The start of the 1996 season bought on a new manager and multiple key players. But mostly, the Yankees wanted a World Series Victory. The Yankees started the season off sloppy, but were back to their winning ways by the all-star break. One of the new players was David Cone. Another player was Joe Girardi, who at first wasn't like by fans because he replaced Mike Stanly, who was a great all around catcher. The Yankees then got Don Mattingly. But probably the most important player that the Yankees got was Derek Jeter. The Yankees also got somebody else, not a player, but a manager. His name was Joe Torre, but most people called him clueless Joe because he had never made it to the World Series or even to the playoffs while managing other teams. The Yankees went on to beat the Orioles in the divison series, and then they beat the Athletics to make it to the world series and play the Braves. The Yankees went on to win the world series in six games for their 23 world series victory. The 1996 season was one of the best and most intense seasons that the Yankees ever had.
The Yankees had not won the world series since 1978. Fans were starting to wonder when the Yankees' darkness would clear up. That was answered in the Yankees' 1996 season. Yankees Principal Owner George Steinbrenner decided to hire a man by the name of Joe Torre to be the Yankees manager. Critics mocked this move, as Torre had never made it to the World Series in his entire playing and managing career. Some papers even went far enough to call Torre "Clueless Joe". What nobody expected was domination and defeat, as the Yankees went on to win the 1996 World Series. The Yankees had a great season, finishing with 92 wins and 70 losses. But it was the postseason that counted. The Yankees swept through Texas in the American League Divison Series, defeating them 3 games to 1. The Yankees then faced Baltimore in the American League Championship Series and won Game 1 because of a play by a fan. Jeffrey Mayer was sitting in the first row in the bleachers in right field when Derek Jeter lifted a fly ball to right field. Tony Tarasco, the right fielder for the Orioles at the time, went back to the wall to make the catch. What happened next will be forever enshrined in Yankees history. Jeffrey Mayer stuck out his glove and pulled the catchable ball over the right field wall. The umpires conferenced and ruled the play a homerun. This put the Yankees back in the game and led them to victory. After losing Game 2, the Yankees rallied back and won Games 3, 4, and 5 to take the series from the Orioles. The Yankees now were in the World Series and had a tough Atlanta Braves team in their way to victory. The first two games were to be played at Yankee Stadium, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th would be played at Turner Field, and the 6th and 7th would be at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees quickly lost the first two games at home and were in a 2-0 hole going to Atlanta. George Steinbrenner was upsetted about this and called Joe Torre in for a meeting. All Torre said to him was, "We'll go up to Atlanta, take three games there; then come back to Yankee Stadium and finish the series." A dumbstrucked Steinbrenner watched Torre exit his office. Yet "Clueless Joe" had a clue indeed. The Yankees won Game 3 on an upsurge of offense. However, the Yankees quickly fell behind 6-0 in Game 4. The Yankees scored three runs and Atlanta decided to bring in Mark Wohlers. The Yankees had two men on and Jim Leyritz at the plate. Leyritz got the count to 1-2 and then the Yankees mystique kicked in. He hit a three run home run over the left field wall and the Yankees went on to win 8-6 in 10 innings. Game 5 was a pitching duel between Andy Pettite and John Smoltz. However, it was Pettite who triumphed and the Yankees won 1-0. The Yankees traveled back to Yankee Stadium for Game 6. Greg Maddux allowed three runs in the third inning and the Yankees had a 3-1 lead going into the top of the ninth. With Yankees closer John Wetteland on the mound, the Braves scored once more making it 3-2. The Braves had the potential tying run on base and the leading run at the plate until Mark Lemke fouled out to third to end the game and the World Series. It was Joe Torre's first ever World Series and the Yankees 23rd as a franchise. Yankeeography 1996 can be seen on the YES Network.
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