2009 Yankees Vs. 1998 Yankees: Best Team In 11 Years?

Micheal RobinsonSenior Analyst IIJuly 28, 2009

With the pies to the face, the comradery, and all of the wins, its hard to deny right now that this could be the year the New York Yankees get another ring.

As of July 28, the Yankees are 61-38, the second best record in the ML behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (62-37).

The Yankees came out on a tear after the All-Star break.  After getting swept by the Los Angeles Angels just before the break, the Yankees turned it around and won eight in a row and now have a 17-6 record in July.

Currently, the Yankees are two and a half games up on the rival Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The 9-1 homestand that followed the All Star break was the best homestand for New York since its 10-1 homestand in August of 1998, and we all know what happened that year.

The captain, Derek Jeter, is putting together an amazing season, he has hit in 26 of his last 29 games and his .325 batting average is eight best in baseball.

I haven't felt this good about a Yankees team in years.

The pitching is strong right now with new additions CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett pitching strong.  The only hole being the injury of Chein-Ming Wang leading to a gap in the rotation that is currently being filled by Sirgeo Mitre.

Mitre is 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA in two starts this month.

Meanwhile, Phil Hughes has been strong since being moved to the bullpen and there is no signs of him leaving that role anytime soon, which leads me to believe the Yankees could make a move before the deadline for an arm.

Bronson Arroyo, Erik Bedard, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are all out there for the taking, but its unlikely a star will be traded to the Yankees due to the asking prices from the teams.

Rumors are running ampid that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo could be headed to the Yankees before the deadline.  Yankees GM Brian Cashman declined to comment about the rumors.  Arroyo, a former Boston Red Sox player, was on the 2004 squad that made history against New York.

Reports are that the Yankees are in talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates as well with interest in aquiring right handed pitcher Ian Snell.  The past two season, the Yankees and Pirates have swapped players before the deadline, so with the good relationship, this could be possible.

Still, even if the Yankees don't make a move to fill the fifth starter void, Mitre has held his own in the spot.  Not only that, if the four other starters remain solid, I think the team will do just fine.

We all know pitching is a valuable asset to win in baseball, especially in the post season, but with the hot bats the Yankees possess right now, the team continues to outscore its opponents.

In other news, Brett Gardner broke his thumb over the weekend and landed on the DL.  This leaves the Yankees with only four outfielders and a call up of Shelley Duncan or Ramiro Pena in the coming days.  Top prospect Austin Jackson should remain in the minors as Yankees manager Joe Girardi inclined to say that he wants Jackson to stay down on the farm and grow.