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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Insecurity Haunts Yankees

NEW YORK -- The outcome of the 92nd World Series was not predictable, and neither will be the aftermath. The New York Yankees are on top of the baseball world, thanks to an unlikely six-game victory over the heavily favored Atlanta Braves, but it might be hard to tell the winners from the losers in the next few weeks.

The Braves' organization, clearly disappointed at its failure to secure a second consecutive world championship, nonetheless is preparing to move toward 1997 without rancor or self-doubt. If only the same could be said for the euphoric Yankees, who still have some troubling questions to resolve.

"Any season that ends in the World Series cannot be considered a bad year,'' Braves President Stan Kasten said.

Kasten was neither red-eyed nor forlorn. He is one of the architects of a National League dynasty that could remain in place for several more seasons. The Braves seem to have struck the perfect balance of emerging youth and established talent to be a perennial postseason presence.

That assumes that the Braves will re-sign presumptive Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz and exercise a club option on former Cy Young pitcher Tom Glavine, which are good assumptions. It also presumes the continued development of bright young outfielders Andruw Jones and Jermaine Dye.

The Yankees have to wonder. They had a terrific season, but the magical quality of their postseason run -- and the inherent volatility of the club's front office -- makes the prospects for 1997 less certain.

How many general managers have to answer questions about job security 45 minutes after winning the World Series?

Only one.

Bob Watson could not say with any certainty that he would continue as Yankees GM this winter, even though he became the first minority general manager to win a world championship.

Postgame question: "Have you received a vote of confidence [from owner George Steinbrenner]?''

Answer: "No.''

Question: "What do you expect?''

Answer: "I don't know.''

The concept of stability is everything to the Braves' organization, but it is alien to the Yankees. Steinbrenner apparently likes his people to feel insecure.

George Steinbrenner declared Monday that he will invite back Watson.

But Watson, who is to make $350,000 next season, wasn't exactly bubbling with enthusiasm when news of that interview reached him. Watson said, "He needs to sit and talk to me, and he needs to tell me that.''

When Watson was pressed whether he might decide not to return on his own, he said: "Let's put it this way. I need to talk to him.''

"Right now, we think that next year's team is the best team we've ever had,'' Kasten said.

When all the indicators are pointing in the right direction, it's easy to be gracious in defeat.

"A lot of times, the hardest part about getting close and not getting it done is wondering who won't be here next year,'' Glavine said, "but we've got a lot of good, young guys here. The nucleus is still here. I suspect this is not going to be our last shot at a world championship.''