It seems like forever since Mariano Rivera's subtle fist pump near first base in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series, verifying his fifth title and the Yankees' 27th in franchise history. It was a fifth for Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, a group crowned the "Core Four" for their unflappable championship fortitude over the years.
Two seasons later, the Yankees are a different team with the same focus. Many familiar faces wear the pinstripes, but their stories are very different. Jorge Posada, once a leader and All-Star catcher, is now fighting for his postseason life in his final act as a Yankee. Derek Jeter is still the captain, but his diminished play has been well documented and most people are waiting to see if his October magic can still be conjured. And Curtis Granderson, the replacement for young Melky Cabrera, has become the offensive anchor in New York's lineup.
Changes aside, the goal remains the same, and the Yankees are poised to run toward a 28th title this postseason. Here are 10 definitive reasons why this team has the pieces it'll take to get the job done.