Tag Archives: yankees

The 10 Best Sports Franchises 1990-2010

1990's Chicago Bulls

By Jimmy Cunningham, howiGit New York Writer, Manhattan, NY

This blog loves  lists so I decided to take a crack at the best sports franchises of my generation. I took a look at the teams from the four major sports from 1990 through 2010. I based my decision on championships won, winning percentage, division titles won, finals made, the length of time the team was “good”, and the number of years each team made the playoffs.

Teams of note from readers of the blog that were considered but did not make the list include (aka Honorable Mentions):

Boston Red Sox- The Red Sox broke their 86 year “curse” during this time frame and then won again two years later. They were one of only 4 teams to win multiple championships during the generation; they had a winning percentage of .545, won 3 division titles, made the World Series twice, the playoffs ten times, and were over .500 seventeen times. A very good resume but not strong enough to make the list.

Philadelphia Eagles- Another favorite team that we give a light of coverage, the Eagles are another decent resume that did not make the list. The Eagles won a very good .577 percent of their games, were over .500 sixteen times, won six division titles, had 13 playoff appearances, and made the Super Bowl once. The glaring number missing from their resume is championships — zero.

New York Giants- I came very close to making them tenth and could make a very good argument for them. But I am not as big a homer as howiGit so I am leaving the New York Football Giants off of the list. The Giants won .540 percent of their games, were over .500 fourteen times, won 5 division titles, made 9 playoff appearances, and won 2 Super Bowls (one of them arguably the biggest upset during this time frame). Now to the list.

10. Atlanta Braves– If this was only about championships the Braves would not be on here, only winning one. However during the regular season the Braves were the most impressive baseball team. They won 15 division titles, made the playoffs 17 times, and won .572 percent of their games. They made the World Series five times and were over .500 eighteen times. The Braves pitching staff dominated the National League for a majority of the generation but could only get it together in the playoffs one time.

9. Pittsburgh Penguins– I do not know a thing about hockey; during this generation there was a lock-out and a strike, they measure wins in points instead of winning percentage, and the divisions and number of teams have changed about 23 times in the last 20 years. With that being said I wanted to include a hockey team or two. The Penguins have made the Stanley Cup four times winning three , averaged 87.5 points a year (whatever that means), won 7 division titles, and made the playoffs 15 times.

8. Dallas Cowboys– The self-proclaimed “America’s Team” won 3 Super Bowls in the 90’s anchored by Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Michael Irvin. They have a .562 winning percentage and went to the playoffs 12 times. The Cowboys won the NFC East title a division high 8 times. Since their glory days the Cowboys have flaked out in the playoffs more often than not, winning one playoff game since 2000. How about those Cowboys? I feel dirty, let’s move on.

7. Detroit Red Wings- Another hockey team? Even I can see the Red Wings have had a very good 20 years. They won 4 Stanley Cups throughout the generation, making it to the championship game 6 times; they have averaged 102 points a year, and as far as I can tell have made the playoffs every year that they have taken place. They have been the best hockey team since 1990.

6. San Antonio Spurs– The Spurs really should be higher but I do not know who I would bump. When looking at all the winning the Spurs have done it is very surprising. They boast a .665 winning percentage, and were under .500 missing the playoffs only once. That one time netted them Tim Duncan in the NBA draft, so I would say that worked out. They have been in the NBA finals 4 times, never losing, and never playing there in two consecutive years. The Spurs have been the most consistent winners of any team during this generation.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers*- The Steelers will jump a spot if they win the Super Bowl against the Packers this year. Even without that win they have had an impressive 20 years. They won 2 Super Bowls, playing in three. They have the highest winning percentage of any NFL team in this time frame, and have been over .500 every year except 3. They have won 11 division titles in a tough division.

4. New England Patriots– When looking at the Patriots I was surprised at the success they had in the 90’s. While they did not win anything significant they were much better than I thought. The Patriots came on very strong in the early 2000’s winning three Super Bowls in four years. They boast a very respectable .577 winning percentage and have won 10 division titles. Their winning percentage was certainly helped by their 16-0 regular season. If the New York Giants, and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, did not come back in the 4th quarter against one of the most dominating teams of all-time the Patriots would be a lock for the top three, instead they may be bumped to 5 if the Steelers win in this upcoming Super Bowl.

3. Chicago Bulls– The Bulls certainly had the best stretch of any team on this list. Jordan and Pippen in the 1990’s were absolutely dominant. If Jordan did not take that little sabbatical they may have won 8 ina row. After Jordan left, the Bulls really struggled, being one of the worst teams in the sport for a time.The Bulls have had a little resurgence as of late, but their swoon in the early 2000’s dropped them to number 3.

2. Los Angeles Lakers– While the Bulls have one more championship in this time frame then the Lakers,the Lakers have been consistently better. They did have a small slump after Shaq left to mooch off of Dwayne Wade’s championship, however they have more than made up for it since. The Lakers started off this generation playing in the finals and are the reigning champs. They have played in the finals 8 times, have a .634 winning percentage, and have been over .500 eighteen times. Phil Jackson may have had plenty of bullets between the Bulls and the Lakers but no one can deny that he does some very good things with what he is given.

1. New York Yankees– Now you might be thinking that I just said I wasn’t going to be as big a homer as the distinguished author of this blog; the Bulls have more championships and the Lakers have played in the championship more and have a higher winning percentage. Hear me out. The Bulls have won more championship yes, however they are followed closely by the Lakers (5) and the Spurs (4); the Yankees have won more than twice as many World Series as any other team this generation. Eight different teams have won NBA championships since 1990, 13 different MLB teams have won since then. If the Yankees did not win five of them that number would be higher. It is harder to be consistently good in baseball than the NBA. Inside of baseball, the Yankees had a run very similar to the Atlanta Braves winning 12 division titles, however they followed that up with great playoff success. If you want to compare them to the NFL teams on the list they have won more championships than any team and have been over .500 more than any of those teams. The Yankees dominated a sport that is not used to being dominated, and that is why they are the best franchise of this generation.

Who did I leave out? Who needs to be reshuffled?

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Carl Crawford To Boston? You Kiddin’ Me?

Carl Crawford

Theo Epstein made a statement yesterday, saying loud and clear — “We’re here to win in 2011.” You gotta give it to the guy, every time I start to question him he answers. You also got to love his sneakiness, stating after signing Gonzalez that his focus was now on the bullpen. He made moves in a major way, and he made them early. Gotta love it. After signing Crawford to a 7-year $142 million deal, the Red Sox have the best team in the Bigs. Here’s a look at my new proposed line-up for the Sox.

1) Carl Crawford, L, LF

2) Dustin Pedroia, R, 2B

3) David Ortiz, L, DH

4) Kevin Youkilis, R, 3B

5) Adian Gonzalez, L, 1B

6) JD Drew, L, RF

7) Marco Scutaro, SS, R

8)Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, S

9) Jacoby Ellsbury, L, CF

Yes, that is going to be 6 left-handed hitters if need be. This line-up has it all in my opinion, minus a good catcher (which is the second most important position in baseball). That said we’ve got a gold glove infield, an incredibly fast outfield, power, and two of the best on the base paths in the league. Coupled with our starting pitching and a bullpen that Theo is trying to add to — watch out.

Now now now. Shut up for a moment Yankees fans. I’ve already started to hear it. “The Red Sox sold out, the Red Sox are the Yankees.” Frankly, New Yorkers, you’re just making yourself look pathetic by saying these things. Your showing us Boston people that our comments get to you. Because if you sit back and look at the numbers, well, how about we do that?

Players making over $30 million in 2011 — Yankees 1 (A-Rod), Red Sox 0

Players making over $20 million in 2011 — Yankees 3 (CC, A-Rod, Tex), Sox 0 (Crawford may, but his contract likely increases by year)

Players making over $15 million in 2011 — Yankees 6 (AJ, Mo, CC, Jeter, A-Rod, Tex), Red Sox 2 (Lackey, Crawford)

As far as signing players to long-term, big deals I gave the Yankees hell for signing AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia, and Mark Texiera in the same offseason to the tune of $441 million. The Red Sox have really only signed Crawford, although it does seem very likely they will give Adrian Gonzalez a contract extension early in the season. Even if they pay his 150+ million over many seasons, that brings Crawford and Gonzalez’s signings to about 2/3 of the Yankees spending that off-season.  Which seems about right. Boston’s payroll will be less than the Yankees, significantly, as it always is.

Oh, and that’s not to mention the deal the Yankees will likely sign Cliff Lee too. That makes those numbers look even worse. Frankly, they have no option other than to get him now — they’ll need another lefty arm to pitch the Red Sox lefty-happy line-up.

Bring on the spring.

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Yankees “Fans” — Shame on You

Yankees Empty Seats Baseball

Empty seats with the AL East crown on the line?

Shame on you, Yankees “fans.” Let’s start by making one thing clear — this is not a boo-hoo post, I long ago declared the Red Sox done for the year. Although I don’t like it, I’ve come to terms with the reality of the situation. A baseball fan at heart, I was still excited to watch the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays battle it out last night. And battle it out they did — this was a great game until it got blown open at the end and the Rays won 7-2. Sure, there was a long rain delay. But the division is on the line people — act accordingly.

Now I know from experience how much Yankees fans hate to hear from Bostonians how the Red Sox have the best fans in baseball and the Yankees are a bunch of snotty front-runner wannabe fans. Well, you did a pretty good job of backing up Boston fans’ sentiments last night, and even your own players are noticing. “To me, it was a totally different feel,” Yankees slugger Lance Berkman said. “The crowd was gone, the electricity that was there the first two games was gone.” Way to help out your team, New York.

The stadium at the beginning of this game was about 46,000 fans deep — only 90% of the stadium’s capacity to begin with, which is shocking. After the rain delay, about half of that number remained, and watching on TV the last few innings the stands looked bare — despite the game being knotted at 2-1. I understand that there was a rain delay, and it was a Wednesday night, but I thought that New York was the city that never sleeps — this game ended at 12:30am people. Furthermore, I know that Fenway park is tiny and can only handle about 35,000 fans. This excuse doesn’t work either. The New York metropolitan population is 19 million people, whereas the Boston metropolitan are is home to 4.5 million people.

This would never happen in Boston — I can very comfortably say that — not during a heated divisional race when you are playing against the team right on your heals. New Yorkers should be ashamed — don’t try to tell me how great your fans are any longer. What’s your excuse this time? How can you possibly defend this? C.C. Sabathia is going against David Price tonight in a rematch of the pitching gem these two put on this September 13th. I’ll be watching, but will anyone in New York?

Check out http://chrisross91.wordpress.com.

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Ortiz Wins Home Run Derby Crown — A Beast As Always

It has long been known to Boston fans that David Ortiz eats babies — and he proved last night that despite unwarranted criticism from New York fans trying to make themselves feel better about A-Rod, he’s got as much power as ever. Ortiz slugged 32 home runs to win the 2010 Home Run Derby crown, displaying  power that has led him 18 home runs, 57 RBI’s, and a .263 average this season. As for A-Rod, he’s at .269, 14 HR’s, and 70 RBI’s. A-Rod’s numbers have also come while playing 8 more games and earning $20 million more than Ortiz — this season.

Let’s now take a look at a comment from a New York fan (there are many), in response to my David Ortiz vs. A-Rod post in March.

“as an avid yankee fan, a reasonable one of course, i think Papi’s “off” year last year was due to the fact that he took steroids came out and he there fore was no longer on the juice. As everyone knows last year was also A-rods first year playing after being outed as a steroid user and he seemed fine. We will see this year if this plays a part in Papi’s drop in performance.”

Looks like we’ve seen, looks like you were wrong. Sorry.

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Red Sox All Beat Up

As well as the Red Sox have been playing, their recent tear may be put on hold — all of a sudden Clay Bucholz, Dustin Pedroia, and Victor Martinez have gone down to injuries. Same as ever with Bucholz, I hate him, but it hurts to lose a pitcher who has had so much success this year. In Martinez you lose your day in and day out catcher, as well as a huge bat in the Red Sox line-up. Honestly, I’m least concerned with this loss as I am confident in Jason Varitek playing well in Martinez’s absence. At this point in his career I think that Varitek knows his role — and as team captain especially, I think Varitek knows this is his chance to step up and shine for the Red Sox this year. Good play out of Varitek, especially if Martinez is to be out for a bit, may be crucial to Boston’s season. As for Pedroia, well he’s the most costly loss. He’s arguably our best hitter — in my eyes he is — as well as a crucial clubhouse personality.

At the very least, this will give some younger players a chance to step up and get in some valuable big league experience before the playoffs roll around. Time to step up, gentleman.

Check out www.chrisross91.wordpress.com.

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AL East Standings — 1/3 off the Season Down

Just about 1/3 of the MLB season is in the books now, and it’s certainly been an interesting year in the AL East. Boston had a terribly slow start, while Tampa and Toronto have surprised most with just how well they are playing. As for New York and Baltimore, well, they are both playing as expected.Here’s how they stand.

American League

EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10
Tampa Bay 38 20 .655 16-12 22-8 305 207 +98 Won 2 5-5
NY Yankees 36 22 .621 2 19-7 17-15 326 235 +91 Won 2 7-3
Boston 35 25 .583 4 18-14 17-11 321 277 +44 Won 2 8-2
Toronto 33 26 .559 5.5 17-14 16-12 295 255 +40 Lost 2 6-4
Baltimore 16 42 .276 22 10-17 6-25 193 305 -112 Lost 1 1-9

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Red Sox Draft Class is “Absurd”

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox draft class is the best in baseball. They took two big bats and 6’7″ pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, getting what Olney calls an “absurd” value. Love it.

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