Derek Jeter, back in October 2004, after the Yankees lost the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox:
“It’s not the same team,” Jeter said. “We’ve had teams that have been good at [winning in the post-season], but this is not the same team.”
Guess what? It’s again, now, not the same team – as it was in 2004.
Since that time, Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano have joined the team. Melky Cabrera too. There’s also Andy Phillips and Shelley Duncan.
Since that time, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte have returned. Oh, and, yes, some guys named Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy have joined the pitching staff as well.
And, that’s not all the “new blood” – because you have to factor in guys like Luis Vizcaino and Wilson Betemit who have joined the team this year and guys like Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon who joined the team the year before in 2006.
In the last two to three years, there’s been many new players added to the Yankees’ mix. Perhaps, someday, we’ll be talking about the Wang-Cano-Melky-Hughes-Joba “core” the way that people always talk about the Mo-Jeter-Posada-Pettitte-Bernie “core”? It may not be the same team – but, it may be a good team, nonetheless.