The following is, after all, a fictitious account of the 2000 World Series that was, after all, not won by a New York group often known as the Mets:
Derek Jeter was slumped in his chair and staring blankly into his Yankee Stadium locker. Joe Torre was locked behind his workplace door, weeping softly at his desk. George Steinbrenner was pacing manically within the clubhouse, able to say one thing which may encourage per week’s value of again pages.
The Yankees had simply misplaced Game 7 of the 2000 World Series to the Mets, and the house group was dying a thousand deaths. The Yankees had won the earlier two titles, and three of 4, and Steinbrenner was trying to find a TV community to name his personal, a platform to push new-age pinstriped mythology to an insatiable fan base. He wouldn’t promote his baseball group to Cablevision as a result of its chairman, Charles Dolan, wouldn’t let him preserve operating the Yankees or honor his request to additionally run the Cablevision-owned Knicks and Rangers.
Steinbrenner needed to impose his will on each related sports activities franchise on the town … and particularly on the Mets.
“You’d better f—ing win or else,” the Boss had informed normal supervisor Brian Cashman.
“From a company standpoint, the city was ours,” Cashman mentioned later. “The city was at stake, the television contract was at stake, the entire financial power of the business was at stake. I felt like if we lost to the Mets, it would’ve diminished our three championships. It would’ve been like they didn’t count. … I’d never before been scared of losing. But I was scared of losing to the Mets.”
His worst fears had been confirmed. Mike Piazza’s three-run homer in Game 6 despatched the Subway Series barreling right into a Game 7 the Yankees performed as their GM felt — petrified of shedding to the Mets. When Armando Benitez struck out Bernie Williams with two outs within the ninth, freezing for eternity the 7-2 closing rating, Bobby Valentine bear-hugged his coaches and summoned his father-in-law, Ralph Branca, right down to the sector. Branca had surrendered probably the most devastating home-run within the metropolis’s wealthy baseball historical past, and Valentine needed the previous Dodgers pitcher to really feel on this evening what Bobby Thomson and the pennant-winning Giants felt practically a half century earlier.
It was a wonderful second for Mets proprietor Fred Wilpon, who earlier had been lectured by Steinbrenner in regards to the second-rate furnishings in Shea Stadium’s guests clubhouse. Who was the second-rate operator now that the Mets had been booked for a parade up the Canyon of Heroes?
After he tried to bathe off the everlasting Game 7 stains, Jeter informed the media it would be troublesome to proceed residing as a prince of the town, surrounded by taunting Mets followers. A disconsolate Torre mentioned he would meet with Steinbrenner within the coming days to debate his future, or lack thereof, and a gutted Cashman mentioned the identical.
“We felt we had the horses to win, but we didn’t get the job done,” a steamed Steinbrenner mentioned. “I know Joe feels terrible about it, as he should. That Valentine did a hell of a job, and the Mets showed a lot of fight. We’ll be back to work first thing in the morning to give our fans the championship team they deserve. If my people say we need to make changes, I won’t be afraid to make them.”
Had the Mets really won the 2000 World Series, reasonably than shedding it to the Yankees in 5 (as they did), some very attention-grabbing native issues would possibly have gone down.
- Out of desperation, Steinbrenner would possibly have topped the Rangers’ report $252 million bid for Alex Rodriguez that offseason.
- With or with out A-Rod, the Boss would have been more durable on Jeter in negotiations and sure would’ve signed him for rather less than $189 million.
- Empowered by their conquest of the Yankees, the Wilpons would possibly have higher navigated their many crises, dodged their Loserville labels, and (who is aware of?) by no means felt compelled to promote to Steve Cohen down the highway.
- Valentine would be a wholly completely different historic determine within the sport.
- If Torre and Cashman weren’t fired after shedding a Game 7 to the Mets, they may’ve been after shedding Game 7 to the Diamondbacks the next 12 months.
Asked what would possibly have been had the Mets won their third championship 21 years in the past, Valentine mentioned: “When we go to golf tournaments, Yankee players who were on world championship teams are there, and everyone’s excited about having those players play with them, where the same level of player on my Mets team doesn’t get that level of excitement. If we’d won in 2000, my players would be on the top of the list. I think it would have changed a lot of lives, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
Asked what would possibly have been had the Yankees misplaced that Subway Series, Cashman mentioned: “The Boss put so much pressure on us, but we won. I don’t waste my time thinking about things that didn’t come to pass. I do waste my time thinking about opportunities lost, but in 2000, that was not an opportunity lost.”
Damn proper it wasn’t.