6. George Steinbrenner
The General. George Steinbrenner comes off as a pretentious jerk to anyone who roots against the New York Yankees. This is kind of odd, becuase, at worst, yankees fan will dismiss him as an over zealous owner who might care too much about winning and losing (if that is possible). But Major League Baseball fans outside of Gotham, see General Steinbrenner as the controlling figure behind what is wrong with baseball as a sport. To play devil’s advocate for a second, I could also make the case that George is doing what’s right for Major League Baseball and all the owners are just lagging behind. If the guys who owned the Kansas City Royals or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays or the Pittsburgh Pirates would shell out some more cash then , perhaps, the playing field would even out. But it’s no coincidence we don’t know those guys names either. And this is why America dislikes Mr. Steinbrenner. He has become, perhaps a bit unfairly, the greatest symbol of (non-player) greed. But since MLB began revenue sharing, it’s hard to stand behind people who blindly make this accusation. It’s very well possible that these people are just mad because…
5. Your Team Stinks
I feel badly for people who root for the small market teams like Kansas City or the Florida Marlins. In a league without a salary cap, it’s hard to compete with the likes of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox year in and year out. But then again, it’s hard to make that assesment too. Teams have been succesful without shelling out hundred of millions dollars. Just look at the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland Athletics; franchises that thrive on scouting and the farm system to be competive each season. And how about the Atlanta Braves? They’ve had 14 consecutive years worth of winning without spending a New York size fortune. But losing does, and always will, breed contempt. And, in baseball, there’s alot of that to go around. I was at a game at Yankee Stadium in 2005 and a (more than slightly inebriated) Cleveland Indians fan made it clear to our entire section that it was the Yankees who ruin baseball. This fan, who seemed so concerned with the ruination of Major League Baseball, somehow still managed to fly to New York and buy a ticket for the game. And, perhaps, he believes it was also the New York Yankees fault that the Indians blew their chance at making the playoffs last season by losing the last five games of the season against division opponents.
4. Success (or, better said, 26 World Championships worth of Success)
One simple reason fans decide to become New York Yankee-haters is that their history of winning has just become old. In, roughly, the course of a century they have captured 25 % of all of the championships. This fact is amazing and virtually unparalled by any of the three other major sports. I can’t argue with this logic. If I were an LA Dodgers or Chicago Cubs fan, franchises that predate the Yankees existence, this would drive me nuts. Unfortunately, there’s not alot that can be done or said about this fact. Major League Baseball can’t go back in time and throw asterics next to any of these seasons. They are, and will always remain, written in stone. New York fans can only root for number 27, and the haters worldwide can only hope this number stabalizes while their teams get a chance to taste the glory.
3. A Free Pass on Steroid Allegations?
This one is, predominately, aimed towards San Francisco Giants fans. While they have (inexplicably?) stood by the (unfairly?) labeled steroid goat, Barry Bonds, loads of allegations and rumors against some of the New York Yankees sluggers have been mostly swept under the proverbial rug (NOTE: There is probably alot of dirty little secrets also under this “rug”- as who knows for sure how prevelent steroid use was in the, now bygone, steroid era). The two sluggers whose names often come up in association to Bonds and the entire Balco ‘roid scandal are Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield. For what it’s worth, the media and, at least New York fans, have taken it easy on the Giambino. He was humble enough when addressing the story when it broke a few years ago, not admitting to anything (he really couldn’t talk about because of a court order) but apologizing and basically looking like a guy who screwed up. But like Bonds, Sheffield has taken the “I am an arrogant superstar” approach to the whole thing and, frankly, I am amazed that the press and Major League Baseball fans across the country haven’t come down harder on him for it. Therefore, this is a very valid reason to hate the New York Yankees, or at the very least Gary Sheffield.
2. That Pay Roll
The most obvious reason fans state for hating on the New York Yankees is their enormous payroll. And it is true that the Yanks have at least half a dozen players on their roster who make more than the entirety of the Florida Marlins. And while I admit that this is everyone’s favorite response, I also would like to contend that it is the one which holds the least amount of merit. Several seasons ago, MLB adopted a revenue sharing program modeled after the NFL. In laymen’s terms, this program allowed teams from small markets and big markets to pool their profits, so that all could share in the immense revenue coming in to try and improve their team. George Steinbrenner hates this idea. Partly because he is greedy, but mostly because it doesn’t really work. Too many small market owners don’t use the money that comes in on players, and, because there is no rule in place against it, that money basically just lines the pockets of millionaires who don’t really care if there teams wins or loses. Say what you want about the Yanks, but you can not argue they have a management in place who desperately wants to add to…
1. The Legacy
This is one is different than #4 for a couple of reasons. There is an intangible quality to the New York Yankees success that is greater than just world championships and statistics. There is an, almost magical, aura that surrounds the team. It is this aura that makes people either (a) fans for life, or (b) naysayers who refuse to admit that there is anything more to the Yankees success other than spending alot of money. But, let me tell you, there is something behind this so-called Yankee magic that is bigger than the team, the stadium, the players and the winning. It is bigger than Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter combined. It has something to do with Aaron Boone and Don Larson. Bucky Dent and Jeffrey Maier, but it’s pretty much impossible to pin down. For some reason, throughout the course of the frachise, improbable events have linked together these 26 World Series victories. It is an amazing stretch that makes the history of the team seem like folklore; a mythology for basball fans. From the Babe’s called shot to the George Brett pine tar scandal, nothing has ever been mundane for the Yankees and their fans. And that, at least, is a perfectly fine reason for hating them.