BRONX, NY – My good friend Emily delivered a terrific sermon last Sunday about love, which she was nice enough to share with me. Among her many spot-on observations was one concerning how failing at something often gives us humans a more complete perspective on whatever that thing might be. For whatever reason, I immediately thought of my connection to the New York Yankees. As I’ve mentioned here before, as a youngster I was a big fan of the Bronx Bombers. But, with age came wisdom. I was able to see this team, its owner, and, in some cases, its fans for what they really were. It was a rude, but necessary, awakening. By dancing with the Devil in the 1970s I was able to avoid the atrocities that came later in the form of Clemens, A-Rod, Torre and others. Sure, there were championships, but they came at a filthy, soul-stripping price.
Though today’s New York Yankees might appear less loathsome to the untrained eye, I am here to assure you that there’s still enough noxious foul stench to make even New Jersey natives gag. Let’s jump right into this 5-alarm Port-o-John fire, shall we?
Ownership/Front Office. The Yankees are owned by the two moron sons of George Steinbrenner, the man who set the gold standard for greedy egomaniacal owners. The team President, Randy Levine, is a greasy lawyer from Long Island. Does any of this leadership model sound familiar? And Paul Giamatti impersonator Brian Cashman is the General Manager. In all, a handsome group inside and out.
Players. As mentioned, the Yanks may not have the who’s-who roster of despicable players they once had, but that doesn’t make them likable either. Easter Island statue Aaron Judge was the feelgood story of last year, but the Yankees force-fed him to the public to such a degree that we got sick of him. After the break, as the strikeouts mounted and the home run totals waned, his “Judge’s Chambers” Marketing 101 cheering section was more nauseating than cute. Ex-Yank Derek Jeter gifted his old club Giancarlo Stanton, so that makes him impossible to root for. The Sanchize, Gary Sanchez, is hitting under .200 and isn’t making up for it with gold glove defense. Outside of Didi Gregorius, the lineup isn’t as dynamic as NY tabloids would have you believe. Perhaps worst of all, this team relies so much on its bullpen that all of its games run “kill-me-now” long.
Broadcasters. Look, I’m not gonna laundry-list all the war crimes, but let’s just say that the Yankees have arguably the worst broadcast team in sports. Sterling and Waldman are bad enough. Michael Kay? Ass Clown. Then you have David Cone, John Flaherty, Al Leiter, and Paul O’Neill, who all sound like the same exact boring white guy. But let’s stick with O’Neill for a moment. Let’s not forget that he and Johnny Damon famously endorsed and shilled for Donald Trump during the 2016 election. O’Neill is a lifelong jerk, whose crybaby antics as a player were passed off as passion and competitiveness. What a crock. And speaking of Donald Trump….
Fans. Yep, DT is a Yankees fan. Gotta be proud. But, it’s not just about him. I know at least a handful of Bronx Bombers fans who aren’t insufferable, but they are severely outnumbered by numbskulls wearing “Got Rings?” t-shirts and know-nothing losers who call sports talk radio to complain about and/or make excuses for just about everything the Yankees do. You want a fine example of a typical Yankees fan? Monday night I’m sitting at the bar of an Italian restaurant in the Bronx with my brother and our own Cheesy Bruin. The Yankees are up 4-0 on the Twins and are on all 4 TVs. The Cheese Man asks if we can check in on the Bruins/Leafs game on one of the TVs. When we do, a whiny Yankees fan starts throwing a conniption and complaining that he was watching the game. There are two other TVs with the game on not 8 feet away and this guy is only there waiting for his lousy takeout order. THAT, my friends, is the kind of Yankees fan I run into far too often.
The Experience. The new Yankee Stadium is terrible, and you won’t convince me otherwise. I actually loved the old stadium, mostly because people came to watch the games and not hang out in the Legends Club eating f**king cracked crab. The prices are higher than ever, the game length and fans we’ve already mentioned, and the overall vibe seems markedly different. It feels like baseball at a chain restaurant.
Anyway, there ya go. The Yankees are still very worthy of our absolute disdain. Don’t feel at all bad about disliking them to your heart’s content. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, even though he’s a Yankee fan.