- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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Buster Olney says the 1998 Yankees are the best of all-time. Buster has the '39 Yankees second, the '27 Yankees fourth and the '86 Mets ninth.
On the '98 Yanks, Buster writes:
But that year, the Yankees didn't really care about just making the playoffs, or reaching the World Series. The players had felt like they had blown a great chance in the '97 playoffs against the Indians, and the Yankees went into 1998 on a mission to win the championship. Or bust.
This drove them to the greatest season in the history of baseball. They crushed teams with their rotation, with the depth of their lineup, with their bullpen, with their bench. They outscored opponents that year by 309 runs, or almost two runs per game. Every member of their primary every day lineup had an on-base percentage of at least .350. They led the AL in ERA by a little less than half a run per game. They allowed only 37 unearned runs the entire season, one of the lowest totals in history at that time. Their hitters accumulated almost 200 walks more than their pitchers allowed.
They had lost the first three games of the regular season, and after that, they were never really vulnerable again until one 48-hour period in the American League Championship Series, until Orlando Hernandez struck out Jim Thome on a 3-2 changeup with the bases loaded -- a pitch El Duque had learned only weeks before -- to end a sixth-inning rally in Game 4.
Otherwise, they did in the postseason what they had done all summer long. They won 11 of 13 games and outscored their opponents 62-34 in those three rounds of the postseason. They wrecked opponents.
It is a fun read. To see more click here (Insider).
1hDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com
19hESPN Stats & Information