Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The BJ Era of the Yankees (Before Jeter)

If you're under the age of 15, you have never lived a time when the New York Yankees were a losing team (at least statistically). However, prior to 1993 and the arrival of Derek Jeter, the Yankees were a truly lousy team and a consistently lousy team at that. Let's focus today on the last Yankee team to finish under .500....the 1992 New York Yankees.

The 92' Yankees opened with a lot of promise. Despite trading away Melido Perez and Steve Sax, they had a rookie manager in Buck Showalter and had some of the biggest free agent signings in Danny Tartabull. Throw in some key cogs like Mike Gallego and a trade for Charlie Hayes and you had a formidable team....on paper. Let's look at the starters.

Matt Nokes, Don Mattingly, Pat Kelly, Charlie Hayes, Andy Stankiewicz, Mel Hall, Roberto Kelly, Danny Tartabull, and Kevin Maas. Throw in the bench players of Randy Velarde, Dion James, Hensley Muelens, a pre manslaughter Jim Leyritz, and a young Bernie Williams, its a miracle this team went 76-86.

The pitching staff wasn't much better...Melido Perez, Scott Sanderson, Scott Kamieniecki, Jeff Johnson, and big ol' Tim Leary were your starters while you had Steve Farr, John Habyan, Rich Monteleone, Tim Burke, and Lee Guetterman in the bullpen.

I was 15 years old that summer and never knew a good Yankee team. I remember the big news when the Yanks signed Tartabull for $5 million a year to counteract the Mets signing Bobby Bonilla (or vice versa). The Yanks never got it going and ended up 20 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. Nonetheless, there are some classic journeyman players on this team and I didn't even mention Jesse Barfield or seven time drug violator Steve Howe.

Ebay lists the 1992 team set for a "buy it now" price of $2.00. I just might have to do that...

1 comment:

Paine-fully obvious said...

Steve Farr, John Habyan, and Steve Howe threesome was a formidable bullpen for a small sliver of time in case anyone forgets. I loved watching these guys pitch. John Habyan was the best.