Sorry Yankee fans, Judge Ryan Keefer just felt dirty after watching so many Yankee wins. He bit his tongue very hard when writing this review, so have some pity on a brother!
The five essential games that defined the beginning of a new era.
The main rooting interests in baseball have transitioned over the last decade from the American vs. National leagues to the Sox vs. the Yanks. And it's not like the two teams should be penalized for it. A few years ago, the Commissioner of baseball helped established a revenue sharing system, where the larger market (read: Boston and New York) teams would be penalized a sum of money (to be given to the smaller market teams like Minnesota and Pittsburgh) if they exceeded a certain amount of money spent on salary. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was (and still is) more than happy to exceed the salary cap, as long as he gets a winning ball club. As mortal enemies of the Yankees, the Red Sox almost feel genetically compelled to keep up with the Joneses (or Steinbrenners in this case), and the two teams routinely spend excessive sums of money for prized players, often outbidding each other in the process.
And after the run that teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves enjoyed in the early '90s, the Yankees returned to prominence with the emergence of key players like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. Their blossoming, combined with the addition of players in big and small roles for the team under manager Joe Torre, helped reap many postseason triumphs over the last decade. Those who brought you the exhaustive Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series: Collector's Edition have given the same general treatment to the Yankees here, by showing key games in the Yankees postseason success from 1996 to 2001. The complete games (in their original broadcast format) are:
• Game 4, October 23, 1996. Yankees vs. Braves.
• Game 3, October 20, 1998. Yankees vs. Padres.
• Game 3, October 26, 1999. Braves vs. Yankees.
• Game 5, October 26, 2000. Yankees vs. Mets.
• Game 4, October 31, 2001. Diamondbacks vs. Yankees.
But wait, there's more! You also get the World Series films for the Yankees' title years on 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000. The films average a little over an hour in length each, and are your standard run of the mill look at how the team did on the road to glory. For the sake of convenience, the four years are broken down over two discs, plus there is some bonus footage on each disc. Highlights from the seasons include Gooden's no-hitter in 1996 and David Wells' and David Cone's perfect games in their Yankee pinstripes. A small note for what it's worth, there's a tiny glitch on the 1999 disc. When viewing the main menu, the line scores for the teams appear to have been switched, just a heads up in case this becomes a larger cause of concern for Joe Yankee Fan.
Now, the easy choice would probably have been to also include each of the series clinching games as well, but showing the key games was a nice touch. The bottom line is that if you're looking for a more comprehensive look at the team's history, you may want to pass on this. But for those who are fans of the Yankees, you will definitely enjoy this look back at recent Bronx Bomber success.
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