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1999 Yankees, Ten Years Later…. Same Result?

By: Nick Marro

When you look back ten years at the 1999 Yankees and the incredible season they had, it’s surprisingly easy to draw similarities between the (98-64) team and the team that will likely be taking the field on April 6th in Baltimore. Since their last series victory in 2000, the organization has been criticized for choosing to acquire players via trade and free agency rather than staying dedicated to the farm system. However, if you look back at the great Yankee teams of the late 1990s, the dependence on homegrown talent is nearly identical to what it is today.

The 1999 team only had three starters that actually found their way into the majors through the Yankees farm system, the 2009 starting lineup boasts four. Both starting pitchers were acquired in the off-season and at the time of their opening day start, they were considered by many to be the best pitchers in the MLB.

The 1999 Yankees attributed much of their offensive success to their ability to bat righty and lefty hitters alternatively through the 2nd and 8th spots in the order (using switch hitters). The 2009 team can do the same, however they can extend this tactic through the entire order.

Both lineups favor patience over power and while the 1999 starters may be more appealing defensively, the offensive edges on paper definitely lean toward the 2009 team.

Projected Lineup 2009
1. LF: J. Damon
2. SS: D. Jeter
3. 1B: M. Teixeira
4. DH: H. Matsui
5. C: J. Posada
6. RF: X. Nady
7. 2B: R. Cano
8. 3B: C. Ransom
9. CF: B. Gardner

SP: CC Sabathia

Opening Day Lineup 1999
1. 2B: C. Knoblauch
2. SS: D. Jeter
3. RF: P. O’Neill
4. CF: B. Williams
5. 1B: T. Martinez
6. DH: C. Davis
7. LF: R. Ledee
8. 3B: S. Brosius
9. C: J. Girardi

SP: R. Clemens

*Players who came up through the Yankee’s system are in italics.

The success of the Yankee teams of the late nineties was due the admirable team chemistry. If Girardi can bring this group of guys together and create chemistry similar to that of his own World Series teams, success is inevitable.

While my comparisons leave out the bullpen, bench, and the rest of the starting rotation, the 2009 team on paper has everything the 1999 team had.

In closing, the deciding factor in the Yankee’s success in 2009 barring injury…..Chemistry.

1 comment:

  1. I think the players you listed in the line-up is correct;however, I believe they will use Jeter as the #1 batter to break-up the lefty lefty Damon and Gardner. Also, I think that Nady will be bumped up one position to #5 and Posada moved back to #6. The bullpen, starting line-up, starting pitching are all the best they have had in quite a while. You are definitely correct that it is now up to Girardi to pull it all together. GO YANKS...