The Yankees Re-captured New York Last Season. (Gannett News Service 2/17/94)


     FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Yankees re-captured New York last
  season.
     Now they have their sights set on the American League East.
     Manager Buck Showalter knows that Toronto and Baltimore are
  heavy favorites before the race even starts. But he exudes a quiet
  confidence that is shared by newly-acquired pitcher Terry
  Mulholland, who won 12 games for the National League champion
  Philadephia Phillies last season.
     "I like our chances," Mulholland said. "I like them a lot this
  year.
     "The Phillies were probably the tightest-knit team I've ever
  played on. You couldn't rattle them. The only thing we worried
  about was who we were going to beat next."
     The Yankees began cultivating that attitude last season. But
  they needed a few more players to back it up.
     The next seven weeks will tell if they found them.
     Though they finished seven games behind the two-time World
  Series champion Blue Jays, Showalter's scrappy team made it special
  to be a Yankee and a Yankees fan again.
     The high-voltage electricity that once made Yankee Stadium feel
  like a Con Edison power plant was humming again, the way it did in
  1981, when the Yankees last won the AL East.
     No one understood the return of Yankee pride better than
  infielder Mike Gallego, who felt the first stirrings of the brash
  confidence he once knew with the Oakland A's powerhouse teams of
  the late 1980s.
     "We had that feeling from Day 1 last year of spring training,"
  said Gallego, the lone position player working out Thursday, the
  first day with pitchers and catchers. "When I looked at the names
  above these lockers when I first walked in, I knew this team was
  going to be the team to make people Yankee fans again.
     "I knew this was going to be the Yankees team this organization
  has been looking for for a long, long time."
     The Yankees spent 16 days tied for first place with Toronto. The
  last time was Sept. 9.
     There are cornerstones in place at the corners in Don Mattingly
 and Wade Boggs, two pure hitters who have batted .300 or better 17
  of their combined 22 major league seasons. Former Blue Jay Jimmy
  Key showed himself last season to be the stopper the team had long
  been seeking, winning 18 games, the most by a Yankee since 1986.
     The Yankees have better starting pitching if Jim Abbott pitches
  like the Abbott of 1991 than '93 and if Melido Perez can rebound
  from shoulder surgery.
     They also have chemistry - and leadership.
     "There's not just one captain," Gallego said. "We all know
  Donnie's our captain. But he knows if he doesn't feel like doing
  something, someone else will. We have enough veterans in here who
  will either lead by example or will actually say something to
  somebody if need be."
     Showalter was proud of the way the Yankees maintained their
  composure themselves when they were eliminated from first place to
  finish second.
     They seemingly have the pressure-proof players who welcome
  performing in New York.
     "This is what we do for a living, playing in front of millions
  of people. We enjoy being on stage. What better stage can you ask
  for than Yankee Stadium?" Gallego said.
     Left-hander Bob Ojeda revealed something about himself by
  signing a minor-league contract with the Yankees less than a year
  after returning from a tragic boating accident that killed two
  Cleveland Indians teammates.
     "Right away you get some idea of what kind of character this man
  has," Gallego said. "He's not afraid of failure. You definitely
  can't be afraid of failure when you come to New York."

Copyright 1994, Gannett News Service, a division of Gannett Satelitte Information Network, Inc.

CORBETT, JIM, FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Yankees Re-captured New York Last Season., Gannett News Service, 02-17-1994.




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