Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 6/25/13
"Powerful indeed is the empire of habit" – Syrus The New York Yankees are a franchise synonymous with winning at all costs. If you take a trip to the Cathedral of Baseball and purchase one of their larger refreshment sizes from the concession stands, you will receive a souvenir cup with pictures of all 27 Yankees World Series rings dotting its circumference. At every corner of the stadium, there is constant reminder to the fans that you're in the home of the winningest franchise in professional sports.  Banners line the Great Hall emblazoned with Mantle, Rivera, Jeter, Williams, Pettitte, Mattingly, Dimaggio, Gehrig, Ruth, and other names etched in Yankee lore; words like “tradition” and "pride" are thrown around like profanity is at the Osbourne residence. The old saying goes, “the Yankees don't rebuild, they reload,” and it is this very thought process that has left us with the 2013 New York Yankees. The Yankees are old, this is not a new realization. Due to injuries and age, the starting line-up for the Bronx Bombers is not what it used to be. The traditionally vaunted Yankees lineup consists this season of names such as Thomas Neal, Chris Stewart, Lyle Overbay and David Adams – cast-offs, spare parts, scrap heap pick-ups and general “who the f*** is that?” guys abound. It is a cast that is the most decrepit and rudderless Yankees lineup in a generation. But the Yankees have been “old” since they set off on a run that saw them make the postseason for 17 of the last 18 years, get to the World Series seven times, and win the whole thing five times. Between 1996 and 2001, when the Yankees made the World Series five times in six years, and rolled out what is perhaps the greatest baseball dynasty in the history of the game, the “Evil Empire” averaged roughly 30.65 years of age between their pitchers and batters. The average age of the 2013 Yankees is just over 31.5, a bit higher, but not by much. In fact, last year's team was even older, exceeding 32 years of age – that team made it to the ALCS. The problem with the Yankees is not the age of the team as a whole, but of certain players in particular. The Yankees dynasty was built around a backbone of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, the “Core Four” as they came to be dubbed. Bernie Williams also served as an excellent homegrown player to compliment the “Core Four” for almost his entire career. With that strong, young core of players and a seemingly endless pit of money, the Yankees were able to engage in “Too Much Moneyball” with reckless abandon, re-signing the aforementioned homegrown talent, overpaying for top-of-the-line free agents like Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia, and trading for All Stars with expiring contracts (David Cone, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Curtis Granderson, Chuck Knoblauch) to later extend at a market value. The Yankees knew full well that extending veteran All Stars and giving free agents top dollar was investing in a series of declining returns, but they didn't care because they were the Yankees. When one aging star had been used up, they just threw in another one to add fuel to the fire and keep the machine working. So long as the heart of the Yankees was young or in its prime, the train kept rolling along. Eventually though, despite countless upgrades and replacements, the heart of a machine ages to the point of being irreparable. You can continue to add RAM or new GPUs to a computer, but once the motherboard is outdated, you might as well scrap the whole thing and get a new rig. That's the Yankees in a nutshell: an old computer beyond the point of upgrading. Jeter is injury-plagued and approaching 40, Pettitte and Rivera are on their way out, and guys like Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada departed long ago. With the Yankees shipping off the majority of their prospects to acquire veteran talent, and the duration of their success outcasting the Yankees from the ability to draft franchise-changing players to re-tool around, their farm system is barren. The reason the Yankees were able to draft Jeter was because of just how terrible they were during the Mattingly Era (New York had the sixth pick that year). For almost two decades, the Yankees sold away their farm system to feed the winning-hungry culture and fan base they have fostered, and now it appears the repercussions are starting to surface. Sure, Rodriguez, Jeter and Michael Pineda may come back and give the team a boost down the stretch. They may even make the playoffs, but the Yankees' dominance is all but over. Until New York can find its next slew of young talent to supplement with veteran All Stars, you're going to see a similar collection of over-the-hill veterans and a bunch of four-A ballplayers. By: Ryan Gilmore Twitter: @Rygil01
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker