Heard somebody grumble the other day that this year's New York Yankees are hard to hate. That statement is just so ignorant. Always remember this: No Yankees team is hard to hate, even these small-ball, Ken-doll Bronx Bunters.
That's why I'm coming out with my three-volume series, The 4,008 Best Reasons to Hate the New York Yankees, among them...
1. They fired Red Barber.
2. They hired Steve Howe. A seven-time drug offender.
364. Rooting for the Yankees takes all the courage, imagination, conviction and baseball intelligence of Spam. It's like rooting for Brad Pitt to get the girl or for Bill Gates to hit Scratch 'n' Win. (This is why I'm proposing legislation that would allow only those born in one of the five New York boroughs to be Yankees fans. All others who root for the team will be considered overdog-loving, Eveready-chucking, bandwagon-hopping, fair-weather, brownnose, pucker-lipped human goiters and be required to turn in their pinstriped underwear or be tossed into the East River with only Chuck Knoblauch to throw them a life preserver.)
1,011. The Yankees are the only team that doesn't sew its players' names onto any of its unis. Like kids are supposed to memorize the roster after their bedtime prayers. Let's see, 3 is Ruth, 4 is Gehrig...and 55 is Ramiro Mendoza.
1,312. Everybody is so charmed by Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard, with his teeth-clenched, perfect-diction English. He sounds British. Is he British? No, he's from Long Island! Why, then, does he speak like Thurston Howell III? Bunch of Yankees fans drunk on lighter fluid in the stands, screaming, "I paid a buck to see ya mutha naked, Rocker!" and the club has some guy on the P.A. making like Alistair Cooke. Fuhgeddaboutit!
1,500 through 1,850. Convicted felon and Lucky Sperm Club member George Steinbrenner III, the despotic Yankees owner, fills half of one volume by himself. For example, Georgie Porgie, as Boston Red Sox manager Jimy Williams calls him, just elevated his vice president of player development and scouting, Mark Newman, over his general manager, two-time American League pennant winner Brian Cashman, because Cashman lost two arbitration cases last winter. And forgot to salute.
1,855. After every nauseating, soul-sucking Yankees victory, radio play-by-play man John Sterling bellows, " Yankees win! Tha-a-a-a-a-a-a Yankees win!" like a goat stuck on an electric fence. Hey, John, give it a-a-a-a-a-a-a rest.
1,856. After every nauseating, soul-sucking victory at Yankee Stadium, tens of thousands of tin-eared fans hang around and sing the Frank Sinatra standard New York, New York over and over, until you pray the ghost of Sinatra himself will appear on the DiamondVision, screaming, "Stop!"