The 1996 Yankees will always be very special to me because that was my first championship as a fan. The 1995 team gave me my first real taste of soul-crushing defeat, and prior to that the Yankees didn’t do much contending (thanks 1994 strike!). The 1996 squad were legit underdogs against the Braves, who had a Hall of Fame rotation and were in the middle of an unprecedented run of division titles. Bobby Cox’s team mopped the floor with the Bombers in the Bronx in Games One and Two (combined score: 16-1), and I remember thinking the Yankees had basically no shot to win the series now that they were going to back to Atlanta for the next three games.
Today is the 16th anniversary of Game Four, when Jim Leyritz worked his three-run homer magic against Mark Wohlers. Based on some of Raul Ibanez’s recent work, I imagine a homer of that magnitude would have crippled Twitter these days. The Yankees went on to win in extra innings to tie the series at two, and you all know what happened next. Andy Pettitte vs. John Smoltz, Joe Girardi chugging around the bases … good times.
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Here is your open thread for this incredibly lame sports-less evening. The Giants and Tigers open the World Series tomorrow night and there’s no football on either. You’re going to have to find something else to occupy yourself with tonight. Anything but politics is fair game here, so have at it.