Posted: Friday September 22, 2006 10:20AM; Updated: Friday September 22, 2006 10:33AM
Yankees fans think it's their destiny to be in the postseason every year.
Have a question or opinion for Pete? He might answer/address it in his mailbag.
With the Yankees clinching their ninth straight AL East title on Wednesday, I can no longer keep these feelings of rage (and, perhaps, envy) to myself. So here are the Top 10 Reasons I Hate the Yankees. (And in the interest of full disclosure, yes, I am a lifelong Mets fan.)
1. Arrogant Yankees fans: When I moved away from New York for a few years in the mid-'90s, my anti-Yankee feelings softened. I even found myself rooting for the likable '96 champs, especially since Mets fans always enjoy watching the Braves lose. Then I moved back to New York and realized anew what drove me most crazy about the franchise -- its fans. Yankees fans have a greater sense of entitlement that the Hilton girls. If, heaven forbid, the Yanks ever failed to make the playoffs, Bombers backers would view it as a sign of the apocalypse. Consider that this fan base has just in the last decade turned on both the greatest hitter (A-Rod) and pitcher (Roger Clemens) of their generation because they didn't instantly deliver a World Series title. "Spoiled" would be a step up for these louts.
2. Bandwagon Yankees fans: Even if they view winning titles as their birthright, I don't (entirely) begrudge fans who have rooted for the team through thick and thin. (Valid reasons include that your dad rooted for the team, that you picked them at a young age, etc.) But the hordes of Yankees "fans" who have hopped aboard in the last decade make me nuts. Sure, rationally speaking, I can understand the reasons. If you moved to New York City at some point during the past decade -- as millions have -- it's hard not to get caught up in the undeniable excitement of postseason baseball, which the Yanks have delivered every year since '95. But to have these latecomers brag about "their" Bombers, while simultaneously viewing Mets fans as some lesser life form, is intolerable. Listen, chumps: I know more about "your" team's history than you ever will, so pipe down. And yes, there was a time not that long ago (1986, anyone?) when New York was a Mets town, and just because your fresh-from-Omaha mind can't fathom that doesn't make it untrue.
3. Unintentionally patronizing Yankees fans: Some Yankees fans, secure with the near certainty that their team is headed for the playoffs, will magnanimously "root" for your team as well. (This doesn't happen, though, if your team is the Red Sox.) What's unspoken, of course, is the understanding that your team is no real threat to the Mighty Yanks. Thus it can come off like patting a team of Little Leaguers on the cap, congratulating them on the "home run" that was really a ground ball that went through the shortstop's legs. Ugh. I'd rather you showed my team some respect by hating it.
4. When national media assume that all of New York roots for the Yankees: Never was this more prevalent than during the 2001 World Series, which took place just after 9/11. While I appreciated the sentiment that the country was standing behind New York, I didn't need Joe Buck waxing eloquent with statements like (and we're paraphrasing here): "Nothing will bring a salve to the people of New York City like a victory by their beloved Yankees." Sorry, Joe. I'm a New Yorker, but I couldn't care less about how the Yankees perform. I'm a Mets fan, and there are millions more like me. It's a two-team town. Did Cubs fans rejoice when the White Sox won last year? Of course not, and no one expected them to. Yet somehow all of greater Gotham is assumed to be Yankees territory.
5. The cult that has grown around average players that were part of the recent Yankees dynasty: This was touched on in Thursday's 10 Spot. While legitimate superstars who somehow don't qualify as "true Yankees" like A-Rod are pilloried, career mediocrities such as Scott Brosius and Luis Sojo are lionized because fans focus on the few clutch hits they contributed in their many postseason opportunities. Since we discussed Brosius on Thursday, let's take a look at Sojo. The pudgy middle infielder is lauded primarily for his 92-hop single up the middle that delivered the winning runs in Game 5 of the 2000 Subway Series against the Mets. Of course, the eminently forgettable Kurt Abbott was playing shortstop that night in place of the injured Mike Bordick (who was replacing the injured Rey Ordonez.) Am I bitter? OK, just a little.