Guys! Guys! Guess what time it is?
If you said midterms, Spring Break or March, you’re technically right. But that’s not the answer I was looking for. I was looking for ‘baseball season.’
Yeah! Baseball! A whole shiny new season of America’s pastime is back. Certainly after the excitement of last season, it can only get better from here. In fact, I know a way it could be perfect: don’t allow the New York Yankees to ever play a game of baseball again.
OK, dramatic, but it’s true. I am just saying what’s on most baseball fan’s minds: the New York Yankees are, by ethical and moral standards, the worst team in the Majors. Sure, we polite Midwesterners just kind of nod and say, “What a valiant effort our (insert team name here) made” when they face the Yanks. But really it goes more like, “Those damn Yankees, stealing all the money and glory and our fun. To hell with them all!”
Of course the team historically has been good, boasting legends like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. But it’s nowadays — this “new generation” of Derek Jeter and Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez and Joe Girardi as their manager — that really flips my switch into steroid induced overpaid narcissist mode.
Not convinced of my hatred quite yet? Allow me to present some justifying facts.
Fact 1: The Yankees have 27 World Series championships and 40 American League pennants as of 2010. This is the best record in baseball and is just too unreal. The next best team in terms of wins is the St. Louis Cardinals (with 10); the next best team in terms of appearances is the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers with 18. Something is fishy. No team can be THAT good without something behind it. With that…
Fact 2: The Yankees have the top four highest paid players in baseball. They all make over $20 million a season, with A-Rod making $33 million a season. What is this madness? When Rodriguez first signed his $21 million contract back in 2000 after leaving Texas, his salary was greater than that of the entire Minnesota Twins team. THE WHOLE TEAM. So with that money, what do they do? This leads to my third and final point…
Fact 3: A lot of Yankees players have been accused of using steroids at some point in their career. This fact from a 2009 Wall Street Journal story explains it well: “The Journal’s overall tally contains 124 accused players in all of Major League Baseball who have, among them, played for every franchise. Overall, the Yankees had 30 current or former players cited, including Alex Rodriguez. That’s three more than the (Texas) Rangers (Rodriguez’s former team), who were second. A spokesman for the Yankees declined to comment.”
Sure, that shows not every team in baseball is perfect … but there does have to be a team with the most perpetrators. ‘coughYANKEES cough.’
So there you have it! They win too much and don’t give any other teams a chance to enjoy victories, they are overpaid and it seems they have a juice problem.
Friends, I implore you to ask yourselves: why is this “powerhouse” taking away from the true values of our favorite pastime? What happened to a good, honest and clean game of ball? Obviously, it’s been lost under the mounds of Yankee-mania.
I realize it’s unrealistic to pull a powerful team out of baseball as it is unwise to piss off the entire fan base, but seriously? Why would I, or anyone else for that matter, want to support a team that is pretty obviously built on all the wrong values?
I don’t care which team you support this season (actually, I do … you should all be Twins fans), or who you pick for your fantasy teams. But in the real world, please, PLEASE don’t support a team that is full of juice and money. Support a team who — like you — is into the game for the love of baseball.