Okay, we actually don't hate the Yankees. It's just a figure of speech. Our parents told us we're not supposed to hate anybody. (They also told us that if we don't have anything nice to say, we shouldn't say anything at all, but we're ignoring that.) When it comes to baseball fans, there are two types: those who love the Yankees and everybody else. And everybody else hates the Yankees. There is no in-between. So with the Yankees at Tropicana Field tonight for the first time in 2010 (as defending World Series champs, no less), we give you our 10 Reasons to Hate the Yankees.
The Yankees' payroll this season is $206,333,389. That's obscene. The highest in the major leagues, it's $43.5 million more than the next-closest team, the Red Sox. The White Sox have the seventh-highest payroll, and they are spending nearly $100 million less than the Yankees. Are the Yankees doing anything illegal or even bending the rules? No. But, Yankees, don't turn around and arrogantly act like you're so great. The reason you're so great is because you play in the biggest market. You're not the smartest guys in the world, just the richest. While teams such as the Rays and Twins have to pinch pennies, draft and develop, and carefully analyze every transaction, the Yankees' philosophy is simple: Buy a guy. And if he doesn't work out, pay him to go away and buy a better guy. How hard is that? They should at least acknowledge they have a huge advantage.
Every time you turn around, one of their head honchos, such as Hank Steinbrenner, below, or president Randy Levine, is reminding everyone how much revenue-sharing money they give other teams. Levine jumped all over the poor Brewers the other day because Brewers owner Mark Attanasio pointed out that they don't have as many dollars to spend on players as the Yankees. So let's see if we have this right, Yankees: You spend as much as you want, you beat everyone's brains in because you can buy the best talent, and then you still scold the little guys? Get some class and realize you are the most valuable franchise in sports, you play in the only league that doesn't have some sort of salary cap, and if all those little teams such as the Brewers and Royals didn't exist, you wouldn't, either. Because no matter how good you are, no one is going to pay to watch you play intrasquad games.
Is anything more annoying than hearing the Yankees' radio announcer, left, scream, "Yankees win. Tha-a-a-a Yankees win!'' It makes your skin crawl! Now, Sterling is probably a good guy. And if he was our announcer, we'd love him. But because he's with the Yankees, he's annoying. Sorry, John.
Isn't it funny how Barry Bonds is vilified by pretty much everyone while A-Rod, who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, is cheered and treated as a hero in New York? How does that work? Plain and simple, the guy cheated. And don't spout off about how prevalent steroids have been. The "all-the-other-kids-are-doing-it'' excuse isn't going to fly here. The hypocrisy is what is bothersome. You can't complain about Bonds or Manny Ramirez and then cheer A-Rod just because he has NY on his hat. Either you excuse all cheaters or none of them. We excuse none. Oh, this goes for pitcher Andy Pettitte, too.
For starters, Girardi, below, should not be managing the Yankees. Joe Torre, after all he did for the organization (including giving upper management a little dignity, grace and class), should never have been run out of town. Girardi seems like a decent person, but switching his number from 26 to 27 as the Yankees went after their 27th World Series title was a little too pretentious for our taste.
Baseball is supposedly the national past time, the sport of everyman. Well, virtually no working man with a family can afford to go to a game at new Yankee Stadium. The average ticket price is $51.83, which is less than the Cubs and Red Sox but still is out of hand. And certainly out of pocket for Average Joe. Speaking of the stadium, what the heck? So many homers are hit there, it feels like you're watching a video game.
We just do
It's like we're the Hatfields and the Yankees are the McCoys. We're conditioned to hate them. There's no reason why. They're the Evil Empire, the Dark Side. Our dads hated them. Our dads' dads hated them. So we hate them. It's the way it has always been and always be. The Yankees are liver and onions. We hated them before we even tried liking them.
Okay, now we've done it. Who in the world hates Derek Jeter? Actually, no one. How could anyone hate him? Even people who hate the Yankees — including the most diehard Red Sox fans — at the least sort of, kind of respect Jeter. But does he have to play for the Yankees? The Yankees have so much, why do they have to have the coolest player in baseball, too? Why can't Jeter play for another team? Why can't he play for our team?
Yankees fans from Tampa Bay
This goes especially for those who live in Tampa. These are the people who refuse to go to Rays games because the Rays play in St. Petersburg but have no trouble making the effort to see the Yankees play there. As for the Yankees fans who show up at the Trop, you buy a ticket, so you can root for whichever team you want. But how 'bout showing up for a few non-Yankees games, too. Think of it this way: If the Rays ever leave Tampa Bay, you'll have to drive to Baltimore to see your beloved Yankees.
They're so good
Let's face it. If the Yankees were a .500 team, no one would care about them. Then they would be the Blue Jays or Tigers. No one hates those teams. No one hates the Rays, because the Rays aren't good enough to be hated. But the Yankees win. Every year. Every stinkin' year. They have 27 world titles. They make the playoffs every year. They'll probably make them this year. And next year. And the year after that. They have the best uniforms in sports and the nicest caps. They had Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig. Their stadium is awesome. They have those pinstripes. They have the best tradition and the best future. They are everything we want to be but aren't. Don't you just hate that?