By Kevin Cusmano
I can still see Ken Griffey Jr. running the bases, making that mad dash for home
as the Seattle Mariners players ended up celebrating a wild card victory two decades ago, beating the New York Yankees. That loss hurt, but little did Yankees fans know what they would be in store for over the next 20 years.
The 1996 season saw lots of change for the team, most notably the manager, as Joe Torre took over for fan favorite Buck Showalter.
We all know how things turned out, pretty good I'd say.
We saw a Hall of Famer in the making in Derek Jeter, guys like Paul O'Neill, who brought intensity and a burning desire to win, and Tino Martinez, another gamer who brought it everyday. I don't need to list everyone who helped build this dynasty that was the New York Yankees.
Now a father myself, I can relive the memories of all the fun and sometimes heartbreak those Yankees teams gave me and share them with her. It's amazing how fast 20 years can go!
Today, it's a completely different atmosphere than the old one. Nevertheless the Yankees are always in a win-or-bust mode. So they say.
Yankees fan's didn't want to picture this day, but the reality is the team is now an average ball club which is getting younger in age but the talent may not be there for some of these guys. The new Yankee Stadium is a ghost town if you're watching on TV. Fans don't pack this Stadium regardless of the team's record.
Talks of the Yankees being sellers at the trade deadline was never heard of back then or even five years ago.
What we do see is a team that looks bad most of the time. We see a team now which is not going to contend for a World Series run this year.
It's 2016, and these Yankees are now slowly fading away this season and the last few players from their last World Series win are in the twilight of their careers.
George Steinbrenner built one more championship team before his passing in 2010. He was a win-at-all-costs type guy and he simply loved to win. He wasn't always sweet about how he ran the team, but no one can argue with his results.
Nobody had it better then Yankees' fans.
So, thank you to the New York Yankees for the past 20 years. I'm glad some of the best times of my life included the Yankees winning!