May 10, 2007

Yankees Fans: Never Celebrate, Just Complain

Perhaps fans of other teams do this too, but I noticed a trend among all of my "Yankees fan buddies". They'll talk to me only when the Yankees are losing or when they are having a bad week. No one will ever come up to me and tell me that they saw the last game that they won and it was great. It's as if they expect the Yankees to always win, and when they don't it's time to gripe and complain like the team will never win another game again. For them, disaster looms not only after every single loss, but even in victories where the Yankees left runners stranded on base in scoring position, or a relief pitcher came in and gave up a run or two. "They can't do that against Boston" they'll say. Granted, although the do Yankees appear to be foundering (as of this writing they are eight games behind The Red Sox, and in third place in the AL East), and signing Roger Clemens may be too little help too late, there is no way these fan/friends of mine are going to be happy unless it is October and the Yankees just won the World Series.

Recently, which happened to be the morning after a Yankee victory, I encountered one of the guys I work with who is a regular participant in the Yankees discussions which take place where we work, and I asked that since the Yankees won against the Texas Rangers the night before, why didn't he come to me with a "happy report" on the previous night's game? He said: "Let's not get too excited. If they can win three against Boston, then I'll be happy. But this team doesn't look like it can handle either the White sox or the Mets, for that matter." He may be right, and I'm inclined to agree with him; but if the whole point of being a fan is to derive some sort of pleasure from a watching a game, then, using my baseball buddy’s yardstick for "fan enjoyment", the average Yankees fan get's no joy at all from any regular season game.

The whole Yankee's regular season is a setup for championship in October. At least that's the way the team's organization from George Steinbrenner on down sees it. This attitude has also trickled down to the fan base as well. No wonder A-Rod got booed so vociferously last year even though he put up good numbers. Nothing is too good for fans of this team. It's "Dynasty or Bust" every single summer.

Is this writer, a Yankee's fan, worried that this team does not have what it takes to make it to the post season? You bet I am. Yet, my love and appreciation for this sport, as painful as it may be, helps me to understand that there are twenty nine other teams in Major League Baseball, and that the Yankees can't win every year no matter how much money they spend toward that goal. Yes, I am worried about the team and their season. Yet, I am also worried about Yankee fans and their incessant griping. To paraphrase an over-used line from the cinema: "Spoiled is as spoiled does."

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