Consider the Yankees dynasty officially over
NEW YORK -- The old dynasty finally fell, and for good Monday night in the Bronx. The descent started in the afternoon with a harbinger: The Yankees removed the 45-year-old Roger Clemens from the postseason roster, a move as symbolically significant for a team that has squeezed a generation's worth of nostalgia and performance out of its old bones as it was necessary because they were short a pitcher.
I don't know what the Yankees want. They had the opportunity and they didn't do anything with me. This is a business. They treat it like a business and I will, too. But I don't hold anything against the Yankees.
--Yankees closer Mariano Rivera
"We'll see. I don't know what the Yankees want. They had the opportunity and they didn't do anything with me," Rivera said. "This is a business. They treat it like a business and I will, too. But I don't hold anything against the Yankees."Posada, too, can opt for free agency. Pettitte, like Rodriguez, has a player option and can leave the Yankees if he chooses to do so. Clemens should have pitched his last game, gimpy and defeated by time. The time for transition, as was proven Monday night, appears to be now. The Yankees created a championship core through its farm system, and then as that core began to fade, they attempted to augment it with spending. Since 2002, the Yankees won 100 games three times, played in a World Series and haven't won fewer than 94 games, but strayed from the core philosophy that created their success, and the result is a team top heavy and inflexible in need of a fresh start. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has over the past few months grown even more convinced that the big-money, heavy-spending Yankees way needs to die a quick death, an attitude supported by the ebullient play of Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and a host of young players saddled, but not for long, behind the Yankees' ballast. It is clear that it is time for a new history in New York -- perhaps orbiting around Rodriguez and a new stadium -- for the old one has finally run its course. "My ultimate goal would be to home-grow everybody. That's not realistic, but my biggest dream would be to home-grow it all," Cashman said Monday night. "I'm very devoted to the amateur pipeline in the domestic and international markets." If this is indeed the end, and as the Torre, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte era comes to a close, it was, as they say, quite a run. In New York, even a dynasty needs to be told when to say goodbye. Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He is the author of "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston" and "Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball." He can be reached at Howard.Bryant@espn3.com.
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