The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness

Book - 2004
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For an extraordinary handful of years around the turn of the millennium, the Yankees were baseball's unstoppable force. With four World Series championships in five seasons and a deep bench of legends and comers -- Clemens, Rivera, Williams, Soriano, Jeter, O'Neill -- they dominated the major leagues, earning the love of their hometown fans and the grudging admiration of players and spectators everywhere.

For the members of the team, though, baseball Yankees-style was an almost unbearable pressure cooker of anxiety, expectation, and infighting. With owner George Steinbrenner at the wheel, the Yankees money machine spun out of control, and as the team's revenues skyrocketed, salaries were inflated unimaginably -- and smaller teams found themselves priced out of competition. True devotees of the game suffered, and so did Steinbrenner's employees. Emboldened by New York's unforgiving fans, Steinbrenner let the Yankees know loud and clear that their fat paychecks carried an equally exaggerated mandate: win now, and win all the time -- any season that doesn't end in a World Series victory is an unforgivable failure. As the spending and emotion spiraled, careers were made and broken, friendships began and ended, and a sports dynasty rose and fell.

In The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, Buster Olney tracks the Yankees through these exciting and tumultuous seasons, providing insightful portraits of the stars, the foot soldiers, the coaches, the manager, and the Boss himself. With profound knowledge of the game and an insider's familiarity with the team, Olney also advances a compelling argument that the philosophy that made the Yankees great was inherently unsustainable, ultimately harmful to the sport, and led inevitably to that warm autumn night in Arizona -- the last night of the Yankee dynasty.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Ecco, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060515065
Call Number: 796.3576 OL6L
Characteristics: 346 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. , ports. ; 24 cm


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Jan 17, 2016

In 1990, the New York Yankees under George Steinbrenner finished dead last in the AL East and were considered by many to be the laughingstock of baseball. Ten years later, they had morphed into a juggernaut, winning four World Series rings, including one for a 1998 season that was arguably the greatest in MLB history. Documenting this seismic shift, Buster Olney devotes a chapter to each player and manager that contributed in building one of baseball's greatest dynasties, which began to unravel after a heartbreaking loss to Arizona in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. What I really liked about this book is that it dispels the erroneous claims that the Yankees bought their way to greatness. Contrary to popular belief, during that dominant era, the franchise's backbone consisted of mostly homegrown talent (Jeter, Pettite, Williams, Rivera, Posada) mixed with players that were considered past their prime and of little value to other teams (Strawberry, Wells, Gooden, O'Neill). Of course, being a Blue Jays fan, it was interesting to note that in addition to the boorish David Wells, three of Toronto's best aces (Cone, Key & Clemens) were instrumental in getting the Yankees over the hump. Great book for baseball fans that will shatter a lot of preconceived notions about the so-called "Evil Empire."


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