1. 2000 Yankees
For the rest of time, whenever a Yankees team struggles in the month of September, fans will always cite the 2000 team. And their struggles were so disastrous that they absolutely earned that designation.
The glory that followed was also worth the fall.
The Yanks went 13-17 in the month overall, but September began with an 8-2 stretch. Seriously. Following a 6-3 win over Cleveland on the 16th, the team lost 12 of 14, adding an extra loss in October. Their division lead dwindled to 2.5 games — it was a nine-gamer on Sept. 13.
Not only did these losses keep on coming, but they truly felt like avalanches. A mere sampling of the destruction: 15-4 blowouts by Cleveland and a decrepit Detroit team, a 16-3 Toronto win, Tampa Bay going 11-1 and 11-3 back-to-back after a 2-1 walk-off, and 13-2 and 9-1 O’s wins at the tail end of the slide. Those last five were consecutive. Imagine watching that every day?
Well, we kind of just did. But imagine watching that every day in fully-packed ballparks?!
But did it matter? Only if you prefer “AL’s Best Team in September” banners to World Series flags, which very much fly forever.
The Yanks triumphed that October once again, as Mike Piazza’s fly ball settled in Bernie Williams’ glove to send the Mets home losers (a rare occurrence). But don’t let anyone ever tell you it was easy. In fact, if you stuck around for all of that September swoon, you deserve a little something extra for your troubles.