"This," he said, "is as good as any team I've ever had, and as good as any team I've ever seen. There's never been anyone better." - Page 66
The debate continues to this day of the best baseball team of all time. I know the 1927, 1939 and 1998 Yankee teams are all in the mix. Baseball-Almanac has the 1927 Yankees as the best team of all time using an explicit formula. Do you agree?
Tom Verducci followed Steinbrenner's quote with a very clear summary of the 1998 team:
"It was never as good as it was in 1998, not with the near-perfect composition of the roster, the peak-age talent and the singular mindset of 25 grinders rolled into 125 victories. A desperation to win. That is what made them so historic." - Page 66
My immediate reaction to this description was recognizing just how far the Yanks have veered off track of compiling a team of winners. The book talks a lot about the unselfishness of all 25 players on the team. Even when a player would have a great game, it wouldn't mean anything if they lost. Winning was all that mattered.
I guarantee you that nobody can say with a straight face that Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira or CC Sabathia only have winning on their minds. These are players that would fight between a $160 million contract and a $161 million contract.
These players went to the team with the highest bid. If the Nationals had bid an extra million per year on any of these guys, the player(s) would have signed with the Nats. Winning was the furthest thing from their minds.
Photo from Newsday