Sunday, October 26, 2003

Welcome To My Nightmare

Welcome to my nightmare
I think you're gonna like it,
I think you're gonna feel
Like you belong,
A nocturnal vacation,
Unnecessary sedation,
You want to feel at home
Cause you belong,
Welcome to my nightmare.
-Alice Cooper

As a teacher of children, I know that kids do not instinctively appreciate anything about the past, even the recent past. Sure, it can be taught to them, I mean, I've got a kid in my class who's favorite player is Ted Williams (really!), but what happened any time before they could experience it just isn't something they're looking for. This morning, there are 8-year old New Yorkers waking up to the cold reality that the Yankees have finished just short AGAIN, kids who try as they might can't remember that glorious Yankee victory over the Mets in 2000, kids who now wonder why they watch this cruel and twisted game, kids searching for meaning, and their place in a world full of disappointment. To those kids I say, We Salute You. You are not one of them, but one of us. Welcome to Our World.

Welcome to My Nightmare
I hope I didn't scare you.
That's just the way we are
When we come down.
We sweat, laugh and scream here,
Cuz life is just a dream here.
You know inside you
Feel right at home, here
Welcome to my breakdown.

If you're George Steinbrenner, this has to suck. Robbed of millions of dollars by those owners who bleed the game dry while benefiting from the luxury tax, George went for it anyway, smashed the salary barrier, and still lost. And what does he have left? A monstrous payroll, and a lot of guys who have never won anything. Here is the complete list of Yankees expected to return who were part of the 2000 Champion Yankees, and their ages on July 4, 2004:

Derek Jeter 30
Andy Pettite 32
Jorge Posada 32
Mariano Rivera 35
Bernie Williams 35

That's a core that has the collective prime of their careers behind them. Don't get me wrong. Mussina, Soriano, Giambi? They're all great players. But they've all failed at continuing the Yankee run of four championships in five years.

Whoa, You're welcome to my nightmare,
Yeah, I think you're gonna like it,
I think you're gonna feel
That you belong,
]We sweat, laugh and scream here,
Cuz life is just a dream here.
You know inside you feel
Right at home here,
Welcome to my nightmare.
Welcome to my breakdown. Yeah

For the rest of us, our long, national nightmare is over. Sure, the Yankees will continue to win one from time to time, but the Yankees 1990s Dynasty is now just that, a relic from the previous decade. Crazy you think? Here's a list of teams that have lost two of three World Series since divisional play began:

1995 and 1997 Cleveland Indians - Haven't been back to the World Series since.

1991 and 1992 Atlanta Braves - Won it in 1995, but haven't been back since then.

1988 and 1990 Oakland A's - Haven't been back since.

1985 and 1987 St. Louis Cardinals - Haven't been back since.

1977and 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers - Won it in 1981 and 1988. Haven't been back since.

1970 and 1972 Cincinnati Reds - Won it in 1975 and 1976, and again in 1990. Haven't been back since.

1969 and 1971 Baltimore Orioles - Lost the World Series in 1979, then won it in 1983. Haven't been back since.

There are some teams that came back to win the World Series again in following years, but with the exception of the Big Red Machine, none of these teams was able to sustain dominance for any length of time. At least, not the kind of dominance the Yankees are used to.

I would guess that the Yankees will evolve to be a lot like the Braves, very good every year, winning occasionally, but not nearly enough to live up to the standards of their own recent history. Eventually, Steinbrenner will sell the team, or die, and someone new will take over, someone not as hellbent on winning as George is. And then what happens? That's anyone's guess.

Welcome To My Nightmare, Yankee Fans.

Dave's Email


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