• Is This The Beginning Of The End Of My Yankees Fandom?

    Posted by on April 17th, 2010 · Comments (58)

    I’ve been a Yankees fan since I attended my first game, in person, back in 1973. And, while I remember following the team in 1974, I would say that it was in 1975 that I became a over-zealous follower and admirer of the team. It pretty much stayed that way for me sans a brief period of time from 1986 through 1988. (I still followed the team during those three seasons – but, it was more from a distance than the usual position of being plugged into the team, for life-support, on a daily basis. Blame that period on me being 23-24-25 years old and just having too much fun working full-time for the first time ever and running around wild on nights and weekends. Nonetheless, by 1989, I was back in full-swing of being a nutty Yankees fan.)

    So, basically, since 1975, I’ve been a Yankees fanatic. As such, as I have shared before, I take Yankees losses pretty bad – especially in the post-season. And, until the last three seasons or so, I really enjoyed Yankees wins. (I wrote about this back in August of last year.)

    Yet, something is different now. It goes back to a question that I threw out there last July…regarding the likeability of these current Yankees.

    I thought that winning a World Series would erase that situation of Yankees wins having a dwindling pleasure impact for me. But, actually, what’s going on now – for me – is that I am still not deriving a ton of joy from Yankees wins. And, more shockingly, today, I’m not bothered by Yankees losses like I have been for the last 35 years.

    Why is this? If pushed to give an answer, I would offer that I just don’t find this current Yankees team – from the front office of the Brothers Stein, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost and Brian Cashman to the team on the field – very appealing and warranting my emotional investment.

    This is somewhat bizarre and vexing. When I drill down on this feeling, the only possible answer towards its root cause is that I’m allowing a few bad apples to spoil the barrell.

    Now, I’m a raving fan of Andy Pettitte – always have and always will be…I suspect. (I feel the same way about Hideki Matsui – even with him off the team now.) And, I have a ton of respect for Mo Rivera – he’s class and greatness…both at its highest levels. I also like Jorge Posada – and am willing to look past his imperfections because of his grit and emotion. And, Derek Jeter…what can I say? He’s one of the best Yankees ever – a right-handed Tony Gwynn…in more ways than one. Jeter hits, he’s a great spokesperson for the team and a wonderful role model for kids.

    How about other Yankees? Well, I have total trust in Mark Teixeira. There’s never a worry there – in my opinion. And, there are several youngsters on the current Yankees who are very easy to root for – such as Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson and Brett Gardner.

    I would also be remiss not to share that I have great regard for Joe Girardi.

    Yet, to be candid, I haven’t warmed up to the recent Yankees mercenaries CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Although, I recognize that the former is an outstanding pitcher and a true “ace” – and a leader on the team. (And, by most reports, he’s a super guy.) I suspect, with more time, I will learn to really appreciate Sabathia the way I eventually did Johnny Damon when he was brought into the organization. The latter? The jury is still out on that one. Burnett is really overrated in my book. And, I just can’t connect with him…so far.

    Moving along…Joba Chamberlain is just a ego-mess – and the Yankees allowed this to happen. At this time, I find it hard to feel great about him being a Yankee. Ditto Phil Hughes and Javy Vazquez – but because they seem too soft to me…and not because they have an ego problem…at least not like Joba.

    Robinson Cano is an interesting case. There are things to love about him and there are things not to love about him. However, unlike Posada, it’s hard to look past the bad things because it really seems like he, at times, lacks fire and passion. (This one is really hard for me – because Cano is my daughter’s favorite player. So, I want him to do well, for the team, and her – but, I can’t shake this feeling that he’s one of these guys who is going to not continue to work hard and who will allow the game to spit him out.)

    Who does this leave? Nick Johnson, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, A-Rod…and some other scrubs…back-up outfielders and bullpen arms.

    Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson…I dunno. At this junction, I don’t love them and I don’t hate them. The next six months may change this…or it may not.

    Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher, like Cano, are interesting cases. Statisically speaking, they’re very productive players. And, they help the team. But, I hate their personalities and would not shed a tear if both were traded tomorrow for a fair exchange.

    Casey Stengel once said that “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.” And, I wish I could do something like that here…meaning separate A-Rod, Swisher, Cano, Hughes, Vazquez, Chamberlain, Burnett, Levine, Trost and Cashman from Girardi, Pettitte, Rivera, Posada, Jeter, Teixeira and the kids on the team. And, just wait for Sabathia and Granderson (and maybe some others) to grow on me. But, it’s just not happening. And, as such, I’m really losing interest in this team…

    Well, not entirely. That would be somewhat impossible. More so, I should just say that I’m not “living and dying” with this team the way I’ve always done with Yankees teams since 1975. I still care – and this is not a situation of a total absence of emotion or enthusiasm. But, it’s just not the same any more. And, I wonder, is this the beginning of the end for my Yankees fandom? Or, just a small rough patch that needs to driven through until there’s more for me to like in Yankeeland?

    Comments on Is This The Beginning Of The End Of My Yankees Fandom?

    1. Raf
      April 19th, 2010 | 7:13 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And, rightly or wrongly, he did not stop the axe from falling on Torre, which allowed them to bring in a young manager who knows how to handle a modern bullpen without burying half and overworking 2 or 3 key guys.

      I would wager that every manager has their “favorite toy” in the bullpen. I don’t think Girardi is any different in this regard.

    2. oldguy
      April 19th, 2010 | 7:32 pm

      I saw my first Yankee game in 1956 and have been hooked ever since. I learned that baseball was a business when the Yankees traded Moose from 1st base and then watched Roger Marris leave. I saw Ryan Duran pitch and Yogi replaced by Elson Howard. The Team has changed in complexion going back to when the Yankees picked up the Babe from the Red Sox.
      Your article perhaps written to extract a reaction lacks substance. Gone are the days of the free drinking and swinging players in the past or characters that do not know how to play as part of a team of highly paid professionals.
      The 2010 Yankees like that of 2009 are all business, as well they should be. If you want a bunch of fun loving devil may care players, they will likely finish 3rd in the pack with 91 wins.
      This years team have talent, desire and play the game as it should be. Joba is a kid, plucked from the farm and now in the big time. He came up fast and not only has to hone his skills but learn to live in the spotlight and be a professional. If he played for Texas or Tampa he would not have the problem of growing up fast, but he does. CC, AJ and Tex are examples of what most teams can only dream about, an organization with the resources to make great acquisitions.
      Steve- you claim to be a Yankee fan, I doubt it. I intend on sitting back and watching my team win perhaps more than 108 games, future hall of famers like Jeter, Posada and a list of All Stars light up the field and the league with talent and class.

    3. GCohen9782
      April 19th, 2010 | 8:32 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Oh alright. In that case, just try to push through these feelings. Enjoy the game you obviously love so much and the team you’ve lived and died with for the last 37 years. No team needs to lose a good fan.

    4. April 19th, 2010 | 10:14 pm

      Let me second GCohen9782’s comments. I also agree with what Matt Cerrone said. Don’t let the haters get you down. Really, I doubt most of your readers, including myself, would even know that there was criticism of you out there, if you didn’t mention it yourself.

      As for myself, I hardly wrote in the offseason, but it was the best thing for me. I needed a break from writing my blog. I feel much more refreshed after taking that time away.

    5. April 19th, 2010 | 10:23 pm

      oldguy wrote:

      Your article perhaps written to extract a reaction lacks substance. Gone are the days of the free drinking and swinging players in the past or characters that do not know how to play as part of a team of highly paid professionals.

      The 2010 Yankees like that of 2009 are all business, as well they should be.

      If you want a bunch of fun loving devil may care players, they will likely finish 3rd in the pack with 91 wins.

      I think you need to totally re-read what I wrote. Your assumptions on what I want are not correct.

    6. April 19th, 2010 | 10:24 pm

      GCohen9782 wrote:

      In that case, just try to push through these feelings. Enjoy the game you obviously love so much and the team you’ve lived and died with for the last 37 years. No team needs to lose a good fan.

      Thanks Greg. It just may come back, in time. Nothing lasts forever.

    7. April 19th, 2010 | 10:27 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Let me second GCohen9782’s comments. I also agree with what Matt Cerrone said. Don’t let the haters get you down. Really, I doubt most of your readers, including myself, would even know that there was criticism of you out there, if you didn’t mention it yourself.As for myself, I hardly wrote in the offseason, but it was the best thing for me. I needed a break from writing my blog. I feel much more refreshed after taking that time away.

      Thanks Lisa. Trust me, the criticism of me, and what I do at this blog, is out there. But, again, I always consider the source. And, once I do that, it quickly quells any concern over what they are saying. And, Matt’s post is dead on – there are many who enjoy what I do here…and it’s those people that keep me going.

    8. Tom
      April 28th, 2010 | 6:03 pm

      I have been a life long Yankee fan as well, until last year that is. From the first time that i went to a Yankee game in 1983 (Dave Rigetti’s no hitter on the 4th of July against the sox)until 2008, i have probably attended close to 200 games, and watched every game i could, until last year. I lost my job in Jan 09 as the hedge fund i worked at went under, and ever since i can hardly watch a Yankee home game on TV not to mention in person, as i can not afford it. Just the sight of those corporate fans who can’t even name three players on the team, sitting in $2000 seats typing away on their Iphones, and Blackberry’s all game make me physically ill. The way they have treated the common fan is a disgrace, they have been relegated to the upper decks where it is still $85 a seat. $85b a seat is what i paid in 2002 for the second row on the field, no it gets you the upper deck. However the primary reason i am no longer a fan is that i simply can not root for guys like A-rod, Mark Tex, and some of the others who make between 20-25 million a year, there are at least 6 players who make around that. With 18 million people unemployed, and those who have jobs working day and night who won’t even make what one of these guys makes in a year in a lifetime. All for hitting a ball with a stick, or throwing a ball into a glove. These salaries were always a bit high, but in recent years it has gotten to the point where it is insulting, and actually hurts to watch. All of you who go to Yankee stadium and spend $500 a night for a few beers and a seat should be ashamed of yourself. Until the fans stop paying these ridiculous prices to watch a kids game, these morons who just happen to throw a ball fast or hot a ball far with a wooden stick won’t make more than you and your entire family will ear in several life times.. what has this world come to… $30 mill a year.. how can you applaud them?? what a joke

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