(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
I remember watching games during that magical summer 11 years ago, when the Yankees were a force that couldn't be stopped, not even by their own second baseman.
The greatest team of my generation was fueled by outstanding starting pitching from the likes of Andy Pettitte, David Wells and David Cone, along with the timely hitting of Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Paul O'Neill, and Tino Martinez.
During one weekend day game, Jeter lined a single up the middle to score a runner from second base. As he returned to first base, the late Bobby Murcer, the game's color commentator, made a profound comment that was lost on my spoiled 10-year old mind at the time.
He said, "You know, these are the days we'll look back on years from now and say 'Those were the good ol' days.'"
As the current Yankees continue to surge ahead of both the Red Sox and Rays in the A.L. East division race, I am beginning to think Murcer's statement holds true about the '09 Bronx Bombers, too.
I'm not suggesting the Yankees will win 114 games this year. Hell, I only gave them credit for 94 in my Spring Training prediction. But after witnessing the way in which the Yankees trounced the Red Sox in four games last weekend, you can't help but feel this team is going to do some special things.
The flight back to Massachusetts must have been a tough one for the Sox, knowing they all but lost the division race to their hated rivals after four excruciatingly tough games. They threw their best at the Yankees, and it just wasn't good enough. That's a hard pill to swallow for any team, I'd imagine, especially one with such a lineage of losing like Boston's.
The Yankees have returned to a form that gave the Nation nightmares for 86 years. A 23-6 record since the All-Star break has teams on their upcoming schedule running scared, and their arch nemesis hiding in the bushes.
Robinson Cano's game-winning single on Wednesday gave the Yankees their 11th pie-in-the-sky, walk-off win, which has accounted for more than one-fourth of their home victories this season. Dominant starting pitching from the top of their rotation and timely hitting throughout a circular lineup has this team is running away in the standings, and having a blast doing it.
So let me be the first to welcome you back to the good ol' days, Yankees fans. Now sit back and enjoy the ride.