Yankees Suck postsTuesday November 19, 2013
A Few Thoughts on Yankee Dominance and Failure
From 1921 to 1964, the longest drought the New York Yankees and its fans suffered without a World Series title was three seasons. It happened three times: 1928 to 1932, 1932 to 1936, and 1943 to 1947.
In many ways their most dominant years weren’t the ones everyone talks about, from 1949 to 1964, when they went to every World Series but two. That’s amazing, yes, but of those 14 World Series they lost five of them. I guess that's also amazing—9-5 in the World Series—until you see what they did from 1936 to 1953. In this slightly longer period, they went to 13 of 18 World Series but won 12 of them.
The Yankees’ last title in the 1960s was in ’62: the “Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just three feet higher!" series. They wouldn’t get another for 15 years: the “Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!” series of ’77. After another title in ’78, it took another 18 years for them to win again. So for a period of 33 years, from 1963 to 1996, the Yankees had only two titles to show for it. Good times.
The good times ended from ’96 to ’00, when Jeter, Rivera, et al., won four titles in five years. But since then things have looked up again. The Yanks have appeared in three Series but won just once: 2009.
One title in 12 years. Most fans would be happy. But that’s massive failure in Yankee land.
Of course now we have twice as many teams, and three times as many rounds of playoffs. Even so, that's massive failure in Yankee land.
Here’s to more good times.
The last Yankees postseason at-bat: down 3 games to zero, down 8-1 in Game 4, two out and nobody on in the top of the ninth.
Rebuttal of the Day
Tyler Kepner in his Sunday Times column, “Mets and Yankees Must Swing for the Fences,” urges both NY teams to spend, spend, spend their way to success:
The Mets and the Yankees had terrible luck with health last season, but no one wants to hear that anymore.
Actually most baseball fans want to hear exactly that.
Suggested Titles for Derek Jeter's New Book Imprint
Derek Jeter, nearing the final act of a storied athletic career, is ready to talk about his life after baseball. He wants to be a book publisher.
On Thursday, Jeter, the Yankees’ shortstop and captain, announced that he would start a publishing imprint, Jeter Publishing, a partnership with Simon & Schuster. Saying he had thought a lot about his future while recovering from injuries last season, he portrayed the move as a way to explore a project that combines his interests in business and in books, film and TV.
Here are a few titles that I, a poor writer, humbly submit to the future Hall-of-Famer:
- “1,001 Reasons Why the Yankees Suck”
- “Advanced Sabermetrics and the Most Overrated Fielders in Baseball History”
- “Four Days in October: The unprecedented comeback of the 2004 Red Sox”
- “The Curse of Big Papi: Why the Yankee are doomed for a generation”
- “A Short Bloop Over the Shortstop's Head, and Other Great Comebacks in World Series History”
- “They're Not Just Singles, They're Leadership: Derek Jeter's Home-to-First Legacy”
- “Glory Days and Desperate Measures: What professional athletes stoop to after the cheering stops”
“You never know where this may go,” Jeter said. “You look at all the opportunities that come with content in general; I mean, there might be a compelling story that someone has that turns into a film or a TV show.”
Another Boardwalk Empire/ Pinstripe Empire Casting Call: Domenick Lombardozzi as ... ?
When HBO's “Boardwalk Empire” cast Domenick Lombardozzi, Herc from “The Wire,” as Al Capone's brother, I thought, “Perfect.” I was surprised that Lombardozzi towers over British actor Stephen Graham, who is otherwise fantastic and underrated as Al Capone, and I've wondered whether the real Al was shorter than his brothers. Otherwise it's perfect casting.
Last week, when we saw Lombardozzi hatless and in period clothes, I thought something else: Holy crap, this guy should totally play Babe Ruth:
Domenick Lombardozzi and Stephen Graham as Ralph and Al Capone in HBO's “Boardwalk Empire.”
In the past, Hollywood has cast fatties to play Ruth, but Ruth wasn't really fat until the end of his career. He was certainly odd-shaped, with thin legs on thinner ankles, and his face was never lean, but he wasn't gut-heavy until the 1930s. He was tall, too, 6'2“”, and Lombardozzi is 6'0“. Can he swing a bat? Left-handed? He seems athletic enough. He's actor enough.
Someone at HBO needs to push this through. Billy Crystal needs to finally make his follow-up to ”61*.“ And why not the greatest Yankee of them all?
The Bambino and Sultan of Swat, circa 1920
The Yankees Original Owners
I read this last night after the New York Yankees were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for only the second time since 1995. It's from Robert Weintraub's “The House that Ruth Built,” and it's about the Yankees original owners:
The owners, Frank Farrell and William Devery, were former bartenders who used corrupt connections in Tammany Hall and the police department to punch about their weight and become owners of a baseball team. They were usually broke, thanks to tastes for liquor, (slow) horses, and prostitutes, and forever on the verge of indictment for one dubious scheme after another.
Devery, apparently, was a New York City police captain known for graft, mocked in editorial cartoons in Harper's Weekly. According to The New York Times, July 1903, Devery also popularized the colloquial phrase, “Touchin' on and appertainin' to ...” which, because it wasn't good English, he then denied he popularized.
These guys sold the team, still mostly known as the Highlanders, to Jacob Rupert and Tillinghast Huston in January 1915 for $460,000. Then Harry Frazee needed cash to continue his theatrical productions and the rest is history.
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard