• Man Decides To Sell His Yankee Fandom

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2007 · Comments (12)

    From the Barre Times

    For Will Forest, the famous pinstripes of the New York Yankees have been ingrained in him almost from Day One.

    Soon after he was born 50 years ago last April, his grandfather, a lifelong Yankees fan, stood over his daughter and her newborn, and welcomed his grandson into the world with a blessing of fresh allegiance by passing the Yankees’ torch to another generation of fandom.

    But now, partly in protest and partly as a fundraiser for a charity that rescues animals from Mexico, Forest is putting a price on five decades of team loyalty.

    More accurately, bidders on eBay — the widely popular online auction house — are calculating what they deem to be a fair price for Forest’s devotion, and to which team Forest now will be placing his allegiance.

    “Anyone who has known me for a while knows this is a big thing,” said Forest, who grew up in Wayne, N.J.

    Less than a week after Yankee’s management made Manager Joe Torre a one-year offer to return to work – which Torre declined – Forest had had enough.

    “I couldn’t believe it,” he said of the loss of Torre that sent many Yankees’ fans into a tailspin last week, days after the team was ousted from the playoffs. “I just couldn’t imagine what (the Yankees’ front office) was thinking.”

    Soon after he posted the item, word of his baseball treason hit online chat rooms. He called to warn some of his closer friends — many of them Red Sox fans — as well as his baseball-loving son, Spencer, 20, who lives in Montreal. (Forest has two other sons: a 23-year-old who lives in New York, and a 7-year-old here in Montpelier.)

    All of the money raised in the auction will go to Compassion Without Borders, a California-based organization that rescues dogs and other distressed animals from Mexico.

    “I am not getting a penny from this,” Forest said, adding that he would be shipping the winner his beloved 20-year-old Yankees’ jacket, as well.

    The winner picks the team he will be loyal to from here on out –”even the — gulp — Red Sox or Mets” he says – and the winner “can check in with me any time and ask me where my new team is in the standings, starting rotation, what the next week’s schedule is. I’m a man of my word and this will be my team.”

    So what do the Yankees think of Forest’s statement?

    On Monday afternoon, the Yankees’ front office had not heard about nor seen the eBay listing. But after reviewing it, Jason Zillo, head of media relations for the Yankees, said the team had no comment.

    At least he’s doing it for a good cause. This is an interesting topic. Back in December of last year, I shared a story about someone who I know – who became a Mets fan when the Yankees traded Bobby Murcer. I can’t think of anything, that has a reasonable chance of happening, that would make me turn my back on rooting for the Yankees.

    Sure, if I found out that the Yankees had sent me a dozen cup cakes that were spiked with Ex-Lax, or, if the Yankees decided to ban bald men from attending games at the Stadium, that might tick me off enough to say good-bye. But, I doubt those things are going to happen.

    What about you? Is there a line, if the Yankees crossed it, where you say “Bye!” to the team?

    Comments on Man Decides To Sell His Yankee Fandom

    1. MJ
      October 23rd, 2007 | 9:39 am

      If watching Steinbrenner for the past 20+ years hasn’t turned me off yet, I don’t know that anything could turn me off. I guess I’ll never say never…but I doubt it.

      But, when the Knicks traded Patrick Ewing to Seattle before the 2001 season for pennies on the dollar, that was it. I watch them, but I’m not the fan I was growing up. Jim Dolan is a hundred times worse than Steinbrenner and his family and that’s truly saying something.

    2. rbj
      October 23rd, 2007 | 9:57 am

      I don’t even want to think about what the line would be. Losing Mo, Jorgie and A-Rod wouldn’t do it for me — though that would turn me against Cashman.

    3. bfriley76
      October 23rd, 2007 | 10:00 am

      The closest I’ve ever come to dropping the Yankees was when they got Canseco in 2000…but I still stuck with them.

      God I hate that guy.

    4. Joel
      October 23rd, 2007 | 10:24 am

      This guy will always be a Yankees fan deep down, regardless of what he says. He will not be able to help it.

      Passion for a sports team is a mental defect that one acquires as a child. For many unfortunate people (like me), it becomes “hard-wired” and can not be removed from the central nervous system.

      Just ask my wife.

    5. jonm
      October 23rd, 2007 | 10:41 am

      That second-to-last paragraph was very funny.

      I tried to quit after they fired Showalter — not so much that I loved Buck so much (I liked Buck) but that I saw the firing as unjust and, more importantly, I saw it as a turn back to 80s-style Steinbrenner. I think my period of non-Yankee fandom lasted about a month. I couldn’t quit the Yankees. Nothing within the realm of possibility would keep me from quitting now.

      I’ve often thought about this question in terms of expansion. The most rational place to put a new team in terms of market size is in the NY area (as a third team). But, how many Yankee or Met fans do you know who would switch their allegiances to the New Jersey Devil Rays?

    6. Raf
      October 23rd, 2007 | 11:13 am

      What about you? Is there a line, if the Yankees crossed it, where you say “Bye!” to the team?
      There’s not much they can do. Any issues I had were with MLB, or Steinbrenner, or Stadium security, or the fans, not really with the organization itself.

      Having said that, in response to such, I have become more of a baseball fan than a Yankees fan. But I don’t think I could ever give it up.

    7. October 23rd, 2007 | 11:42 am

      ~~~I’ve often thought about this question in terms of expansion. The most rational place to put a new team in terms of market size is in the NY area (as a third team). But, how many Yankee or Met fans do you know who would switch their allegiances to the New Jersey Devil Rays?~~~

      It would be the New Jersey Stallions. (The horse is the official “animal” of NJ). {wink}

      FWIW, I have often pondered this – if a team was set up in NJ, and it was easier to get to, and if they had affordable ticket prices, well, maybe, just maybe, I might be tempted…

      back in the day, we once discussed it at the NDF:


    8. #15
      October 23rd, 2007 | 12:59 pm

      As a casual follower-level fan of the Astros, I refused to pay for a ticket after they let Nolan walk. After 9 years of pouring his guts out in front of his hometown fans, averaging 206 innings over 9 season, going 106-94 for largely crap teams, with an average era of 3.07 over that stretch (0.35 below the league average)….he had the audacity to ask for the same salary he’d received the year before (1MM). He was coming off a season where he went 12-11, with 220 IP, 228 SO, and an era of 3.52. They said no. He signed a 3 year deal with the Rangers for more money, won his 5th CY, went 41-25 over the three years, with an average of 205 innings, and an average era of 3.18 vs. a league average of 4.00. I recanted only when the team changed owners.

      I would not have been able to walk on the Yankees even under those circumstances. So no. I’m a lifer.

    9. Mrs. Peterson-Kekich
      October 23rd, 2007 | 1:53 pm

      Signing Manny.

    10. Raf
      October 23rd, 2007 | 2:25 pm

      won his 5th CY
      I think you meant pitched his 6th & 7th no hitters…

    11. carla
      October 23rd, 2007 | 2:27 pm

      Hoping not to offend Steve here: but jonm’s post hinted at what would kill my Yankees allegiance – the Yankees moving to New Jersey. Now that the new stadium is really being built, there is little risk of this happening in my lifetime. But it’s the only thing I could ever think of that would change my allegiance.

    12. redbug
      October 23rd, 2007 | 6:06 pm

      I’m 55 yr’s old and been a Yankee fan since I was 8 or 9. I’ve never considered not being a fan. Until now.

      Since ’96 I’ve watched the games most nights and gone to many games. Before then I watched a lot, except in the 80’s – and then only once in awhile. I lost my enthusiam because of George. I couldn’t stand his arrogance, bullying, constant change of managers, stupid signings, etc.

      Joe Torre shielded us from George. (And, Gene Michael’s running the team in the early ’90’s and stopping George’s stupid moves and making us winners despite George.) Joe made it fun again. I was reminded of why I love this team so much.

      I said the other day that I’ve hoped Joe would out-live George. It didn’t happen. Instead, we had this farce of an offer that reminded me of when Dick Howser “resigned” followed up by the assine comments by Hank and Levine.

      I’m not so worried about Levine. He’s just hired help. But, the sons are young. We could face decaded of them. The thought of that makes me cringe.

      So yeah, I’m thinking I might go back to at best being a casual fan again. If I had thought of that guy’s idea of bidding my loyalty away for a charity I might have done it. I am that much distubed by all this.

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