It seems crazy to think the New York Yankees may go an entire decade without a single World Series appearance, but they are dangerously close to achieving just that. During this 10-year-span, the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs ended droughts, the Boston Red Sox added to their post-curse trophy case, and the Kansas City Royals won a ring. Meanwhile, the Yankees have experienced a decade of relative irrelevance when compared to their storied history.
The Yankees’ streak
The Yankees haven’t gone an entire decade without appearing in a World Series for nearly a century. It wasn’t until Babe Ruth’s fourth year with the team that they won their first World Series in 1923. Since then, the Yankees have won over 25% of World Series. This has cemented their place as the most dominant franchise in the history of American professional sports.
The 1923 World Series came exactly a decade after the New York Highlanders — a team that never won a World Series during its decade-long existence — changed their team name to the Yankees. The team did go 14 years stretch without a World Series between 1981 and 1995. But the 1981 season saved them from going through the ’80s without an appearance.
Before the current stretch, the ’80s was their worst decade concerning World Series appearances. Their best decade was the ’50s, when they appeared in eight World Series and won six. But if they can appear in this year’s World Series, the streak will remain active. Can they do it?
Keeping the Yankees’ streak alive
The Yankees 103-win World Series season in 2009 was the last season where they had a legitimate shot at a World Series until 2018. Although people believing the team could make or even win the World Series. Unfortunately, they lost to the Red Sox. But this year provides another chance. Through 145 games, the Yankees stand at 95-50, with only Houston matching their pace. (The Astros may also be the biggest threat to killing the streak, too.)
The Yankees bats have been talked about all year for good reason. As of September 9, they were three home runs from setting a franchise record for most home runs in a season — one that was set in 2018. The Minnesota Twins, however, have already broken that record. Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are the team’s most consistent hitters, but the bats around the lineup have been dangerous.
If there is one disadvantage, it is the Yankees’ pitching and bullpen. A combination of injuries and regression have made pitching a weakness all year, a concern against the juggernaut over in Houston. When Domingo German isn’t pitching, the team has struggled to get productive outings from most of its rotation. Its bullpen has failed to hold it together, as well.
Does the streak matter?
The streak may not mean anything in the long run. But with the history of the Yankees, it could be seen as a collapse after nearly a century of dominance. Even if they don’t make it all the way to the World Series or make it there and lose, they have a young core that could make the 2010s an exception rather than a sign of things to come.