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August 13, 2004

Chicks Dig the Longball.
by sj

I am back by lukewarm demand. I am not a great writer, so I will try to mask it again by doing another list. Lists fit my style perfectly, because of my short atten…ooh, look at that, Tiger is might miss the cut.

Today I am going to rank the top 10 Torre Era Yankee home runs. As is the case with all lists, this one is completely subjective.

10. Derek Jeter vs. Byung-Hyun Kim, Game 4, 2001 WS

Obviously, World Series walk offs are pretty exciting. This was a great at bat by Jeter, nine pitches; the ninth was a fastball outside that he went hit into the right field seats.

9. Tim Raines vs. Bobby Munoz, May 19, 1998

In the eighth inning, Bernie Williams had the nerve to hit a three run homer off head case Armando Benitez. Benitez then drilled Tino Martinez with a 95 mph fastball in the back. As the Yankee dugout stepped to the top step to exchange obscenities at him, Benitiez dropped his glove, spread his arms wide and invited the Yankees to take their best shot. Extreme ugliness ensued. Big Stein called it the “worst brawl he has seen in 25 years.”

After a very long delay, Tim Raines hit the first pitch after the brawl for a run into the right field bleachers. Raines and they Yankees knocked the defending AL East champs into last place that day.

8. Darryl Strawberry vs. Billy Taylor, August 4th 1998.

I am pretty sure this was an ESPN game. Anyway, I was watching this from the hotel I worked at, because I tore all the ligaments in my knee playing softball.

Strawberry had already homered in the first game which the Yankees won. Torre sent someone named Mike Buddie out there to start the house money game. Buddie apparently won the WFAN, “Who wants to pitch for the Best Team Ever” contest. He was roughed up a little, and the Yanks entered the ninth down 5-1. Straw came up to pinch hit for Joe Girardi with the bases loaded, and promptly deposited a ball into the center field bleachers. The Yankees would score 5 more times that inning. They were pretty good in ‘98.

7 (tie).Chuck Knoblauch vs. Donne Wall 1998 WS Game 1

Tino’s grand slam off Langston gets much of the ink, but he should have been called out a pitch earlier, so that doesn’t make the list. Knobby’s 3 run homer was huge, Greg Vaughn had hit 2 homers, Tony Gwynn added one, and the Yanks were down 5-2 heading into the seventh. But two runners got on, and Bruce Bochy removed Kevin Brown from the game.

Chuck Knoblauch vs. Tom Glavine 1999 WS Game 3

I hope people don’t forget all the things the Knobster did for the Yanks. Sure, while going through a painful divorce, he could not throw the ball to first base, but he had some huge hits for this team. Included in those was a game tying 2 run homer in the eighth inning of game 3. Sure Chad Curtis’ homer was a walk off, but the game was already tied.

6. Jason Giambi vs. Mike Trombley May, 17, 2002

Everyone remembers the rain game. Giambi became just the third player in baseball history to hit a walk off grand slam with his team down 3 in extras. I was in a bar in Hilton Head watching this game; I left after the Twins scored 3 in the 14th. Silly me.

5 (tie) Bernie Williams vs. Arthur Rhodes, 2001 ALCS, and Game 4

It hard to believe the Yankees made it all the way to game 7 of the World Series with that anemic offense. Bret Boone put the Mariners in position to win the game and tie the series with a homer in the 8th. Bernie ended all that nonsense with a homer to left off Rhodes in the bottom half of the inning.

Alfonso Soriano vs. 2001 ALCS, Game 4

Soriano hit a 2 run walk off homer to effectively end the series, continuing the improbable Yankee run into the World Series. If the Yanks hadn’t been 3 time defending champs, they would have been heavy, heavy dogs in the series.

4. Jim Leyritz vs. Mark Wohlers, 1996 WS, Game 4

I talked about this one the other day, but it bears repeating, this was the home run that launched a dynasty.

3. Scott Brosius vs. Byung-Hyun Kim. 2001 WS, Game 5

2. Tino Martinez vs. Byung-Hyun Kim 2001 WS, Game 4

1. Aaron Boone vs. Tim Wakefield, 2003 ALCS Game 7

What can be said about this these that has not been said already? Either of these would be another franchises all time greatest home run.

There you have it, I know, I know, Scott Brosious hit a 3 run homer off Trevor Hoffman in 98, but Larry has a rule. Scott Brosious can only appear on any list once, and the 2001 homer was far greater and more important, IMO.

Don’t get mad at me, it is Larry’s rule, I am just a guest here.