Wednesday October 10, 2018
Cry Me a River, Tyler Kepner
There may be no greater sense of schadenfreude than following the social-media paroxysms of Yankee fans rending their garments and pointing their fingers after their team has been blissfully eliminated from yet another baseball season. As happened last night in the Bronx, 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox.
No one points fingers like Yankee fans. The title was meant to be theirs, and now it's not, and someone has to take the blame. The main scapegoat this year is 2003 ALCS hero and first-time manager Aaron Boone, who waited obscenely long, like until the 4th inning, to pull starting pitchers; and then, particularly in Game 3—the 16-1 debaccle—didn't go to his top-notch relievers. Also getting the brunt: first-timer Giancarlo Stanton, who hit .222 (with a .444 OPS) over the four Boston games.
But of course there are others. Here's an eloquent Yankee fan on the subject:
100 wins, third-best record in baseball, ALDS: What else could describe that but disgrace? It's shit. Fans deserve an apology.
The mainstream press in New York doesn't exactly try to tamp down these emotions, either.
Shame? Wow. I‘ll remember that in April. I’ll channel Batman ‘66: “Come back, Shame.”
Over at the Times, Tyler Kepner’s think piece seems more circumspect (“Against the Red Sox, the Yankees Simply Don't Measure Up”), but don't kid yourself. Here's the end of Tyler's second paragraph:
“That makes nine seasons in a row without a championship.”
That sentence just drips with a sense of entitlement. He's not even talking about a pennant—something two teams (Nats, M‘s) have never even seen. He’s talking championships. He's talking rings. Because to the Yankee mentality, that's all there is.
As a reminder—to me if not Tyler—here's the championship/title drought for every MLB team, and where the Yankees place on it:
* Have never won World Series championship
** Have never been to World Series
So 23 of the 30 MLB teams are in worse shape. And they don't have those oft-mentioned 27 rings and 40 pennants to keep them warm.
But that's why, of course, nine championship-less seasons seem an eternity for the Yankee fan. Indeed, since 1923, when the Yankees won their first World Series championship after buying Babe Ruth and most of the best of the Boston Red Sox, they‘ve only had two title-less stretches longer than this: 17 seasons (between 1978 and 1996) and 14 seasons (between 1962 and 1977). The fourth longest, eight seasons, also took place in this century: between 2000 and 2009. Now this one has surpassed that.
So as Yankee-hating goes, this has actually been a pretty good time. Start spreadin’ the news.