Tino Martinez sees ‘same mindset’ in current Yankees as 1998 team

Tino Martinez sees ‘same mindset’ in current Yankees as 1998 team

TORONTO — Tino Martinez has paid consideration to the Yankees from afar over the previous few seasons and has seen one thing totally different concerning the 2022 model — one which makes it comprehensible why they’re drawing comparisons to the 1998 workforce that received 114 regular-season video games en path to a title. 

“They appear like they’re on a mission,’’ Martinez, the primary baseman on that 1998 workforce, mentioned Saturday by telephone from Tampa, Fla. “We had the identical mindset that 12 months. It didn’t matter if we had been up 20 video games or no matter in July. We wished to go up 30 [games]. We knew we needed to hold pushing and never simply cruise to the top of the common season.” 

Much like this 12 months’s workforce, the 1998 squad didn’t come out of the gates firing on all cylinders. They misplaced three of their first 4 video games earlier than profitable 14 of their subsequent 15. 

They constructed an 11-game lead within the AL East by way of 58 video games — a few week earlier than this 2022 workforce did the identical factor. 

Tino Martinez sees the identical mindset within the present Yankees that his 1998 workforce did. Getty Pictures

By the top of June, the 1998 Yankees by no means led by fewer than 10 video games and their lead finally grew to 22 video games in September. 

This 12 months’s model entered the sport Saturday in opposition to the Blue Jays with a 48-16 document by way of 64 video games, the identical as these Yankees and the perfect within the majors because the Mariners opened 50-14 in 2001. 

Solely the 1939 Yankees had a greater begin in franchise historical past, going 50-14. 

The Yankees have proven few indicators of slowing down this 12 months, that they had received 15 of 16 video games and has outscored opponents 107-38 throughout that stretch. 

All of it hearkens again to 1998, Martinez’s third season with the Yankees. 

“It was an excellent 12 months and it appeared like we had been profitable each single day,’’ Martinez mentioned. “It’s arduous to maintain up that tempo.” 

He mentioned he believes there are some indicators that the Yankees can sustain their present tempo. 

“They’re hitting the ball all over and enjoying with confidence,’’ Martinez mentioned. “They’re simply piling up wins.” 

The Yankees personal MLB’s finest document. AP

And their 19 comeback wins additionally lead the majors. 

“There’s a unique aura about this workforce than the previous few years,’’ Martinez mentioned. “They appear like they’ll win each sport even once they’re down within the seventh, eighth or ninth. That wasn’t the case final 12 months. This workforce all the time makes one thing occur. You count on it. That ’98 workforce had the identical perspective and it wasn’t one or two guys. It’s not simply [Aaron] Decide and [Anthony] Rizzo. It’s guys like [Jose] Trevino, like we had with [Luis] Sojo.” 

Martinez, nonetheless, is aware of this workforce’s legacy can’t be inbuilt June or July. 

“Regardless of who we performed, we wished to simply hold profitable and overwhelm opponents and never simply win the division,’’ Martinez mentioned. “However you all the time know the objective is to win the World Collection. You don’t need to be Seattle [in 2001], win 116 video games and lose within the playoffs and nobody remembers you.” 

Tino Martinez and his Yankees teammates rejoice throughout the 1998 World Collection.AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Although this workforce doesn’t have the championship pedigree of 1998, a workforce that already had received the World Collection in 1996, Martinez thinks the 2022 Yankees have been constructed the suitable method. 

“They’re defense-first,’’ Martinez mentioned. “That’s what it’s good to win within the postseason.” 

Earlier than they get there, although, they’ve loads of work to do. 

“There’s nonetheless a protracted method to go,’’ Martinez mentioned. “They’ve prevented accidents to this point. Joe Torre stored saying, ‘Don’t take a breath or lookup. Simply hold going.’ I really like the best way they’re enjoying now.”

About Muji Sakawari

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