of the team:
Jeter - came up through farm system
Petitte - farm system
Bernie Williams - farm system
Jorge Posada - farm system
Mariano Rivera - farm system
Scott Brosius, Paul O’Neil, David Justice, Roger Clemmens, Jeff Nelson - trades

In fact, the late 1990’s version of the Yankees was mostly assembled through the “honorable ways” you mention - drafts and trades. It was the underacheiving, high-priced teams of the 1980’s that tried unsuccessfully to purchase championships.

But you are correct regarding one point - until there is a salary cap, teams like the Yankees can spend alot to KEEP their team intact. We’ll see just how much that will cost this winter, when Jeter and Rivera look for new contracts.

I was just thinking that. IIRC, the Montreal Expos had many excellent players come up through their farm system, only to have them all lured away by teams like New York and Los Angeles. It’s a pity; they could have done some serious ass-whooping in the NL East had they been able to keep the players they had.

As much as I despise the Yankees with every fibre of my existence, I would have to concede that not only do they have the most money, they also spend it wisely (unlike the Dodgers and Orioles.)

The Yankees have finally put a front office in place that runs things in spite of the Evil One’s meddling.

Soup wrote:


Doesn’t Jeter (pronounced “JEE-tur”) sound like a euphemism for ejaculate? As in, “Huh huh, you jeetered all over your hand!”?

Oh please… You mean Peter Angelos? :rolleyes:

The Steinbrenner-Bashing-Express left the station several yars ago. The losing of the '80s and him showing his humanity much more (and, not coincidentally to his recent winning ways, stepping back much more) have made him far less of a target these days.

And thanks to whoever mentioned that the Orioles had the among the largest payrolls in the history of the game the last several years and see what that got them? Mediocrity and assholes like Albert Belle.

The Yankees won in the early days because they always had the best talent. The Red Sox got rid of Babe Ruth, and with Babe the fortunes of the league changed. He was a magnet, and it made it really easy for the Yankees to be the team that anyone else wanted to play for. So it was not hard signing people. This lustre continued on in the days before amateur drafts and other relatively modern ways of evening the playing field in getting talent.

So, that covers the bulk of the Yankees championships through the early '60s.

Then, we went 18 years between playoff appearances. The owners were CBS, and they were clueless.

Enter Steinbrenner. He (for better or for worse) took advantage of free agency and made it a point to get a player he wanted no matter what it took. This resulted in the championship teams I grew up with in the late '70s.

Soon enough, every other owner in baseball took his lead and you could not simply have more money to win. This is why through the '80s the Yankees sucked ass - musical managers, crappy farm team.

Finally, when it dawned on Georgie that the secret was to develop from within, he spent his money to have the best farm team around. This resulted in amazing home-grown talent. Combining this with shrewd trades and free agent pick-ups (as well as a manager who deserves to be in the hall of fame for the amazing job he has done throughout much adversity), we have won three champions in the last four years.

Any questions?

Yer pal,
Satan - Commissioner, The Teeming Minions

Five months, two weeks, five days, 20 hours, 28 minutes and 0 seconds.
6914 cigarettes not smoked, saving $864.26.
Extra life with Drain Bead: 3 weeks, 3 days, 10 minutes.

*“I’m a big Genesis fan.”-David B. (Amen, brother!) **

*Originally posted by AudreyK *

That’s very true. The Expos were in first place in the NL East and favored to win the World Series in 1994 had it not been pre-empted by the players’ strike.

Satan said it perfectly. To that I can only add that the Yankees have somehow perfected the elusive art of clubhouse chemistry, something that might have helped the Orioles (my team) build on their back to back playoff years.

Oh, shit. :smiley: Actually, with a name like that, he should have been a pitcher.

Anybody know the terms of Vladimir Guerrero’s contract? I’m willing to bet his days as an Expo are numbered.

Eek! Sorry for the hijack.

And why did Derek Jeter, who was clearly the best player of his draft class, sink to the sixth pick for the Yankees to select? Because the teams drafting ahead didn’t think they could pay him. So even the “honorable ways” are tainted by richness.

But, yes, the Yankees have made a lot of intelligent decisions and used their richness to just take it to the next level.

I don’t think that teams avoid a promising young player in the draft because they feel that they won’t be able to afford him in the future. And if they did use that line of reasoning, they would still draft the player and use him as trade fodder.

You arguement about the Yankees using their “richness to take it to the next level” has some merit regarding today’s team. But to get back to the original post, why did the Yankees have success prior to the free agency era? From the 1920s through the 1960s, the Yankees paid their players just like any other team - crappy. It was blue-collar work.

So why were those Yankee teams consistently great? Satan touched on it: the Yankees established themselves as the team to beat in the late 1920s and 1930s. Players knew that their best chance of an extra paycheck in October was with the Yankees. And yes, even then the owners had money and spent it to their advantage (why not?). During the 1950s, the Yankees used the cash-poor Kansas City Athletics like a farm team, picking up choice players for cash.

If you’d like more insight as to the success of the Yankees through the years, read “Dynasty” by Peter Golenbock.

Offhand, I don’t know. But, the Expos days of being Expos are numbered. Viva les Senators!

Back to the OP: As much as I hate the Yankees, I really think that when a player becomes a Yankee, they play better, and collectively, that helps the team win.

I suppose Mattingly sunk to the 30th round (or some such position) because he was REALLY GOOD?


Yer pal,
Satan - Commissioner, The Teeming Minions

Five months, two weeks, six days, 13 hours, 39 minutes and 13 seconds.
6942 cigarettes not smoked, saving $867.84.
Extra life with Drain Bead: 3 weeks, 3 days, 2 hours, 30 minutes.

*“I’m a big Genesis fan.”-David B. (Amen, brother!) **

He’s signed for three more years, including his option.

Thanks Rick. We’ll be loving him down in DC when the option comes up. :slight_smile:

Let’s hope. Then we’ll have local teams from both leagues in the Balto-DC corridor. Incidentally, the Yankees got pummelled by my O’s tonight. Not that it means anything, but it made me smile.

Thanks also, RickJay.

Teams ABSOLUTELY avoid players they think they can’t pay. In fact, teams drafting really high generally prefer to have pre-draft deals in place to avoid any nasty surprises. Players represented by Scott Boras – AKA, the Devil – will often fall below where they would have been taken because Boras pretty much believes that anybody he represents is worth no less that a gazillion billion dollars per year … to start.

As for the trade fodder scenario, I see two problems with that. Number one, the player can pull a J.D. Drew and tell the team that drafted him to take a long walk off a short pier. If you didn’t follow this case, the Boras-represented Drew was drafted by the Phillies, didn’t get the deal that he wanted, and went to play in the independent Northern League for a season. The next year, he was picked by the Cardinals and got the money he wanted. On a related note, great high school players (almost as a rule) sign with colleges as leverage – they’ll sign with the pro team if the deal is sweet enough, otherwise it’s off to Wassamatta U (hey!).

Second, if everybody else knows that the drafting team can’t pay, how much leverage is this team going to have arranging a trade? This is exactly what happened – and let me use an NFL example here – with Marshall Faulk. Everyone knew he wasn’t going to stay with the Indianapolis Colts, who then had to trade this budding superstar to the St. Louis Rams for a second- and fourth-round pick. In other words, chump change.

It makes a lot more sense to simply draft a player who is willing to sign and avoid all of the hassle.


At no point have I argued that the Yankees’ greatness in the 1920s through the 1960s was gained dishonorably. Who are you trying to convert?

Oooooo baby!!! Derek Jeter can jeter all over my hand ANY TIME!!!

Okay, ARod can jeter all over my hand, too. Heh.

JBirdman12 said: "Incidentally, the Yankees got pummelled by my O’s tonight. Not that it means anything, but it made me smile.

Hey, it made me and Obfusciatrist smile, too! We’re rooting for the A’s to make it either as AL West leader or Wild Card, which means we would prefer a home-court advantage! Woo hoo! Gooooo A’s!