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The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness
For six extraordinary years around the turn of the millennium, the Yankees were baseball’s unstoppable force. With four World Series championships in five seasons and a deep bench of legends and comers - Clemens, Rivera, Williams, Soriano, Jeter, O’Neill - they dominated the major leagues earning the love of their hometown fans and the grudging admiration...
For six extraordinary years around the turn of the millennium, the Yankees were baseball’s unstoppable force. With four World Series championships in five seasons and a deep bench of legends and comers - Clemens, Rivera, Williams, Soriano, Jeter, O’Neill - they dominated the major leagues earning the love of their hometown fans and the grudging admiration of players and spectators elsewhere. For the players and coaches, though, baseball Yankees-style was an almost unbearable pressure cooker of anxiety, expectation, and infighting. With owner George Steinbrenner at the wheel, the Yankees money machine spun out of control, and as the team’s revenues skyrocketed, salaries were inflated beyond belief and smaller teams were priced out of competition. Fans everywhere suffered, and so did Steinbrenner’s employees. With New York’s unforgiving fans behind him, Steinbrenner let the Yankees know loud and clear that their big paychecks carried an equally big obligation: Win now, and win all the time; any season that doesn’t end with a World Series victory is an abject failure. As the spending and emotion spiraled, careers were made and broken, friendships began and ended, and a dynasty rose and fell. In The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, Buster Olney tracks the Yankees through these exciting and tumultuous seasons, giving intimate insights into the stars, the foot soldiers, and the coaches and managers. With profound knowledge of the game, he also advances a compelling argument that the philosophy that made the Yankees great was inherently unsustainable and ultimately harmful to the sport.
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