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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: The Great Yankees Are Ancient History

by Paul Semendinger

October 25, 2023

***

How about those Texas Rangers! The Rangers are World Series bound!


And, amazingly, so are the Arizona Diamondbacks.


The Yankees, well, they have been absent from the World Series for a long time.


The Texas Rangers are not often considered one of baseball's top franchises, but, this will be the Rangers' THIRD trip to the World Series since 2010. You read that correctly, the Rangers have now reached the World Series three times since the Yankees last made it there.


World Series Visits Since 2010:

Astros - 4

Dodgers - 3

Giants - 3

Rangers - 3

Red Sox - 2

Cardinals - 2

Royals - 2

Phillies - 1

Braves - 1

Rays - 1

Nationals - 1

Cubs - 1

Indians - 1

Mets - 1

Tigers - 1

Diamondbacks - 1

(Yankees = 0)


I understand how media types like to state that Yankees fans are privileged, spoiled, impatient, and such, but... let's be fair here. That list above contains a lot of teams that have made it to the big dance, but the Yankees have not. Where is the privilege? What winning have the Yankees done?


At some point, doesn't Brian Cashman have to look in the mirror and say, "You know what, my big ideas, my approach, and my strategy... they don't work." What the Yankees have been trying since 2010 has not worked.


Professional sports is a results business. The Yankees can talk about "process" all they want, but if the process does not result in winning (and winning means reaching (at least) the World Series), then something is wrong.


And something is wrong.


That is as clear as day. The Yankees have not been winners for a long time. This was the fourteenth consecutive season that the Yankees have failed to reach the World Series. We are witnessing one of the longest periods in the history of the Yankees franchise without any World Series appearances:


1903-1920 = 18 years

1982-1995 = 14 years

2010-2023 = 14 years

1965-1975 = 11 years


Fans remember the 1982 to 1995 period as a bad time to be a Yankees fan. Those days are not remembered as being successful. The Yankees of today are just as unsuccessful as the Yankees of that period. That is the harsh reality.


But there is a caveat - there was no World Series in 1994. When the strike happened, the Yankees were in first place. They were the best team in the entire American League. A World Series seemed very possible. But, nothing in life is guaranteed. Still, it's also unfair to count that year against the Yankees for not reaching a World Series that wasn't played.


As such, the above list should be amended to reflect that cancelled World Series. The amended list looks as follows:


Most Consecutive World Series Missed - NY Yankees History

1903-1920 = 18 years

2010-2023 = 14 years

1982-1995 = 13 years (no World Series was played in 1994)

1965-1975 = 11 years


To be totally accurate, there also wasn't a World Series in 1904 (not that the Yankees were poised to get there, but for accuracy, they list should read as follows:


Most Consecutive World Series Missed - NY Yankees History

1903-1920 = 17 years (no World Series was played in 1904)

2010-2023 = 14 years

1982-1995 = 13 years (no World Series was played in 1994)

1965-1975 = 11 years


Also of note, 1920 is considered a watershed year in baseball history. 1920 is considered the first year of the "live-ball era." In short, baseball before 1920 was a different game. If we take that into consideration, the list can be amended one more time:


Most Consecutive World Series Missed - NY Yankees History (Since The "Live-Ball Era")

2010-2023 = 14 years

1982-1995 = 13 years (no World Series was played in 1994)

1965-1975 = 11 years


That list is now extremely accurate. And that list tells, in very clear fashion, the hard truth.


Since the birth of modern baseball, for more than 100 years, the Yankees are, right now, in their most unsuccessful period - ever.


And, yet, even still, the Yankees' marketing strategy is all about winning. That's their brand. "We're the Yankees. We win. No one wins as much as we do." The Yankees market this theme all the time.


"We are the Yankees. We are the best. We are the champions."


"We win."


Except... they don't. The marketing now, if the Yankees are being honest, should be, "We used to win - a lot." But, until they win again, the Yankees should refrain from talking about "excellence" and "greatness" and championships and glory.


It's been far too long since the Yankees were champions. In sports terms, it has basically been a lifetime.


World Series Visits Since 2004:

Astros - 5

Red Sox - 4

Cardinals - 4

Phillies - 3

Giants - 3

Dodgers - 3

Rangers - 3

Tigers - 2

Rays - 2

Royals - 2

White Sox - 1

Rockies - 1

Yankees - 1

Mets - 1

Cubs - 1

Indians - 1

Nationals - 1

Braves - 1

Diamondbacks - 1


I'm sorry, but for a team that defines itself by its greatness, one World Series appearance in twenty years simply is not good enough. The Yankees have not been anything close to great for a long, long time.


I know that people will comment and say, "But they're always .500," and "The playoffs are a crap shoot," and "Team X tanked for five years," and etc...


But at some point, at some point, the results matter. And for the Yankees of today, the results are not there. That is the fact. Any excuse making, and all of the excuse making, doesn't take that away. At all.


The fact is, over the last 20 years, the Yankees have been nothing special.


Whatever history the Yankees had is long in the past. The Yankees of today are not great. There is nothing great about the Yankees of today. The Yankees are simply just another baseball team.


Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and the rest of the Yankees from their last glory years are as relevant to young fans today as Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Babe Ruth. They are all, all of them, to a young fan, ancient history. The Yankees, for a generation now, have not been anything special.


The Yankees, as a great team, as baseball's premier franchise, are no longer. Yankee greatness is ancient history.


Winners get things done. Losers make excuses. For the Yankees, there have been far too many excuses and justifications and not enough winning. The Yankees have spent a generation being no better than the typical Major League baseball team. That's not special. The days of the Yankees being special are long gone. That is the harsh reality.


The facts speak for themselves.

***

A note to other baseball writers, podcasters, talkers, and the like - if you borrow or use any of these ideas, do the right thing and give credit where credit is due - to the author and to this site.

21 Comments


yankeerudy
Oct 25, 2023

On a different note, I think this will be the first World Series with two teams that do Spring Training in Arizona.

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yankeesblog
Oct 25, 2023
Replying to

Given that we consider the NY Yankees NY Giants and NY Mets to be named after NY the city and not NY the state

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Andy Polizzi
Andy Polizzi
Oct 25, 2023

To be totally accurate, there also wasn't a World Series in 1904 (not that the Yankees were poised to get there . . .


Nobody likes a wisenheimer, right, but for the sake of accuracy, the 1904 Highlanders were perhaps one Jack Chesbro wild pitch away from the AL pennant (but no World Series thanks to McGraw and the Giants owner refusing to play.)

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Oct 25, 2023
Replying to

Yes, indeed!


Chesbro threw a wild pitch, but in those days the second place club didn't get a chance. It was first or nothing. We're on the same page. That's what I was referring to.


In 1994, it's reasonable to say that the Yankees could have been in the World Series.


In 1904, even if the Giants played, the Yankees had no path for getting there after the loss to the Red Sox...


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sfs1944
Oct 25, 2023

Paul, truer words were never spoken. The Yanks because of ownership and management are nothing special any longer. They can spin it any way they want but of all the teams that are really trying to get to the World Series, the Yanks aren’t one of them. If the Yanks really want to change the way their true fans view them they will immediately sign generational free agents and trade for proven major leaguers Convince San Diego to trade Soto, sign Bellinger and the Japanese pitcher. This would be a start and give Yankee fans hope. If Hal stands pat the Yanks will not be raising any World Series banners in the Bronx

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etbkarate
Oct 25, 2023

The NYY are an excuse machine, led by the GM. Its been that way for too long.

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jjw49
Oct 25, 2023

Yankees have lost their mojo and market their past.....For older Yankee fans.... hope springs eternal..... The shine is off this franchise and as long as Cashman remains nothing changes!

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