New York Yankees Then And Now
January 8, 2009 by Theboinger
- Jason Giambi Ready To Sign
In 1998 the New York Yankees had the most successful MLB season from start to finish. With the perfect mixture of home grown talent and savvy free agent signings they plowed their way through the regular season and kept on rolling straight through the post season to a World Series Championship. A team that won 114 games during the regular season and had zero starters in the 1998 MLB All-Star game.
While it was true that the Yankees had spent money fill voids at second and third base the money well spent was on their bench. While most teams owners were unable or unwilling to keep up with the George Steinbrenner branch of the Bank Of New York, even the teams that could and would were no match for the money the Yankees could spend on filling their bench.
In 1998 the Yankees spent roughly $9,000,000 on players like Tim Raines, Chili Davis, Louis Sojo, and Joe Girardi. Lest we not forget the important contributions of players such as Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer and Homer Bush. However, as it stands now those ever so important role players pale in comparison to the stars of yester-year. While they may be serviceable players such as Nick Swisher, Jose Molina, and Cody Ransom even home grown “talent” such as Melky Cabrera, Juan Miranda and Brett Gardner fall short of the standard set by the 1998 Yankees.
The log jam the Yankees have created for themselves in the outfield is the now the albatross they had for the past 3 seasons with Giambi. Although they have ”cut” payroll so far this season the Yankees must still find a way to solidify their outfield while also shoring up their bench. A perfect example is the 2009 version of Jason Giambi. Ten years ago it would have been a foregone conclusion that Giambi would have ended up in pinstripes this Winter. And at $4,000,000 for the year for Oakland that is a steal.
Off the bench Nick Swisher is a good start for the Yankees and a step in the right direction towards winning a 27th World Series Championship. However, I feel they still fall short of being complete just yet until they are able to round out the bench to compliment their high priced arsenal.