Jason Giambi (2002–2008)
Three months after 9/11, New York's economy was imploding and nobody was in the mood for showmanship. Thus Giambi, through no fault of his own, became a symbol of corporate gluttony. His impressive bat speed and power numbers remained, but his averages swooned to .250 in 2003 and .208 in 2004. His declining offense wasn't the whole story, though: He brought scandal to the Bronx, becoming a big part of the BALCO steroid probe. During Giambi's years with the team, he hit 209 homers – or very nearly 30 per season – and drove in 604 RBIs. Yet his arrival, in many eyes, was the very moment when the Yanks jumped the shark. By 2007, the team's streak of nine straight American League East titles was broken while the club's payroll stood at a gaudy $218.3 million, an increase of more than 350 percent from the pre-Giambi era.