So the Yankees won the World Series this year. Big deal. They had the biggest payroll in MLB, and signed the top 3 Free Agents in the 2008 offseason, and have arguably the 2 best shortstops in the AL in the same lineup. They had a great year and deserved to win it all. I just don’t see why people proclaim them the Team of the Decade from 2000-2009. Boston won 2 rings, Philadelphia almost did, the Angels, Twins, Cardinals, and Dodgers have been in the thick of it throughout the decade. The Yankees had a ton of chances to win a 3rd ring in the decade and seal their claim as the top team, but weren’t able to. I decided to make some What-if? cards of the Yankees from 2001-2008 that show how things could’ve been if they lived up to being the team of the decade. They were fun to make, and maybe I’ll do some of other teams. Congratulations, New York, on the World Series win. Maybe next year Detroit won’t give up the Division crown during the last week.
Real Life: Yankees lose to Arizona on Luis Gonzalez’s bloop hit in 9th Inning of Game 7 of the World Series
Card: Mariano Rivera pitches perfect 9th Inning in Game 7
Real Life: Francisco Rodriguez shuts down Yankee bats in the ALDS
Card: Jeter hits walk-off HR in Game 5 off of Rodriguez
Real Life: Josh Beckett pitches lights-out ball in the World Series
Card: Pettite out-pitches Beckett
Real Life: Dave Roberts/Bill Mueller/Big Papi start rally in Game 4 of the ALCS, then Boston goes on to win next 3 games and come back from 3 games to 0 hole to go to the World Series
Card: Mariano Rivera gets through the 9th in Game 4
Real Life: The Angels rally off of Mike Mussina in the Division Series
Card: Mussina pitches well
Real Life: The Tigers hot rookie pitchers and powerful bats are too much for the Yankees in the ALDS
Card: Chien-Ming Wang beats Justin Verlander twice
Real Life: The Indians beat Joba Chamberlain in the “Bug Game”, Jeter kills rallies by hitting into 2 Double Plays in Game 4 of the ALDS.
Card: Chamberlain shuts down Indians hitters in relief.
Real Life: Yankees don’t make the Playoffs as Tampa Bay comes out of nowhere to win the AL East, and Boston clinches the AL Wild Card
Card: Yankees clinch Playoff Spot
As far as Team of the Decade, I would say it’s a tie between the Red Sox and Angels, with St. Louis a close second. Feel free to post your opinions.