Brown: David Wells Sees Parallels To 1998 Team

Jake Brown
May 18, 2018 - 4:15 pm

By Jake Brown

Thursday night, former New York Yankees great David Wells hosted the Perfect Game 20th Anniversary Celebration with a star-studded guestlist at Sony Hall in Manhattan. Proceeds from event will support the mission of the Wells’ Perfect 33 Foundation and Jorge and Laura Posada’s Puerto Rico Relief Foundation.

His former Yankees teammates Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, David Cone, Bernie Williams, Ramiro Mendoza and coach Willie Randolph and manager Joe Torre were in the building. Host of  'The Tonight Show' Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Creator Lorne Michaels, and comedian Pete Davidson were also in attendance.

That 1998 Yankees team was special. It was the first year of three consecutive World Series titles and the start of a dynasty. Winning back-to-back championships now is almost impossible. In fact, since the Yankees wrapped up three in a row in 2000, nobody has won consecutive titles. With the Yankees off to a sizzling start this season and with all the youth and talent they have, it begs the question: Can this be the start of a new Yankees dynasty?

“Not yet,” said Wells. “The season isn’t over. It’s way too soon. You have to win one first. At the end of the year, the record will speak for itself. They have got a hell of a team right now. I’ve probably watched more baseball this year than I have in year's past. They have the ability to do it. They have got the strength, they have the man power. It’s the pitching that’s going to win you ball games. It’s hard to score five, 10 runs a game. If the pitching is solid, they have a chance.

“From '95-'96 and on, when Bernie and those guys came up, that might be a tough task to beat. Those guys were solid. Derek came into his own and he embraced New York and he wasn’t afraid of anything. That’s the mentality you got to go in with and that’s why you stay. When you have that core of guys that work together, and it’s been what you can do, you never know when the brass is going to trade you. That was a sucky day for me. Hopefully they don’t dismantle a team like this. You got to give them an opportunity. Give them three years and then you try it. Keeps these guys together as long as you can,” said Wells.  

David Cone, like Wells, knows a thing or two about throwing a perfect game. Cone threw his in 1999 with the Yankees. Cone sees something special in this team compared to their 1998 championship team.

“When you compare it to the core four...really, I call it the core five. You got to throw Bernie in there too and Pettitte and Posada and Jeter in there as well and Mo. You get that feeling again,” Cone said Thursday night at Sony Hall. “You see this young talent. You see how they’re thriving in New York...Aaron Judge, the way he handles himself. All their personalities seem to fit together and they really like each other and that means a lot. Those guys are a force and they really have a chance to form that nucleus that dynasties are built on.”

It’s hard not to compare this team versus that team 20 years ago. This team needs to win one first before any talk of a dynasty begins, but the pieces are in place for a special run this year. Only time will tell if the Bronx Bombers can re-invent what the “Core Four” started back then.

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