Yankees Suck postsSaturday June 23, 2012
Last week I bought the book, “Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (and Hated) Team,” edited by Rob Fleder, from Amazon.com. This morning I received the following email message from Team Bezos:
Oh, you sad little algorithms. “Customers who showed an interest in the New York Yankees might like to see autographed jerseys, trading cards, and more...” Right. Or they might like to see the New York Yankees in last place for the rest of the 21st century. They might like to see Derek Jeter trip and break his face. They might like to see Yankees fans forced to publicly apologize for their overall loutishness and general lack of hygiene.
It all depends, you see, on how you read the title Damn Yankees.
Spider-Man's Uncle Ben: Yankees Fan?
I was rewatching Sam Raimi's “Spider-Man” the other day, in anticipation of somethingorother, when, two-thirds of the way through, as Aunt May prays at night, just before the Green Goblin shows up, we get this shot of a framed photo of the now-deceased, gentle, beloved Uncle Ben Parker (Cliff Robertson):
What's that on his head? That can't be ... It's not...
Say it ain't so, Uncle Ben! The man who taught us the greatest lesson in comic books, that “with great power comes great responsibility,” is actually a Yankees fan?
How does that work exactly? With great power comes the ability to cherry-pick other teams' best players? With great power comes asinine behavior? With great power comes loud, douchebag fans?
Thank God for the reboot.
Yes, Virginia, it's 2012 and the Yankees Still Suck
Are any sports fans as blinkered as Yankees fans? Is any major publication more willing to print their obtuse thoughts than The New York Times?
Yesterday in the Times, in a kinda sorta baseball-preview sports page, obit columnist Bruce Weber reflected on entering his second half-century of Yankees fandom with a bit of a ho-hum. He certainly likes the current team's “gallant old stars,” such as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, and never liked George Steinbrenner, whom he calls “egregiously self-aggrandizing and vulgar,” but he admits the Yankees in the post-Steinbrenner era are a little dull.
Then he makes the kind of vast presumption only a Yankees fan could make:
It’s no longer possible, as it was in Steinbrenner’s heyday, to rail against the Yankees as the evil empire that dominates the game because of its financial advantage.
Weber reminds us there are several other wealthy teams (Red Sox, Phillies, Angels) who regularly write big paychecks to stars. He reminds us that the team to vastly overpay A-Rod the first time wasn't the Yankees—they did it in 2007—but the Texas Rangers in 2000. He adds:
So if I’m not having as much fun rooting for the Yankees as I used to, I imagine it can’t be as much fun to disdain them as it once was, either.
No, Mr. Weber, it's still fun. And I still seethe.
True, last season, the Yankees' $30 million advantage in payroll over the second spendiest team, the Philadelphia Phillies ($202m to $172m), was, for a change, actually less than the entire payroll of the least spendiest team in baseball, the Kansas City Royals, which had a $36 milliion payroll. This hasn't happened since 2002. Check out the chart below. The second column is the Yankees' payroll advantage over whomever the No. 2 team is. The third column represents how many teams' payrolls this difference is greater than:
|Year||> No. 2 Team||> MLB Payrolls|
Look at 2004-06. There were years when the difference between the Yankees' payroll and the second-largest payroll was greater than the overall payrolls of more than half the teams in Major League Baseball. You think that's forgotten and forgiven, Mr. Weber, just because the Yanks in 2011 had a mere $30 million advantage over the next spendiest team?
You think because they haven't won the World Series since way back in 2009 that all is forgotten and forgiven?
You think 27/40 is forgotten and forgiven?
You think we've forgotten Jeffrey Maier and A-Rod's slap and Jeter's “hit by pitch” and GMS patches and Steinbrenner monuments and Wade Boggs on a horse and Paul McCartney in a Yankees cap and “fat pussy toad” and “He'll look good in pinstripes”? You think Twins fans have forgotten 2009, 2008, 2004 and 2003, and Mariners fans have forgiven 2001 and 2000, and Rangers fans have forgiven 1999, 1998 and 1996, and Royals fans have forgiven 1978, 1977 and 1976, and Dodgers fans have forgiven 1978, 1977, 1956, 1953, 1952, 1949, 1947 and 1941?
You think our hatred knows bounds?
Looking forward to a little more of this in 2012.
Start... Spreading... the News...
OK, here's your YANKEES SUCK post of the day.
I encourage all opposition baseball teams to play the slow, haunting version of “New York, New York,” from the film “Shame,” and performed by Carey Mulligan (whom I love), whenever the Yankees come to town and LOSE. Or at the very least during every Derek Jeter at-bat. There's more heartbreak in that city than triumph, after all. This version reflects that perfectly.
Full audio version here.
Quotes of the Day: The Fall of the 2011 New York Yankees and the New Curse of the Bambino
I'm disappointed that we didn't get better articles about the Yankees' quick postseason exit from stalwarts Rob Neyer or Joe Posnanski. But the Internet's a big place and good comments could be found. My favorite is listed last. Enjoy.
“It hurts. It hurts for the Yankees to lose in the playoffs and for their season to end. I once knew a therapist who said that sports were a leading cause of depression among men – trailing behind events like losing a loved one or being fired from one’s job. I take these losses seriously. I also know that the closer your team comes to winning it all, the harder it is to have them lose. I remember 2001. I know this might sound like self-entitled nonsense to fans of teams like the Cubs who haven’t sniffed a World Championship in eons. But every Yankee fan is also a fan of less successful teams. My California Golden Bears haven’t seen a Rose Bowl since Eisenhower was President, but it didn’t hurt that much when they gave up 29 unanswered points to Oregon last night.”
--ItsAboutTheMoney.Net, “A Rational Goodbye to the 2011 Season”
* * *
Dear Mr. Manners,
I'm really enjoying the fact that the Red Sox choked to miss the playoffs and that the Yankees lost in the first round. Is it poor manners to root against them and mock the teams and their fans?
-- United S. (of America)
Dear United Schadenfreude of America,
Normally it is poor manners to find joy in the failure of others, but rooting against the Yankees and Red Sox is as American as mom, apple pie and baseball teams trying to buy championships. I have no problem reveling in their defeat. However, I would encourage you to balance your ridicule with a positive comment to show that you are a person of refined manners.
Say: “Keep your chin up ... so you can see the scoreboard, which is the official record of you being a loser.”
Or: “Hey, no one wins them all. In fact, some teams only win one of them in 11 years, which is almost impossible if you think about it, considering they had the biggest payroll in every one of those years.”
--D.J. Gallo, “Mr. Manners' Etiquette for Sports World”
Keep your chin up...
* * *
“Not enough fans understand that the baseball playoffs are a crapshoot. Since 1990, you know how many teams with the best regular-season record have won the World Series? Three — the '98 Yankees, '07 Red Sox and '09 Yankees. If you make the playoffs, you essentially have a 1-in-4 chance of reaching the World Series. If you get to the World Series, you have 1-in-2 chance of winning. So if you make the playoffs every season you should win a World Series once every eight years. In their past eight trips to the postseason, the Yankees have reached two World Series and won one. Exactly what the odds would predict.”
-- David Schoenfield, “The Day After: Yankees Postscript”
* * *
And my favorite...
To the Sports Editor:
The Yankees’ postseason failure over the last two years suggests the possibility of another Curse of the Bambino. Its predecessor never made sense: why would the Babe have been anything but thrilled to be sent from Boston to the greatest sports stage of the era? Overshadowing Ruth’s monument with the huge tribute plaque to George Steinbrenner? Well, that just might be cause for vengeance. So here is the new curse: the Yankees will never win another World Series until the plaque is moved to a more appropriate site.
-- Charles E. Knapp, Scarsdale, N.Y., “At a Loss in the Bronx”
Magic, Maier, gone.
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard