| Atlanta Braves |
Rick Stewart /Allsport
Braves record speaks for itself
By John Donovan, CNN/SI
It's all a matter of definition, this Team of the '90s thing.
The term "best" is way too subjective, so you have to get down to sheer numbers. Most wins in the regular season? Most consistent winner? Most pennants? Most trips to the World Series? Most World Series titles?
The Atlanta Braves head into their fifth World Series of the '90s having to prove to the New York Yankees -- and a lot of doubting fans -- that their organization has been the best in the decade. And the only way to prove that is by looking at the numbers.
Are you looking? Then there should be no question.
Yes, the Yanks have more World Series wins. Two to one. Using that measure alone, though, means the Yanks are merely tied with the Toronto Blue Jays. And no one seriously can put the burned-out Jays in with the Braves or Yankees of the '90s.
That one category, though, is all the Yankees have to lean on. They fall short in every other one. Most wins during the regular season -- Braves. Most consistent -- Braves, who have had just one losing season in the '90s (the Yanks have had three). Most pennants -- Braves. Most trips to the Series -- Braves.
It's all a matter of definition. By almost any definition, these Braves are The Team of the '90s.
| New York Yankees |
The Series is all that counts
By James Quintong, CNN/SI
Win the World Series, become part of history. Finish second, become a trivia answer.
When it comes down to the "best," winning it all is what matters. Just ask the Dodgers what it's like to lose to the Yankees in the World Series season after season.
The Bronx Bombers are already the team of the century by winning 24 Fall Classics. Their two titles this decade, tied with the Blue Jays for most in the '90s, seems meager by comparison. However, considering the challenge of surviving the always-difficult AL East, as well extra layers of playoffs, the Yankees have held up well.
They've made the playoffs five straight times (it might have been six straight had the strike not stopped their first-place season in '94), but when they've won the division ('96, '98, '99), they've advanced to the World Series. And when they've reached the Fall Classic, they've won it, including beating the Braves in 1996 after erasing a two-game deficit.
In fact, the Yankees have rattled off eight straight World Series wins and have taken 14 of the last 15 postseason games.
But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the Yankees have won two World Series crowns in the '90s compared to the Braves one. Plus, the Bombers have already knocked off the Braves in crunch time.
Shouldn't that count for something?