The best and worst New York athletes of the decadeBy
With just under a week left in the decade*, the lists have started flowing. The Daily News has four of them today: best New York athletes, worst New York athletes, best New York sports moments, and worst New York sports moments. We’ll check in on the Yankees from each list, but as will become evident almost immediately, this is more of a “our favorite New York athletes,” rather than a measure of athletic ability.
Alex Rodriguez checks in at No. 4 on the best athletes list, topped only by Martin Brodeur (who doesn’t play in the Big Apple), Mariano Rivera, and, of course, Derek Jeter. On the worst athletes list, Kei Igawa holds the No. 7 spot, worse than Jerome James, but not worse than Eddy Curry. The list features many Mets, but two Yankees rank worse than any players from New York’s second team. Kevin Brown rates the third worst athlete, while Carl Pavano rates second worst. Only the unassailable Stephon Marbury stands between Pavano and the top spot. Again, the list is more “athletes we hate” than “bad athletes.”
On the best sports moments list, Derek Jeter’s flip play ranks No. 8, the 2001 World Series miracles rank sixth, Aaron Boone’s walk-off ranks fourth, the 2009 series ranks third, and the 2000 Subway Series championship ranks second. That’s a pretty Yankees-heavy list, though they didn’t own the top spot. That deservingly belongs to the Giants for beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. On the worst list, Clemens’s bat toss at Piazza rates the eighth worst moment, the 2001 Series ender rates sixth worst, and baseball’s steroids issue rates fifth worst. I won’t even make mention of the decade’s worst moment in New York sports. You all know what it is.
The lists are mostly for fun, but they do underscore just how much the Yankees own this city. They not only dominate the best of lists, but also the worst of lists. Hey, it’s tough to hate something if you don’t care. Also clear: the angst over the Knicks. But that’s a subject for another day, on another blog.
*No, there was no Year 0. If you want to go strictly by the calendar, the decade goes 2001-2010. But guess what? The year before Year 1 was…Year 1. We’ve come to celebrate decades from 0 through 9, so please, no decade bickering in the comments.