Damned Yankees

As I write this, the entitled, elitist New York Yankees have just had their entitled, elitist New York asses handed to them by a baseball team in Houston, Texas. And I think I’m a little sad about it. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be happy—we are talking about the ‘Evil Empire’ here, losing to a ragtag group of boys from . . . Houston?

The Astros play in Minute Maid Park, a name that conjures images of sunshine, and mom. The Yankees play in Yankee Stadium, a name that conjures images of lions, and Yankees. A cute train goes around Minute Maid Park; Yankee Stadium is in the Bronx. The Bronx doesn’t do cute.

So I should be happy that the carpetbaggers from New York City were sent packing by a bunch of orange juice drinking, vintage choo-choo riding kids, including somebody called Framber, which I don’t think is even a real name.

But here’s the thing – – I don’t hate the Yankees. I was raised to hate the Yankees In Southern California. The Yankees were the “best team that money can buy,” a [hrase that now really should apply to the LA Dodgers, if you look at the ledger sheets…

I was curious why the Yankees were thought of as evil in the first place. what is it about this franchise that stirs up such animosity? I will grant you – – Yankees fans don’t help their own cause. They can be loud, boorish, rude – – imagine Phillies fans, but with a Deeper sense of entitlement.

And Yankees fans are quick to point out that their team has won 27 World Series Championships. Now, let’s put aside the fact that, maybe being really good at something should be celebrated, especially since this country seems to currently be embracing ignorance and mediocrity (is it really a badge of honor to be “smarter than a fifth grader?“)

But let’s say there is something inherently wrong with winning a championship 27 times— only 9 of those have happened since I was born! Nine! That’s not exactly hitting everyone over the head with their excellence!

And even IF Yankees fandom is occasionally represented by loathsome mouth-breathers, judging the Yankees by their fans would be like Judging Christianity by a handful of sketchy Christians— even if that handful happens to run most of the mega-churches. I’m not great at analogies.

I believe it was Sun Tzu, or Yogi Berra, who said “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” i’ll admit it – – I started following the Yankees because I wanted them to knock the Astros out of the playoffs. See, The Astros were “punished“ by the “powers that be“ in baseball because they were discovered to be “cheating“ on their way to “winning“ the World Series in 2017. Sure, that was five years ago, but have we all just moved on with our lives?

And before you accuse me of being hypocritical, we should talk about A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez was, no doubt about it, a cheater. But – – every family has that one family member they don’t invite over for the reunions. Besides, A-Rod may have cheated, but it’s not like the entire Yankees team cheated. Also, A-Rod retired in 2016, so for the last six years, he’s only been able to annoy us as a private citizen. The Astros, however, are still in baseball.

i’ve moved a lot, so I follow a lot of teams for a lot of different reasons – – hell, I’m a Toronto Blue Jays fan specifically because, when Trump got elected, I wanted to root for a team that didn’t represent America!

And I actively route against certain teams for similarly quirky reasons. I can’t cheer for the Padres, because the original “ Padres” Were Catholic missionaries and big fans of forced conversion.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I no longer hate the New York Yankees. do you know who the real bandwagon jumpers are? Not Yankees fans… It’s Yankees haters! I would even go so far as to say that so many people hate the Yankees, cheering for them is almost like rooting for an underdog!

If I’m honest, a big part of why I’ve given in to the allure of pinstripes is the Yankees radio broadcast team. First of all, for a team as steeped in tradition as the Yankees, it’s wonderfully progressive that one of their broadcasters in the booth is a woman–and Suzyn Waldman is great.

Then you’ve got John Sterling, who is the gold standard for baseball play-by-play guys (you’ll forgive the mixed precious metal metaphor there). Look, I get that he’s 140 years old and occasionally might give the wrong score to the game he’s calling. Maybe he’s lost a step.But he also has used, in the Yanks’ most recent game, the words ‘aforementioned,’ ‘incipient,’ and ‘recalcitrant,’ and it wasn’t for a segment called, “Words My Listeners Won’t Know.”

The only fault I find with Sterling, and it’s gotta be just crochety stubbornness at this point, is that he still calls the Cleveland baseball team the ‘Indians,’ even though they’ve been the ‘Guardians’ for over a year and the Yankees just played Cleveland in the playoffs. C’mon, John—you can do a voiceover for a ‘cloud computing’ ad, but you can’t adjust to dropping the name ‘Indians?’

One other reason I have made peace with liking the Yankees? I freakin’ love New York! Granted, my heart is with the Mets over in Queens (my mom rest her soul, was born and raised in Astoria), but they aren’t playing again until spring, so if the Yankees give me a couple more weeks of ‘New York, New York,’ I’m gonna enjoy it!

I have come out of a lot of closets—the obvious one being that I came out as bisexual, years ago. But I’ve also ‘come out’ as a Carpenters fan, a lover of cheap box wine, and formulaic rom-coms might comprise my favorite movie genre. So, let’s add one more—today I officially come out of the closet as a New York Yankees fan.

It was meant to be, really. See, if you were to create a Venn Diagram, with one circle representing baseball fans, and the other representing musical theater fans, the intersection would be me, watching a production of “Damn Yankees.” Now if you’ve got some time, I’d love to tell you about our twenty-seven world championships.

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Posted 21 October 2022 by Michael Dane in category "COMEDY

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