MINNEAPOLIS – Through the prism of a high-def screen, it was easy to connect the delirious present to a dynastic past. Tino Martinez watched Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira unleash their epic swings, watched men celebrate like boys, and immediately he summoned a time when happy October endings were an everyday Bronx tale.
Martinez saw A-Rod hit the ninth-inning homer off Joe Nathan that he had hit off Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series. He saw Teixeira hit the 11th-inning homer that Derek Jeter had hit off Arizona’s Kim in the 10th.
More than anything Friday night, the first baseman who won four championships under Joe Torre saw a contender morph into something entirely familiar under Joe Girardi.
“They had gotten away from being the Yankees for a little while,” Martinez said Saturday by phone, “but now I think they’re back.”