It was nine long years ago last week that Luis Sojo's RBI single up the middle put the Yankees ahead in Game 5 of the Subway Series against the Mets. A half-inning later, Mariano Rivera(notes) retired Mike Piazza(notes) on a fly ball to center for his 19th career postseason save and the Yankees had won their 26th World Series championship.
Ho hum. Another season, another title for the Bronx. There'd be more soon, undoubtedly. We were just trying to figure out what enraged Roger Clemens(notes) enough to whip a shard of Mike Piazza's broken bat right back at the slugger in Game 2 (right).
What was with the red glare, Rocket?
In the year 2000, the Earth was a different planet compared to the rock on which we live today. Let's step into the wayback machine, or take a ride in the DeLorean if you like, to see just how different it was ...
... the last time the Yankees last won the World Series ...
Still on a high because of his Famous Flip against the Athletics in the ALDS , Series MVP Derek Jeter(notes) was linked to Miss Universe Lara Dutta. At least eight more celebrity girlfriends came and went until the current Ms. Right, TV's Minka Kelly.
• ... The Backstreet Boys were larger than life; Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, J.C. Chasez and Jeter's pal Lance Bass were still all *NSYNC with each other; America's temperature was a collective 98 degrees, thanks to Nick Lachey and the fellas with their top-10 hit, "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)."
• ... A 25-year-old Alex Rodriguez(notes) took the hand of agent Scott Boras and steeled himself for a journey into free agency that ignored Boston and New York but landed him in Texas for a record $252 million dollars after Rangers owner Tom Hicks outbid himself.
• ... Music consumers were rushing to their Gateways to download files called MP3s, trying to abuse Napster as much as possible before metal gods Metallica shut down the service for stealin' their gold (records).
• ... Feeling safe in the knowledge that Deadspin wouldn't even launch for five years, Mets general manager Steve Phillips continues monkey business as usual ...
• ... PlayStation2 hadn't been released in the U.S. yet — not until the day after the Series ended. And its first baseball games wouldn't come out until the following spring training.
• ... Terry Francona had finished his second season as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, who finished 77-85 with shortstops Alex Arias and Desi Relaford(notes), second baseman Marlon Anderson(notes) and first baseman Rico Brogna.
• ... Hanging Chad was more likely to be a porn star than a quaint phrase having to do with a disputed presidential election.
• ... A record 5,693 homers were hit in the regular season, with Sammy Sosa(notes) edging Barry Bonds(notes) 50-49 for the individual title. Everybody pretended it was on the up and up. BALCO, Grand jury, HGH? What? Nothing! Move along, move along.
• ... The most frequently played song at Yankee Stadium wasn't "God Bless America," but instead "Who Let the Dogs Out?" — which was still reverberating as the summer anthem of choice at empty ballparks across the nation.
... the last time the Yankees won the World Series.