Record: 101-61
Finish: Lost in the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox
Standout Players: Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield, Mariano Rivera, Kenny Lofton, Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Javier Vazquez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada

When the New York Yankees started the 2004 season, they fielded a team with an astronomical $200+ million payroll, which featured Alex Rodriguez and what was once the richest contract in baseball. The Yanks' roster also included big name, high earners like Kenny Lofton, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui. The Yanks finished the regular season with a 101-61 record and looked like a shoe-in for a World Series appearance when they took a 3-0 lead over the Red Sox in the ALCS. Then, one of the biggest collapses in sports history occurred and Boston became the first team in MLB history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a series. The BoSox went on to win the World Series and broke the 86-year "Curse of the Bambino."