SPORTS

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October 31, 2003

Lighten up on the New York Yankees

There is a serious problem plaguing America right now. I don't mean the ever-impending threat of nuclear war or the latest economic woes. What worries me is a type of persecution that seems all too prevalent in the wake of the baseball playoffs. I am speaking, of course, of the rampant hatred of the Yankees.

"Why," I tearfully asked my friend the other day, "do they hate the Yankees so much?" OK, so I wasn't tearful but this was before I found out they lost. [Editor's/bitter Red Sox fan's note: This alleged Yankees fan "found out" her team lost but did not actually see it happen.]

"People love the underdogs," she explained. Apparently the fact that the Yankees were once big losers means nothing to people. Once a team starts winning, society turns its mighty head and starts talking trash.

Keep this in mind all you die-hard Cubbies fans; the win might not be the godsend you've expected.

I understand there are other reasons why "they" hate the Yankees. There is the money—the Yankees have by far the biggest budget of any major league team. And with the money comes the good players. Let us not forget Steinbrenner, a figure of all that is wrong with baseball nowadays. And there are the wins—the many, many wins.

The Yankees should no longer stand for the villain corrupter of baseball. There are several reasons why the Yanks are just innocent victims of circumstance. The Yankees have money, but they too were once a spunky upstart, a poor group of fellows out to play the national pastime known as baseball. [Editor's note: There were no lucrative TV contracts in 1900.]

The Yankees have money because they have fans; some of these fans have turned into major investors and owners, others are simply guys with season tickets, but these dedicated fans helped turn the Yankees into the moguls they are today, not the other way around. Perhaps if other cities were as dedicated to their home teams, they too could afford more, which brings me to point number two. We did indeed buy the good players, but hell, other teams sold them! Obviously those clubs care about money quite a bit as well. Not to mention the simple fact that buying and selling is an integral part of the game.

How did other teams get star pitchers or wunderkind outfielders? Sure, occasionally they are culled from the farm team, but even on that level they were purchased at some point in time, [Editor's note: You are still a bunch of evil, greedy New Yorkers.] and more often than not they are acquired by contenders at the peak of their careers. Of course New York bought a good team! Is that not a basic goal of a general manager with ample resources at his disposal? If it's the wins that get to you, you might like to know that the Yankees haven't won a World Series in the last three years. [Editor's note: You're kidding me, right?] That's right, three whole years! [Editor's note: I guess you're not. Yikes.] The last time they won, it was against the Mets—'nuff said.

To recap, the Yankees have more money because their fans care more, and so what if they used the money to buy the team? As for Steinbrenner, lots of Yankees fans hate him too. My dad used to love the Yankees but he quit supporting them when Steinbrenner jumped on; now he cheers for whatever team is opposing the Yankees.

Hopefully I've managed to convince you that the jewel of baseball known as the Yankees are undeserving of such public ire. Nor should the average Joe be committed to hating the team's fans. Memo to Cubs supporters: when a Yankees fan catches the ball, he or she never turns out to be a catalyist for disaster. The Yankees are a baseball team that wants to win, and that's the way it should be.