The New York Yankees won the American League East and appeared in the ALCS in 2012. Still, there seems to be a sharp divide between three camps of Yankees' fans regarding the direction this proud MLB franchise should take in the future.
These camps are the subject of this feature.
Meet Team George
The first camp of Yankees' fans seems to miss George Steinbrenner and his methods of doing business.
King George represented the “he who has the most toys, wins,” brand of capitalism. He brashly outspent his foes to assemble the finest baseball teams that money could buy. And Steinbrenner did this while laughing in the face of the always-dreadful luxury tax.
To many fans serving in Camp George, the development of home grown minor league talent took a position that was less than the backseat and more of the trunk, regarding victory's instant gratification.
And though pro-George fans sometimes griped at price tags for players that could feed many Third World nations, those grumbles quickly turned to smiles and high-fives when the Yankees won the World Series.
Today, many George supporters cringe at the worrisome sight of this aging team. They also wonder if they will ever feel that “we just hit the jackpot” rush of a monster trade again.
This camp hopes the Yankees' front office does something soon to rekindle the magic.
Enter, The Yankeegeddons
Next on the list is the Yankeegeddons. These are fans who think the Yankees are about to fall off the dismal cliff. In the opinion of fans like this, the Yankees front office has done very little, if anything at all, to improve this team.
Yankeegeddons are easy to spot. They say things along the lines that the Yankees signed players that will need a walker in a few years. The Yankees made no effort to sign (enter high-profile player name here). The Yankees are terrible at growing prospects. The Yankees are going to finish in the cellar this season. Brian Cashman should be fired. Joe Girardi should be fired… Heck, fire the uniform guy as well.
On and on, we hear Yankeegeddon fans talk and one would think this Opening Day will be doomsday.
Of course, some people tend to get ticked off at Yankeegeddons, calling them fair-weather fans (which is true for some). But when you actually sit down and listen to them, some have valid points.
All Hail Team Hal
Then there is a third, more conservative, outfit of Yankees fans. Fans within this camp fully support Hal Steinbrenner’s more frugal vision for the Pinstripes. This group has always existed to some extent. But it seems to have emerged with a vengeance since George’s death.
Like fans on Team George, supporters of Team Hal also express concern about the collective age of the current Yankees roster. And like Team George, Team Hal often grumbles at the high cost of tickets for a Yankees game in the Bronx.
But unlike Team George, Team Hal believes the Yankees can still win without bankrupting this team or selling the farm…especially in a whirlwind economy.
Members of Team Hal often say, “These are not your Grandpa’s Yankees,” to express support of a team strategy that includes (1) not overpaying for players, (2) dropping beneath the luxury tax, and (3) actually developing home-grown prospects.
While lobbying for this philosophy, Team Hal still believes the current Yankees team still has the skill and will to hold the fort until the next generation of younger players arrive on stage.
Bridging the Divide
The interesting thing about the debate between Team George, the Yankeegeddons and Team Hal is that all three sides propose valid arguments.
Another intriguing thing is that Yankees fans, no matter what side they serve in this baseball civil war, share a fervent passion for their team unlike nearly every other team in sports.
Last, despite doom and gloom surrounding the Yankees of late, this team keeps doing what it has done so well throughout its gloried history.
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