The real MVP of the dynasty

Yanks looking to Mulder for the stretch run?
Game 111: Finish the sweep

Every so often a debate will break out about who the real MVP of the late-90’s/early-2000’s Yankee teams was. Some will argue it’s Mariano Rivera, some Derek Jeter, some Bernie Williams, others think it’s someone else all together. Lucky, Matt Imbrogno of Bronx Baseball Daily – you know him as Matt ACTY/BBD from the comments – ran the numbers and determined that yes, Derek Jeter was the MVP of those clubs. And you know what? It’s not particularly close either. Make sure you check it out.

Yanks looking to Mulder for the stretch run?
Game 111: Finish the sweep
  • Simon B.

    1996-2000 would have had to be Bernie. He was easily the best hitter on the team, and he played a pretty good centerfield.

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Again, Will Carroll asked me a few days ago–why don’t we consider Jeter g-d in the same way that Mo is?

    • Salty Buggah

      Is it too late now?

      • Salty Buggah

        Oh and I think it may to do with Mo being the best ever at his position. Jeter has been absolutely awesome but some SS (PEDs or not) have been better during his time (like A-rod and Nomar and now Hanley). He was never considered the best SS in the Majors.

        • Mike HC

          I think Jeter gets his fair due with people who truly enjoy the game of baseball and realize all that goes into it. If you are more of a fantasy baseball fan who solely looks at stats, both defensive and offensive, you will come away impressed with Jeter, but not blown away. If you watch him play every day, you are blown away if you truly appreciate the game. That is the way I see it.

          • JMK

            Well said.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)


            By the way, Jeter over Nomar every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    • Tony

      Jeter has been so consistently great that he gets taken for granted. It’s a shame, really. The same thing is true to an extent with Posada. People need to take a real look at what passes at SS and C around the league. It ain’t pretty.

      • Salty Buggah

        Yankees fans have realized that but not th rest of the fans. We know how good Posada is and possibly should be a HOFer but no one will think he’s all that good. Varitek, on the other hand, is always considered good for some reason (thanks ESPN!)

        Maybe the advanced fans like the commentators at here know he’s good but the average most likely won’t even consider him in the top 5 because he isn’t the “sexy” name like Mauer or Piazza.

        • Salty Buggah

          damn, I made a lot of mistakes

      • Drew

        I don’t think anyone here takes him for granted. On top of that, I don’t think the casual fan overlooks his greatness either. He is respected and put on a pedestal around the league and around the country.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          I disagree. For some reason the country loves Varitek but looks at Posada as “washed up”. Which is of course ridiculous.

    • Accent Shallow

      Simple. Jeter has been a great player, but Mariano is just on another level.

      (Equating Mariano with God is pretty hilarious, consider how he’s a man of deep religious faith. I doubt he’d be amused.)

    • Riddering

      The other explanations work for me but there’s also this:

      Because of Jeter’s position, he will fail many times a season at the plate and on the field. That’s baseball for a shortstop. This season, he’s had 440+ ABs and 138/139 hits. We see him show up game in and game out and not get it done at the plate many times.

      Mo has fewer opportunities to fail due to his position as the closer. This season, he’s come into 33 save situations and only blown one. And, unlike when Jeter’s up to bat, if Mo allows a baserunner he doesn’t have to go sit down so the next pitcher can have a go. He gets to keep striking guys out until he gets the job done.

      That being said, Mo is still ineffable in his effectiveness.

  • JGS

    considering how hard it is for any reliever to stack up in WAR, it’s pretty impressive that Mo was more valuable than any starter and second highest overall

    • Simon B.

      That is surprising, and honestly, I’m a little skeptical.

      I guess the only starter that spanned most of that stretch was Pettitte, and he was missing a year, and was good, but not particularly good.

      Still, I know Bernie was declining toward the end of that stretch, but I thought he would still be ahead of the pack considering he was still playing well and was EASILY the best player on the team 1996-2000.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Mo is otherworldly. OTHERWORLDLY.

  • J Squared

    Great Read Matt.
    It’s very believable even given the Rivera and Williams argument.

    I think it’s safe to say that we had the right players to be consistent winners and the best team in the league from 1996-2000. I think all of the players deserve much more credit than they probably get.

    Had to face Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz in two different World Series. 1996 we lost the first two games of the series and then won 4 straight… 1999 We Swept the Trio of starters by winning 4 straight again.

  • Sam

    The criteria is quite arbitrary. It arbitrarily assigns 1996-2004 as the number of years, and Jeter being the youngest and the fact that he was durable enough to play pretty much everyday during that stretch at the prime of his career playing SS would almost inevitably lead to that conclusion. The fact that defense is not accounted for and Bernie is his only competition makes it a foregone conclusion.

    If WAR is used, Mariano has no chance. No reliever, for that matter. What is astonishing is that Mariano is second.

    What really made those Yankee teams a dynasty was the WS wins. Without those, Yankees are not a dynasty. And Mariano is the biggest reason for those WS wins.

  • Joba or Hughes-To-the-pen

    Funny how much love is out there for MO yet when the Joba to the bullpen thing came out everybody said anybody can pitch one inning.

    Without MO and the dominate bullpen in the late 90’s the Yankees don’t win 3 of those 4 world series.