When talking about another baseball team- one you’re not a fan of- there’ s this sense of walking on eggshells, almost. The national writers, the civilized fans, everyone, really just does their best to be courteous and cryptic when criticizing. I mean, even within the Giants-Dodgers rivalry people basically stick to it.
But bring the slightest hint of pinstripes into the equation? And all hell breaks loose.
It’s suddenly perfectly acceptable to be snide, rude and personal attacks are lauded by everyone else.
Look, I get to the whole underdog thing, I really do. I see, from that perspective, I guess, why people would want the Tigers to beat the Yankees. But what really warrants saying, “I don’t root for any team in MLB, but I always enjoy the moment the #yankees are eliminated.” (That one came from @JeffFletcher1, editor of the A’s and Giants magazines, who, other than his Yankee bashing, is totally great.) And that’s exactly my point. People who try not to have allegiances or be impartial can still loathe the Yankees and be perfectly public about it.
And I really don’t get it.
Partially, I think, that’s because I’ve always basically liked the Yanks myself. The Core Four are undeniably loveable, A-Rod is mega-fun to watch (more on that later, Roid-ers) and, yes, they’re payroll is super high. But in the end, if they do well, it’s because they were smart as an organization and earned it. Money can’t really buy success, in baseball and begrudging a team for being rich just seems backwards to me.
Fact is, Granderson, Cano and Gardener (among others) are really vibrant and tons of fun to watch. They play baseball the right way, if you will, and I don’t understand hating on them for a little detail like the name on the front of their uniforms.
And then there is A-Rod, of course. There seem to be very few Rodriguez fans out there, but I am one, actually. I get the whole steroid thing and despise that as much as the next person, but I think plenty of people have done/are doing them. He’s become something of a scapegoat, because of how good he is, probably. But what I really hear is people picking on his persona, on the fact that he has dated Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz et al. That weirds me out because though he does have a bit of a celebrity persona, he doesn’t court that. Compared to, say, the obnoxious, attention-begging persona of Brian Wilson, what is A-Rod? I don’t think he’s a role model or a perfect guy, by any stretch of the imagination. But at this point I basically respect him and enjoy watching him. I think I get why everyone hates him, but I disagree with it.
Today, there was this article from one of my favorite writers, Mychael Urban of csnbayarea.com, titled “A-Rod the Nimrod”, which was basically 200 words to say, We hate him. Plenty of other people, who have never even had an injury history, pull the injury card and no one breathes a word.
I know that the Yankees are hated and that’s history and I’m not going to change anyone’s opinions. And that’s okay. But whatever happened to civility, people?
p.s. I am not in the habit of dedicated posts but this one goes out to The Person Who Wanted Me To Write This. You know who you are and I will never let anyone pick on the Yankees around you again.