When Tino Martinez watches the Yankees these days, its like he hopped into a DeLorean. Its suddenly 1996, a mixture of young, up-and-coming stars and established veterans coming together for a magical season.
Instead of young players blossoming such as Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, there is Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Luis Severino. Instead of veterans Charlie Hayes, John Wetteland and Mariano Duncan, there is Chase Headley, Brett Gardner and David Robertson. Both feature lockdown bullpens and quality starting rotations.
Just the way they play, the former Yankees first baseman said Wednesday when asked about the comparison. Nobody expected anything out of them. Theyre young kids. They just came out and didnt care what people said or wrote about them. They played hard every single day. They found ways to win.
Two series remain for these Yankees to match the group from 21 years ago, but few predicted them to reach this point at all, especially falling behind two-games-to-none in the ALDS against the defending American League champion Indians. The 1996 Yankees won 92 games and claimed the AL East, while this unit won 91 games and won the first AL wild card.
Theyve played great all year long. Theyre fun to watch, Martinez said at Derek Jeters Turn 2 Foundation Dinner at Cipriani on Wall Street. Theyre young and aggressive. Its a great team. Theyve played very well this postseason.