Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Stupid Yankee Fans
2006-10-09 09:40
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Since I've started writing for the Toaster I've gained a newfound respect for a certain subset of Yankee fans. There are some smart baseball fans who happen to root for the Yankees. So long as they are from New York or its general vicinity, I have absolutely no problem with these guys. I hope they are able to make it through these lean times. Six whole years of only making the playoffs and not winning the World Series! And you thought Cubs fans had it bad!

However, while I was listening to the radio this morning, the side of Yankee fandom that really taxes my gag reflex was turning out in force. You know these people. "Hi, Colin, I think the Yankees should trade A-Rod to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis." "Hi, love your show, I think the Yankees should trade A-Rod for Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano." "Yeah, I think the Yanks should trade A-Rod to the Devil Rays for Scott Kazmir, Rocco Baldelli, Carl Crawford, and the entire Durham AAA affiliate."

Where is the connection to reality for these people?

2006-10-09 09:52:54
1.   Bob Timmermann
If you listened to postgame radio callin shows for Dodger games, you would find Dodger fans proposing equally preposterous deals.

I think it's a big market team phenomenon.

I have a feeling Red Sox fans feel the same way. Except they have more self-loathing.

2006-10-09 09:53:33
2.   Vishal
being from new york or the general vicinity is the only excuse i will accept for yankee fandom whenever i meet one.

however, i will say that as bad as they are, they do not have a monopoly on delusion. i think you can listen to any team's postgame call-in for those sorts of pie-in-the-sky trade fantasies.

2006-10-09 09:54:51
3.   Vishal
and of course, my main frame of reference is dodger talk.
2006-10-09 10:10:24
4.   rbilotta
As a Yankee fan, it is hard to be a Yankee fan with so many stupid Yankee fans around. The problem is that the vast majority of thse bandwagon fans come from the sports talk radio theory of sports. All I know is that I remember easily getting Yankee-Red Sox tickets in '97, the year after the Yanks won their first World Series in 18 years. You could walk up to the gate and purchase very good seats. Where were all of these idiot fans then? They only started caring about the team when it had an unbelievable run. I hate fairweather fans who have no concept or perspective. It is easy to root when everything is gonig good.
2006-10-09 10:12:53
5.   Knuckles
Let me preface my statement by admitting I'm a Yankee fan. (3rd generation, born and raised in NJ, 35 miles from the Stadium, should you need my bonafides...)

I think what's interesting about the internet generation is how it is stratifying sports fans a bit. I used to read (and post on) all the time. It's a cesspit of the kind of uninformed Yankee fan who thinks that any deal out there is ours for the taking (we should trade Sheff and Pavano for Verlander and Granderson!), barely a step up from the boards.

I got sick of it and found new outlets, my favorite one being Bronx Banter, on this very site.

Call-in sports radio, unfortunately is more along the evolutionary path of the message boards, rather than the better formed blogs. You get 10 seconds to make your point, when in reality most intelligent folks need a bit more than that to form a persuasive, cogent thought. Radio jocks know this, so they cater to the lowest common denominator, the ones who will hear a ridiculous proposal, get fired up by it, and have to call in with one of their own.

2006-10-09 10:24:31
6.   dzzrtRatt
Awakened late last night, I heard Buster Olney interviewed on what was by then a morning show in the east coast. Olney says:

- It's 75 percent sure Torre's gone and Piniella will replace him.
- It's 100 percent sure that A-Rod will be gone. Especially if Piniella is the new manager, A-Rod won't be able to handle having Lou "in his face."
- Olney likes a deal where A-Rod goes to the Angels for Ervin Santana, Chone Figgins and a mid-level prospect, e.g. not a Brandon Wood.

Then I read the NY Times this morning and learn that:

-- Torre might be fired, but Cashman wants to keep him.
-- If Pineilla comes, the entire point will be to appease A-Rod, who loves Lou like a father. If Torre stays, A-Rod's more likely to be traded.
-- However, if Lou is hired and A-Rod stays, Jeter will be very unhappy because Torre is the only manager he's ever known, and it will look to him like the Yankees are putting A-Rod above him.

No wonder Yankee fans are deranged.

2006-10-09 10:27:17
7.   BlueMamma
1 - other teams' crazy delusional fans have it the other way around, though. "i think the yankees should dump a-rod on us, and pay most of his salary, and we can give them brett tomko/griffey jr/nick punto/jeff bagwell/whoever."

because obviously the yankees want him gone so bad that they'll accept our garbage, and pay us to take him off their hands.

mark, i'll keep reading your site. i think your stuff is great.

2006-10-09 10:36:41
8.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Let's face facts.

1) Nobody is going to watch the A's-Tigers series, beause the Yankees aren't in it.

2) Everyone who is a baseball fan has to be somewhat concerned with New York will do in the offseason, because they set the agenda. What moves the Yankees make will directly affect what moves the Red Sox make. The Rockies want Coco Crisp, so indirectly, the Yankees' choices will affect them. The Rangers are competing to hire Lou Piniella. This applies to every other team in the league that plans on making any sort of addition, be it player, coach, manager, or front office worker.

3) When I write stuff about the Yankees, people read it. Therefore I will continue doing so.

2006-10-09 10:49:14
9.   Dimelo
I'm a Yankee fan and those calls are hilarious but at the same time stupid. Once you hear those comments, you have to assume they know very little about baseball.

What I hate about the fan base is that they think everyone loves the Yankees and would love to help out the Yanks by giving them whatever they want - just because they are the Yankees.

2006-10-09 10:51:49
10.   dzzrtRatt
8 If I ran Fox, I could get people to watch the A's/Tigers. It's exactly the kind of series that makes baseball great. I'd promote it as "pure baseball, without the soap opera." Pitchers who regularly top 100 mph? Frank Thomas? Mr. Moneyball, finding out once and for all if his poop works in the playoffs? Carlos Guillen, the best unknown player in baseball? I'd hire the other Kenny Rogers and have him shill for The Other Gambler.

That series is a rich vein of angles. And the network has the eyeballs attached to the NL series in order to tell the story.

Another way of looking at it: Probably because Fox expects low ratings, most of the AL series would be played during the day. So, why not schedule the whole series during the day and call it a throwback to day baseball! Now that people can watch, in a way, from their computers, turn that into an event.

I'm available anytime, Rupert.

2006-10-09 11:21:48
11.   Benjamin Kabak
Mark, you are spot on. As a Yankee fan and blogger (at Off the Facade at MVN), I've thought and written several things before. Ther'es a huge subset of Yankee fans who are so blind to baseball reality and simply think the Yankees and their fans are entitled to anything they want.

Want Dontrelle and Cabrera? "No problem! We'll just offer the Marlins a ludicrious trade, and they will of course accept it. Hell, why stop at Cabrera? Let's get Pujols too while we're at!"

As Bob pointed out in 1 this phenomenon isn't unique to Yankee fans, but somehow, my fellow fans seem to make the stupidest and most outlandish suggestions of anyone. It's just sad.

2006-10-09 11:23:48
12.   rbj
I'm a Yankee fan since 1969 (4 y.o., originally from Jersey). I don't have a problem with anyone being a fan from anywhere else (who are Alaskans supposed to root for). Bandwagoneers are fine, but I can't stand the fans who think the yankees are supposed to win every game, and if they don't win the WS the whole team needs to be blown up, the manager fired, the GM axed, etc. I'm avoiding those comments right now simply to avoid that crap. Sure the team is flawed, but so is every other team out there. A decade of success is nothing to sneeze at.

And how about a Tigers - Cardinals World Series?

2006-10-09 11:39:19
13.   Kayaker7
In my opinion, the reason fans spout off ridiculous things is because baseball is a ridiculous game that hinges on very, very small differences in a string of outcomes of very unlikely events. A .300 hitter is hailed for making a very unlikely event, slight more likely than the average guy. You add up all the multitude of chance events in baseball and you have good teams getting routed by bad teams and talented teams never winning championships. You have a situation where 99% of the fans don't know diddly about the game and are arguing with equally clueless fans about who's right. It's like a tribe of stone age people arguing about what the stars are made of.

Baseball have become a very solitary game for me...

2006-10-09 11:45:28
14.   Ken Arneson
Well, you'd think those "ARod for Santana" trade ideas are stupid, but then consider this: "Matt Smith for Bobby Abreu" actually happened.
2006-10-09 11:53:00
15.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I would love to see MLB use its Internet capacities to open up the way it presents postseason games. How great would alternate commentary tracks with more progressive analysts or current players be? Perhaps you have seen some of the studies that show how a team's percent chance of winning changes with every play, wouldn't a running tally of that be fascinating? Since the game is rapidly losing traction in mass appeal the smart move might be to start micromarketing. Obviously the one thing baseball has going for it over the other major sports is a ton of weird anorak-ish types like myself who are more than happy to provide tons of highbrow content for utterly no charge.

Yankee fans: You don't really have to provide proof of residence to justify yourself. I'm a Dallas Mavericks fan and I've never been to Dallas in my life. Or hell, I'm nuts about Liverpool football, and I'm not even completely sure where in England Liverpool is. If it hurts you when they lose, you're a fan, no matter where you hail from.

But if you go party when they win and simply ignore them when they lose, you suck.

2006-10-09 11:55:46
16.   Schteeve
Stupid Opinionated Bloggers.
2006-10-09 12:00:56
17.   Chyll Will
Hi, my name is Will (Hi, Will...) I live in the Bronx, I became a Yankee fan in 1976 when I was old enough to know what a Yankee was, yadda yadda yadda...

Please. I don't have to defend my Yankeedom. I've lived through downs and ups, never got to see champions of olde but choose to root for this team even as I'm old enough to make my own decisions.

And that's key. Huge market media has a lock on less-than-educated brains throughout the world, especially with the internet making the world just like that house just across the street that you can never reach because of the river of flame in between you. You can't expect that everyone is as informed about the matters of baseball, and that's what certian media outlets capitalize on. They couldn't really care less what Schmuckers from Kentucky or Pipo in the Bronx has to say about the lineup or pitching. This is paradise to the media; irate callers and miserable write-ins drive up circulation and ratings, equalling advertising buck$.

I love commenting on Banter and around the Toaster every now and then, but the absolute idiots reign whenever there is "high drama" in Yankeeland. Can't get a word in edgewise for days. Oh-freakin'-well, the oasis ain't noasis no mo'. 8 Heh-heh, Ain't it the truth!!

2006-10-09 12:02:07
18.   Chyll Will
14 That doesn't mean Everybody has to be stupid.
2006-10-09 12:09:43
19.   Ken Arneson
18 No, but Mark asked where the connection to reality was, and the connection is "Matt Smith for Bobby Abreu."
2006-10-09 12:20:56
20.   vockins
19 Or Craig Wilson for Chacon.

I know Craig Wilson didn't set the lineup on fire, but Chacon was certainly going to be DFA'd. The fact that Cashman got anything of value from him is insane.

2006-10-09 12:24:33
21.   Chyll Will
Reality is stupid >|P
2006-10-09 12:52:57
22.   Chyll Will
20 That only proves my point. For every idiot, there's someone who knows.
2006-10-09 13:13:54
23.   ToyCannon
Why does anyone who has functioning brain cells listen to sports talk radio in any city?
2006-10-09 13:15:53
24.   joejoejoe
I don't think what you describe is unique to the Yankees. Fans of talented teams want...more talent. Imagine a trade of Todd Helton in his prime and then look at the insane amount you want back. Imagine what Colorado fans would have wanted back for Clint Barmes when he was hitting .380. It's just the nature of things.

I used to work in Chicago during the first great Bulls run with MJ, Pippen, and Horace Grant and their was constant talk in the break room about somehow spinning Horace Grant and draft picks off for Charles Barkley in his prime or trading Stacey King and BJ Armstrong for Patrick Ewing.

2006-10-09 14:41:32
25.   Kels
I'm a little bummed that Mark's two most responded to posts have involved Terrell Owens and the Yankees.

Mark, people will come Mark. They'll come to Bad Altitude for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Mark. The one constant through all the years, Mark, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Mark. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Mark. People will most definitely come.

Keep up the good work Mark.

2006-10-09 15:47:23
26.   regfairfield
I have to agree that this thought process isn't limited to Yankee fans. These were the calls on the last Dodger Talk of the season:

The best hitter on the team sucks and is the reason we lost. (Hey, that sure sounds familiar) Host then agrees, and says we should blame Paul DePodesta for signing him.

The manager should be fired for not using Aaron Sele in the sixth inning. (How do you think this and say "yep, that's a thought I want to share with the world.")

The manager should be fired because he lacks fire. (I'm guessing that this person also thought that Milton Bradley was bad for the team chemistry.)

So, this thought process isn't limited to Yankee fans by a good measure.

2006-10-09 16:08:34
27.   nick
I think most of the worst morons started to emerge toward the end of the 90s, lured by success and their fantasies of eternal domination....Yankee rooting has its negatives: my analogy is that New York is among my very few favorite cities, but got to Times Square at the wrong time and you can still think it's the single worst place in the world......maybe the one good thing about a possible return to 1980s level struggles is some of these ________s will bail out....
2006-10-09 20:29:30
28.   Vishal
they're not going to return to the 1980s era struggles.
2006-10-09 22:45:15
29.   Yu-Hsing Chen
8 ouch on point 3, heh...

Buster's point seems a bit more off than some of the Yankee blogs (particularly beat writer Peter Abrahams...) I agree that if Lou comes A-rod won't go... but either way..

Moving A-rod could go either way, there isn't a point in dumping him, the Yanks would need a pretty damn good package in return to move him... the So-Cal teams are obviously the most likely pursuers.... espically Angels or Dodgers.. from the Yanks point of view moving him to the Dodgers would obviously limits the horror of getting owned by him in the playoffs or regular season....

Kuo / Martin / Laroche for A-rod? ;) Yanks take on like 3 to 4M of his money per year?

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