I have a confession to make: I was a Yankee fan. This fanhood has been replaced by a feeling of strong dislike for the team. I still like the players, and I root for them to personally succeed, but as a team I root for them to fail. Living in New York, seeing the majority of people rooting for the Yankees who are around my age (19), I always am speechless when someone tells me they are a diehard Yankees fan. In my lifetime, the Yankees have missed the playoffs one time. Let that sink in for a minute. The worst Yankee season I had to endure saw them win 88 games in 2008. Royals fans would be thrilled with an 88 win season, and yet that was a bitter disappointment (Sorry, Royals fans. I had to pick on someone, nothing personal). This caused me to reach my melting point when I was rooting against them in the playoffs last year. Here are the reasons rooting for the Yankees is not fun.
No, not like Charlie Sheen winning. Winning as in it is the only option. Contrary to popular belief, winning all the time isn’t fun. I believe that in order to be a true fan you have to endure your team losing, which makes winning that much more sweet. I was there when the New York Jets were 4-12. I watched the Brett Favre collapse of 2008 (not your fault Brett, still love you). I was skeptical of Sanchez, and I was certainly there for the 45-3 rout in the most embarrassing day in my sports career. When the Jets made it to back-to-back AFC Championship Games, I had earned it too and nothing could make me smile like the past two playoffs for the Jets. The Yankees have never failed in my lifetime, so how can I bask in their glory when I never gloomed in their misery?
The most obvious reason for not wanting to root for the Yankees. People say Brian Cashman is a great general manager. That’s not true when there is little to no budget constraint. Look at the GM of the Twins (not this year) or Rays: Small market teams who put a winning product on the field. How can a person be genuinely happy for signing CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira in the same offseason by simply being willing to give them the most money?
Having said that, if anybody says that given the opportunity to spend $200 million on a baseball team, you would be lying if you said no. Having the highest payroll and being able to sign a player because they can outright just pay more than anybody else isn’t something to root for. This is more a problem of baseball than of the Yankees, but nonetheless, it’s easy to root for a team when the AL All-Star infield plays for one team.
Twenty-seven championships is a lot. By the way, I hate those shirts that say "27-Time World Champions." I have witnessed five. An organization that is said to have "failed" without winning a World Series is obviously special. The Yankees had tradition, and when Derek Jeter retires, the tradition will be over. Now, buying your players doesn’t make you have tradition. Ballplayers come to New York because they are willing to pay the most, not to wear the pinstripes of Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle. So stop using it as a way to sell tickets and to market, because it’s over.
Going to the old Yankee Stadium had a special feeling that only a few sporting venues can have. The new stadium has Yankee Steak, and other amenities meant to satisfy the middle and upper classes, slowly pushing out the real fans for the casual fan. I bought a ticket to an April game against the Twins for $6 and sat in the second to last row in right field in fair territory. I was closer to Manhattan than to the field. Not to mention the price of parking.
You know the type: The guys who get the tickets from their employer, down a couple of beers and leave in the seventh inning. This is what the new Yankee Stadium is made of. Goodbye to the season ticket holder who takes the subway to the game, brings a sandwich and goes to his seat. Hello to the guy who will pay for parking, buy an overpriced dinner and beer, and other merchandise because he is probably not coming back for a while.
We’ve all encountered the arrogant Yankees fan who will be the first to say that the Yankees are in trouble when they are 30 games over .500. Remember the whole Yankees fans spit on Cliff Lee's wife story? That doesn't surprise me. He’ll also be the first to chant "Boston sucks" and bring up the fact that the Yankees have 27 championships even though he’s only been around for five. History’s nice, but what have you done for me lately is the real question.
For anybody who watches this channel—or listens to John Sterling or Suzyn Waldman on the radio—he or she knows that they broadcast to make the Yankees look like the best team of all time. They bask in a Yankees win and focus on the positives of a Yankees loss. The announcers are very pro-Yankees to the point where it is sickening to watch as a baseball fan. Yankeeography, really?
Yankees and Cowboys, America’s teams. I think more people hate these two teams than like them. Both are extravagant and easy to hate. The only time the Yankees may have been America’s team was in the 2001 World Series after 9/11, but that was only to make New Yorkers happy and not so much for the franchise. If the Yankees are America’s team because they always win, then shouldn’t we like Charlie Sheen too? Food for thought.
Making the playoffs is an accomplishment in baseball. Only eight teams make it, making it prestigious and an honor for that fanbase and something to truly be proud of. The Yankee fans don’t understand this, which is one of my pet peeves. Even further, how about congratulating the team who made it to the Final Four of last year’s playoffs instead of bashing them for not beating the Rangers. It's unbelievable that the fans put so much pressure on the players to deliver a championship when any other fanbase would be dancing in the streets for a Final Four appearance. I understand it comes with the territory of playing in New York, but show some appreciation to the accomplishment the guys worked for.
Arguably the most hated sports figure in American sports, I find it impossible to root for the guy. Whether he’s saying stupid things, doing stupid things—such as bringing the cousin who provided him with his PEDs on a road trip—or playing baseball, he is the highest paid player in baseball and doesn’t really live up to it. He’s cocky, selfish and lives in his own world, and for these reasons I can’t stand him and can’t root for him or the team he plays for.