This is a "must-read" book that has been published this Spring by New York Postís Baseball Columnist, Joel Sherman. A link with information about the book and how to purchase a copy can be found below. An excerpt from page 302 can be found under the link. Be sure to focus on the highlighted area when you read it. A portion of David Cone's forward he wrote for the book is also attached. Buy it, you will enjoy it! 


Click here: Birth of a Dynasty : Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees: Books: David Cone,Joel Sherman, 2006



Torre, Zimmer, Mel Stottlemyre and Bob Watson all had just come from the National League, and each admired how Girardi worked a game. But Girardiís attributes were understated and difficult to sell. He had eighteen career homers, as many as Stanley had the previous season. What Girardi did was harder to quantify and because of that he was lacerated more in the media and among the Yankee faithful. At the Yankees annual Fan Festival on February 4 at the New York Coliseum, the mere announcement of his name drew loud booing as it did at the clubís Welcome Home Dinner and home opener. Girardi was devastated. He struggled early in the regular season with just two RBIs in the teamís first twenty-one games. Over and over, the powerful all-sports station in town, WFAN, would play a tape from a previous season of Girardi grounding out weakly to Mets starting pitcher Bobby Jones as a way of defining him as a powder-puff performer. The station also mockingly played a song parody Joe, Joe, Girardi-o played to the same cadence of the deifying Joe, Joe DiMaggio that was performed by Les Brown in 1941. Girardi heeded the counsel of David Cone and Coneís business manager, Andrew Levy, to call the station unsolicited and display a sense of humor about the whole thing, surmising that would humanize Girardi. That definitely helped. So did Zimmerís advice a month into the season to stop trying to be Mike Stanley. But time was Girardiís greatest ally. Because only time would allow all of Girardiís attributes to be seen.



It is hard to put into words just what 1996 meant to me, so let me try someone elseís: "We play today we win today. Datís it." That was the statement our second baseman Mariano Duncan made the team motto as the 1996 season progressed. It was especially fitting that year because of all the adversity and distractions that we encountered. We could have had excuses, but that was not a team for excuse making. It was a team that focused on getting a job done. True genius is sometimes measured by the ability to simplify and Marianoís statement struck a chord throughout the organization. David Szen, the traveling secretary for the Yankees, started to include this motto at the top of every itinerary for road trips. A lot of people have tried to define or quantify the importance of team chemistry, but this remains one of the mysteries of sport. A bonding and confidence materialized before our eyes that year because everyone bought into a team-oriented concept. Ask me how this happened? Why? Numerous variables came into play, but one constant I remember was no matter who was hurt, who we were playing or what kind of lineup we ran out there, "We play today we win today. Dat's it." It was our rallying cry. It was our soul.