Damn The Damn Yankees
I’m not prejudiced: Some of my best friends are Yankee fans.
Indeed, my cousin Steve is one. When we were kids, we could argue all day long about who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays. I was a Giants fan, still am when they win the pennant.
The Giants, of course, left New York in 1958 and eventually traded Willie Mays. I sort of root for the Red Sox now, but my ardor has waned since they exiled Mookie Betts, almost exactly 100 years to the day after they gifted Babe Ruth to the Evil Empire in the Bronx.
Betts and Ruth would soon lead their new teams to World Series titles.
Saddest of all to report: my only begotten son, Jackson, cheers for the men in Pinstripes. He and my grandson, Walker, who is rising one, have been watching the playoffs. There is hope, however. Walker smiles and laughs whether the Bronx Bombers are winning or losing.
I have found it more efficacious in my dotage not to support any one team. Baseball monogamy is a fool’s errand. There are 30 major league teams today as opposed to 16 when I was a wee lad. What are the odds?
Lately I concentrate on rooting against one team, The New York Yankees. They just got sweep, like so much unwanted household dust, by the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. That made my month.
Why do I hate the Yankees? Let me count the way: They win too much—end of story. Or they used to. Now they win just enough to not win it all, like a second baseman with “warning track power.” So, every fall there are multiple ballclubs to root for against the damn Yankees. In effect, I have 29 favorite teams; the odds are so much better.
Besides, it’s much easier to be against a thing than to be for it. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s the American way nowadays: Vote for me—my opponent will destroy the Milky Way.
Hey, I’m not a total monster. I don’t hate every single player who has ever sported Pinstripes. That would be too extreme. I found it impossible to hate Yogi Berra, who famously said, “I really didn’t say everything I said.” He may not have said that.
I never have uttered a disparaging word against the late Moose Skowron, who had a face like a castoff catcher’s mitt. In fact, I like the team’s current star, Aaron Judge, who plays the game the right way. But as is their fickle spoiled wont, Yankee fans have taken to raining down Bronx cheers on their team’s franchise player.
In Game 3 against the Astros, in New York, the stadium “faithful” judged Judge for striking out and being complicit in an error that resulted in two unearned runs. Boo your hearts out, ye fair weather fans, and throw in some hisses and razz-berries while you’re at it. You are validated my lifelong spleen.
Like, what has Judge done for you this season other than hit a record 62 home runs, more than Babe Ruth or Roger Maris. He is a shoo-in to be the league’s MVP this year. Boo till your inhaler runs dry!.
Maybe it’s time to trade him to the Red Sox.