So You Think You're Special...
What is it with Yankee fans? They carry themselves in a manner like no other. They taunt, boo, and cheer, louder and more frequently than any one else. They have their own television station. Granted the Yankees have a ton of historical numbers, players and teams. But are they really anything more than just another team in 30? What's that, you're mommy never told you you were special? That's okay, Michael Kay and the rest of the YES network think you are.
26 World Championships is quite the feat. But what I see here is a old, historical team that had done well initially, earned a lot of revenue then was taken over by wealthy management and became, and still is, the poster boy for big market baseball. You think differently? Could it be the pinstripes that bring out that winning percentage? Or, of course, the adoring fan-base?
Success breeds success, and that is obvious. Two kids by the name of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriquez, growing up in New York, have always wanted to be Yankees. There are many now. Much like plenty of NFL players are willing to take pay-cuts to play for New England, and a chance to win a championship.
Part of your decision making has made no sense to me either. A-Rod is my favorite example. The guy puts up a ridiculous start to a career for Seattle and Texas, so you throw the biggest contract at sports history at him and get pissed when he continues to play well but grounds into a bases loaded double-play. The man has put up simply absurd stats with any team. He hits for a lower average (Playing in front of a booing crowd and a local media that will tear him a new one the next day if he doesn't deliver perfectly) in October and he is a complete bust. How could anyone meet these expectations like the ones put on A-Rod, its simply inhuman to ask.
So lets get him off the team. Trade him, New York hates him. April 2008 rolls around, A-Rod is on a tear, hitting walk-offs and homers every other night. Forget all that stuff we said.
My other favorite example is Joba. Joba pitches 24 innings of middle relief in 2007. He struggles to keep his ERA under 5.00 in the postseason that year. Now do this for me, go to New York City, step into some sports stores, or even general convenience stores and see if you can find one that doesn't sell an item that reads "Joba Rules", "In Joba we Trust", etc.
This simply baffles me. I just don't understand it. You take an established, MVP, future HOF player, and hate him when he doesn't exceed his own level of play. Then you take a Set-up man, with no track record, and give him the key to city.
Well in 2008 the final year of Yankee stadium, the last year of the "House that Ruth Built", one more hurrah for "The Cathedral of Baseball"... Division push over, the Tampa Bay Rays, have their first winning season, first playoffs season, win the AL East, the Yankees miss out on October. Can't see that being part of Steinbrenner's plan for this year.
If you turn on the YES network though, you'd never know. You'd never know the Yanks missed out on the playoffs, disappointed in the final year of "The Cathedral". Matter of fact you'd never know that the Yankee's ever lost a game. You will learn that the Yankees and their fans are special. They represent the winning-est team in sports history. Simply put they're better than everyone else. They have the stats, the numbers and the money to prove it.
I don't talk to Christian Fundamentalists about politics and morals... and I don't talk to Yankee fans about baseball. Its that simple.
Tip your cap to the objective Yankee fan. The ones that can tell you A-Rod is alright. Jeter and Joba are overrated. The AL East is necessarily the best division in baseball. And that the Yankee's are just one in thirty, 25 players in hundreds, and are not better than everyone else.
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