Originally posted by chill>But then the free agent frenzy began, along with the trading deadline deals (ie. Knoblauch for Milton, Guzman, & two minor leaguers), which spelled the end to team chemistry. I allege the Knoblauch trade was the beginning of the end. He had a couple good seasons with NY before becoming one of the biggest busts in history - unable to play in the field at ANY position without committing constant errors.
They did win 3 straight titles with Knoblauch and lost a possible 4 titles in 4 years with him when Rivera blew Game 7 in '01. He did score 117/120 runs, hit 17/18 home runs and stole 31/28 bases in New York his first 2 years as the lead-off hitter before he went downhill in '00. Tough to consider that a bust in any fashion. And, they haven't won since he left the top of the order. He's as much a 'Real' Yankee as Tino or Brosius or Girardi or Stanton etc. Now, did he match his 1996 year with the Twins where he recorded 199 runs produced (Runs + RBI - HR's)? No. But he had 164 and 170 his first 2 years and that is pretty good for a lead-off hitter.
Technically, it was Cleveland, not New York. Both teams added numbers to their unis the same year, and opened their season on the same day. But New York's game got rained out, so the Indians took the field with their numerical outfits first.