Many in recent history have called them the evil empire because of their high profile players and salaries. Many contend that they buy their division every year. Many delight in their slump. Why the hatred? Simple they are the epitome of greatness.
No other team boast 26 championships. No other team has the resources to consistently compete year in and year out. But many believe that having so many high profile superstars has destroyed the chemistry of the team and put an end to their dynasty.
The reality is no it has not. They are all professional. They have one goal and one mission win it all. They have a collective mentality. Win it all and then savor personal achievements. If you have any doubts then read the article on recently acquired Molina from the Angels. He had similar views about the Yankees until he joined the team. Now his views have changed. He sees that there are no egos, just individuals who have one common goal: getting that World Series Ring.
Then why have the Yankees struggled this year. The answer is obvious their pitching. The lack of pitching prospect in the past lead the Yankees to sign high priced duds, where as this past winter Cashman addressed that problem by dumping malcontents for pitching prospects. Three have made it to the parent club. Two are flourishing and Hughes is struggling. One reason why I believe the Yankees paid Clemens so much to come back. He was brought back not so much to help them win but to groom the next generation of Yankee pitchers. If the Yankees fail to win it all this year it will not be the end of the world. They will have young mature experience pitchers that will be around for awhile.
I see the Yankees bringing back Clemens and Petite but letting Mussina and the injury prone Pavano go. I see a rotation of Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain, Petite and Clemens next year. With other prospects brought up to eventually replace Clemens and Petite. The relief core is also younger except for Mariano whose days as mister automatic are coming to a close. I am sure he will have his understudy next year to groom.
While the Yankees reload and rebuild from within they will surely add free agents to fill out their roster and continue to be viewed as the evil empire that buys its pennants, even though they will have many home grown talent on their roster. While many continue to loathe them I will continue to love them. Pinstripe pride will be back with a vengeance when the young guns take over. GO YANKEES!