2003 Yankees best ever?

Updated: April 25, 2003, 1:34 PM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Is it too early to start contemplating the 2003 Yankees as being the "best ever?" After all, the ink has barely dried on our tax returns and it's still pretty damn cold in the Bronx. Shouldn't we wait a little longer before giving in to the temptation of speculating on the heights this team could reach?

Kevin Kernan doesn't think so. He poses the question in today's New York Post and looks to a couple of baseball's famous names of the past for answers. The first is Sparky Anderson, manager of one of the best lineups ever assembled in the guise of the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds. Anderson points out that there is great talent at just about every starting position, certainly a prerequisite for considering a team's relative greatness. While the 2003 Yankees lineup probably cannot quite stack up to those Reds on a position-by-position basis, there is the matter of the starting pitching.

Last night's loss by Andy Pettitte was the first by a Yankee starter this season and that, above all else, is what is allowing speculation about the team's greatness to begin so early in the season. This is the thing that Yogi Berra -- a key member of the Yankee's longest-running dynasty -- pointed to when he spoke to Kernan.
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at