Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Yankees Without A Franchise Player
With Cano signing with the Mariners, and the Yankees picking up Ellsbury and Beltran it got me thinking. For many Yankee fans, we never experienced a franchise that didn't have a franchise player. Even when we weren't winning, we still had at least one iconic player that represented the brand. We have been extremely lucky to have several over the years, and since 1996 we have had some combination of Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. The players we picked up who supported them also became core Yankees (the Paul O'Neil's, David Cone's, Tino Martinez etc.) but we always took particular pride in the core four. Before the dynasty Yankees, we had Don Mattingly through the 80's and early 90's to put our hope in. I bring this up because Derek Jeter is likely to retire after the 2014 season. He will be the last of the core group to go, and will mark the end of an era for the Yankees. So when we return for the 2015 who will be the face of the franchise? Ellsbury? Beltran? Sabathia? McCann? Teixeira? Let's say Robertson and Gardner are still around, will they stand out as the next line of franchise players? I think the Yankees are in for a new era of their history, where their most iconic players will be hired hands instead of home grown guys. Even when the Yankees have been bad (and they've had their stretches) they've had a homegrown guy the fan base could support and get behind. With Cano gone, we are going to see the culmination of the Yankees team-building strategy: a team without a face.