Confession: Why I No Longer Hate the Yankees

yankee stadium

This is a post that probably won’t be popular with those back in Baltimore or in Boston, but I need to get something off my chest.

I’ve spent the summer in New York City, and have spent time interning in the sports department of a local television station. During that time, I have watched my fair share of Yankees baseball, which, at the beginning of the summer, would have sounded like torture. But two months later, I am no longer a Yankee-hater.

By no means am I a Yankee fan. I grew up hating the Yankees. Remember Jeffrey Maier? I cried during that game. Remember Luis Gonzalez’s World Series winning single in Game 7? I cheered just like any Diamondback fan may have.

But over the last couple of years, I have slowly softened on the Yanks. I can’t say I’m happy about it, but I like to think that I have solid reasoning behind it. My allegiances still lie with the Orioles, but I now want the Yankees to finish in 4th place in the AL East every year, rather than dead last.

So here it is: How I learned to stop worrying and start (not hating) the Yankees.

– The seeds were planted several years ago, when some of my closest friends at school happened to be Yankee fans, including my roomate, Between the Headset’s very own critic, Abfus. They would regularly tell me that it was only a matter of time before I started to root for the Yankees. And while their prophesy has been fortunately unfulfilled, the amount of time I spend listening and watching Yankee stuff, all discussed in such a positive manner (except discussion of A-Rod) laid the groundwork for my current change in feelings.

– Spending two summers on Cape Cod caused me to absolutely despise the Yankees’ biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox. Their fans are obnoxious and many jumped on the bandwagon after the 2004 World Series. My biggest problem with Sox fans is related to the Yankees. Whenever the P.A. announcer would relay MLB scores between innings, the fans would always cheer louder if the Yankees were losing than if their Red Sox were winning. This kind of fandom drives me crazy, and gave me a firsthand look into the perpetual inferiority complex to which Red Sox fans cling. It came off as pretty pathetic, in my opinion, and put the Yankees above the Sox in my book.

– Joe Girardi. The Yankee’s manager is a Northwestern alum, which already gives him major points in my book. But I also have heard him speak, both on television and live during press conferences, and he really seems like a great guy. He is comfortable in front of the media, answers questions that reporters ask honestly and straightforward, and seems to command the respect of his players. Of course, I don’t know what kind of manager he is in the clubhouse, or what the players really think of him, but my impressions of him have been very favorable. Plus, I will always remember watching a teary-eyed Girardi announce the death of Cardinal pitcher Darryl Kile in front of a packed Wrigley Field right before game time.

girardi kile

– EZ Baby brought up a great point the other night- the Yankees have a ton of lovable players on this year’s squad. Even if you don’t like Derek Jeter, which to me is hard to believe, because he doesn’t really have any bad qualities, there are still a bunch of great guys on the team. Mark Teixeira (though I wish he were an Oriole), Mariano Rivera, C.C. Sabathia, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Johnny Damon and Robbie Cano are generally guys that fans like. Melky Cabrera, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are also players who fans are not going to boo on a regular basis. Really, the only hated guy on the Yankees is A-Rod.

-Finally, I have gotten over one of the biggest reasons that baseball fans hate the Yankees: their ridiculously high payroll. The defense that Yankee fans use is valid: the team sells out its games and merchandise flies off the shelves. Instead of that money lining the pockets of ownerships, it goes back into the team (though the Steinbrenners are definitely well off). If you want to be angry about it, tell baseball to impose a salary cap. But don’t hate the Yankees for playing by the rules. I wish the Orioles would throw around that kind of money to attract free agents.

Overall, the Yankees are good for baseball. The Yankees sell out many games on the road (even if New York fans takeover the stadium) and cause a buzz that is non-existent in cities like Kansas City, Baltimore and Oakland in August and September. Plus, every league needs to have a villain; a team that is hated by the majority of fans across the country. The NFL has the Patriots, the NBA has the Lakers or Celtics, the NHL has the Red Wings and baseball has the Yankees. It’s more fun to beat those teams than it is a cellar-dweller.

So forgive me, Baltimore fans, for succumbing to the dark side. I promise I won’t be donning the pinstripes anytime soon, but you also won’t hear me roaming the streets of the Bronx shouting “Yankees suck.”

I’ll at least try to come up with something more clever than that.


40 responses to “Confession: Why I No Longer Hate the Yankees

  1. You are right on the money Gotty. I too no longer hate the Yankees. I hate the Boston Red Sox and their fans. I also hate all of Massachusetts. The coldest, meanest people in the world.

  2. If I could physically set fire to a Web site, I would do it to this piece of trash

  3. Excellent. EXCELLENT.

  4. Interesting, Andrew.

    I, like you, spent a lot of time in New York, 3 months this past spring and I went to a couple Yankee games, couple Met games, and listened to the talk radio and watched the games.

    I found the Mets more likable. (Let me preface: I still hate both and LOVE when they lose). Anyways, Citi Field is nicer than the Stadium. The Mets have likeble players too: Wright, Beltran, Santana. They are the underdog (being from Baltimore, I thought you would sympathize with the under-appreciated team). Their fans, from my experience, seemed less annoying, not just there because it’s the Mets (like some Yankee fans are there for the show, think yuppies at Wrigley). I’ll think of more stuff, but the point is if you are going to pick one to like, (which again, I dont know if that is the point of this, to pick one) I found it easier to like the Mets, which kept my disdain for the Yankees very strong.

    • The point of the post was not to pick one. I still don’t LIKE the Yankees. I just don’t hate them anymore. I feel the same way about the Mets as I did before the summer: they are a poorly-run organization that has an amusing fan base ready to pounce on them at the first strikeout. The Yankees are no longer hateable in my eyes because of the reasons listed in the post.

  5. My two cents… since I too have been on Cape Cod two summers and was raised in south Florida (aka a haven for NYers).

    First off Andrew nails it on the head with the Red Sox fans. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say Mass has the coldest, meanest people in the world (I met a lot of great people up there)… they certainly are pretty cold when it comes to anybody talking down about their Sox whether in a joking fashion or not.

    As for New York fans I’ve never had a major problem with the Yankees. I mean I always like to cheer for the underdog so I generally enjoy seeing them lose but it was nothing personal. Yes, they have their annoying fans but everyone does.

    My hatred lies with the Mets. The ratio of idiotic, ass-hole Mets fans I’ve met compared to good fans is like 9:1. I don’t consider them the “underdog” as Kevin says because they have the 2nd highest payroll in baseball behind the Yankees. I listen to their fans all winter and summer long tell me how great they are and how they’ll beat up on scrubs like the Marlins every year (and they should with the incredible difference in team salary) but they never do.

    For the record, the Marlins have eliminated them from playoff contention on the final weekend of the season two years in a row, including the last game ever played in Shea Stadium.

    To me, the Mets are like the Jets and the Yankees are like the Giants. Maybe it’s just because the Mets and Jets play in Miami team’s divisions in their respective sports but I really dislike that group more so than the Yanks and Giants.

  6. To Gotti:
    – Don’t like Cano. He looks like the typical [enter latin racial slur]. He has much more potential than his 75% effort shows on the field.

    To Fish:
    – Citi is much nicer, thank you for stepping up and speaking the truth
    – The Mets are not more likeable, the fans might be because we’re usually pretty funny. We have a few likeable players (K-Rod is the #1 guy that would be loved if he was on your team), a few middle of the ground guys, and a few guys that are easy to hate.

    To the uneducated fan above me:
    – It’s morally wrong to hate the Mets and Jets fans. We go through more misery than any other sports duality. It’s like hating your retarded brother, it’s just not right to do.

  7. Pompous and arrogant. That’s why people hate Yankee fans and their players.

  8. As a lifelong Red Sox fan (one of those Cape Codders referred to in the article) I have to agree and disagree with your statements about Red Sox fans. I despise the Yankees Suck chant and can never understand why people chant it at events where the Yankees aren’t even present. I hate to hear fans cheer louder for a Yankee loss than a Red Sox win. So I get your feelings there. However, I disagree with your assessment about “bandwagon jumping”. I think this is the laziest form of journalism out there to accuse a fan base as strong as the Red Sox as jumping on the bandwagon. Just because they got louder and prouder when their team was winning doesn’t mean they were “jumping on the bandwagon”. I have been a Red Sox fan since infancy. I watch or listen to almost every single game, read articles about the players and games, and always scan the box scores. I’m not obnoxious at games or walk around with a Yankees Suck t-shirt on but when my team is winning I probably will talk more about them. It’s because I’m excited, not that I’m trying to associate myself with them. In 2004 Red Sox fans were finally able to get into the conversation with Yankees fans. Before, they always just looked down on us and said “1918”. Now of course they look disdainfully at us and say “when you win 27 World series you can start talking about how good you are.”

    There are a lot of Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, Lakers, Red Wings, etc. fans out there because they are great franchises that win year after year. (Money obviously has something to do with this…) To paint there fan bases as “obnoxious” is lazy. If you go to a NASCAR race you are most likely to run into an obnoxious Dale, Jr. fan. That doesn’t mean that all Dale Jr. fans are obnoxious. It’s just that 60% of the people there are Jr. fans so your a lot more likely to run into a jerk with his colors than any other color. Same for Yankees and Red Sox and all of the other winning teams.

    I never can understand how people can post or say that they hate Red Sox fans or Yankees fans or all of Massachusetts! What a stupid thing to say! I cheer for a team. I cheer against my team’s rival. I dislike obnoxious fans of any team, but particularly those of my rival. I think these people are just trying to be inflammatory and it blows up in their faces making them look like idiots instead of the people they are trying to call out.

    • Steve,

      My comments were not necessarily directed at you. I know you and what kind of fan you are. The comments about the Red Sox are generally directed at fans outside of Boston, with no connection to the team other than the fact that they had nobody else to root for when the Sox won the World Series in 2004. You know people like this, and they exist in even greater numbers outside of Cape Cod and the New England area. It is those people with whom I find fault. They are the “obnoxious” fans, because they spend so much time trying to show off that they root for a winning team that they come across louder and brasher than lifelong fans such as yourself.

  9. Hating a team simply because it makes more money than yours, and can buy better players is just childish. I was engaged to a Red Sox fan, and he bitched incessantly, calling the Yankees “the best team money can buy”. I finally asked him “If the Red Sox had all that money, and were doing the same thing, would you still be bitching?” Of course, he said no, but added “that’s different”. So I pointed out to him that his attitude was childish, and reminded me of a 7 year old when I was young who would not play marbles with me because I had better marbles than he did. So I started letting him play with my marbles, and I played with him. I still beat him every game, and he finally had to admit I was just better than he was.

  10. I grew up in North Brunswick New Jersey. I spent many a summer going to the old Yankee Stadium to Roger Maris, Micky Mantle, Tony Kubeck, Bobby Richardson, Yogi Berri play ball. Yep the years were 1959-1966. The we moved to Atlanta Georgia.(That’s another story) I was a Yankee hater because that was the thing to do. I don’t care about Boston or Baltimore either. I am a Phillies fan. I was born in Philly but I grew up in North Brunswick-( 1956-1966) My dad and granfather took me to many games at old Connie Mack Stadium as well.

  11. The only reason you’re so bitter against the Red Sox is that when they play the Orioles IN YOUR STADIUM, there are more Boston fans there than Baltimore fans. Your team is a joke and now you have proven that the fans are too. By the way, everyone I know loved the Sox as soon as they learned about baseball, it had nothing to do with 2004. Stay in your suck city and if you have to leave, go to the smelly, trash-filled hell hole that is NY.

  12. Andrew,

    I know you weren’t talking about me and I agree with your assessment that the Red Sox did pick up a bunch of wienie fans in 2004 but it still rubs me the wrong way when people describe Red Sox fans as bandwagon jumpers. I can remember in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s reading obituaries of old people who were “lifelong Red Sox Fans” and who had never seen a World Series championship. I have friends who went to their father’s graves after the 2004 championship to decorate it with Red Sox paraphenalia and cry about the fact that they never got to see it. When people like Aaron Morse and P Henry make idiot comments like they make here it underlines what I’m talking about people trying to be inflammatory and just looking stupid themselves in the end.

    I do know the kind of fan you’re talking about though. You see them all over the blogs writing in. I have gotten a taste of what it’s like to be a Yankee fan by being a Patriots fan. Everyone hates the Patriots and hate their fans. We’re also always called bandwagon jumpers even though I grew up watching Steve Grogan throw to Stanley Morgan and have watched almost every game since. With success come the haters.

    Glad to see you have gotten the hate out of your soul! We shouldn’t hate any team. Just love your team and root strenuously against all the others!

    • All I can say is Steve is that I root for 2 teams.

      1. The Mariners.

      2. And whoever is playing the Red Sox.

      And the fact of the matter is the Red Sox have a history of being the most racist organization in major league baseball. That is an undeniable fact. They were the last team to integrate, and currently have NO African American players.

  13. Aaron,

    Root for whomever you choose. That’s the beauty of this country! Calling an entire state cold, mean and racist is just stupid. It’s true that Tom Yawkey was an avowed racist. But to brand the Red Sox racist now is just not an accurate description. Just because you don’t have any African Americans on your roster doesn’t make you racist. You’re racist if you WON’T put any African Americans on your roster no matter how good they are. There are several Dominicans and Japanese on the Red Sox roster currently and there have been plenty of African Americans on the Red Sox roster in the past including the two most recent inductees into the HOF Jim Rice (lifetime Sox player) and Rickey Henderson (cup of coffee in boston at the end of his career.)

    I think you might still be upset about Heathcliff Slocum for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe!

  14. I don’t think it’s “stupid” to call Massachusetts “cold, mean, and racist.”

    It’s very cold there, much more rain than Seattle.

    The people don’t like outsiders (particularly on Cape Cod I noticed).

    And a couple notable racist incidents have been in the news recently if I recall…so at the very least you guys have an image problem. But if I recall, Boston has a LONG history of severe racial tensions…which is kind of surprising considering how “progressive” people there claim to be.

    I’m sure glad the Red Sox were nice enough to give Rickey Henderson a cup of coffee! How thoughtful!

    How’d Darren Bragg work out for you guys?

  15. Texas gets three times as much rainfall as Massachusetts so that means it’s “cold”? Rain has to do with wet and dry not heat… I see I’m in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

    I can’t defend Dan Duquette and his baseball moves. He made two good trades. The aforementioned one with Seattle and picking up Pedro Martinez. I was just giving you a little poke because you seem so filled with vitriol. Obviously you have no sense of humor.

    As for Boston being racist check out Detroit, LA, the entire South and just about every other big city in the US to see much worse.

    As for Cape Codders not liking outsiders I think the number of outsiders that come year after year speaks differently. Sorry if you had a bad experience when you came here. Maybe it was that tremendous chip on your shoulder and your hateful attitude that made people not like you…

  16. Nah man, I came to Cape Cod ready to embrace the place, I was very excited to go.

    Turns out all you guys have is ice cream, pizza, and assholes.

  17. And the coversation devolves into a name calling contest proving my point. Have a nice life!

  18. This got a little out of hand didn’t it? On the subject of racism and a future post Gotti. I was telling Fuss the other day about a few famous interviews with Torii Hunter. He goes out of his way (money, time, creating organizations) to promote baseball among inner city kids. He speaks candidly about the lack of blacks in baseball and how much he wishes his success and happiness with the game upon future black athletes who always seem to shy away from the game.

    The point is, the Red Sox are missing out (except for their 2 joos) because black baseball players are awesome. Think about it Gotti, black players are portrayed so poorly in both baseball and football, but so well in baseball. Morse, you would know about maybe the MOST loved player of our generation of any race. Do some quick research Gotti and see how many of these guys there are and how they’re perceived (other than Bonds of course) I hope McCutchens pans out because he goes a long way to support my claim and you know me, I’m typically as racist as they come.

  19. As a Yankees fan/Sox hater, calling them racists is way overboard. Heard the “last team to get a black player” argument, etc before and just don’t think it holds water.

    As for the Mets/Jets comments, would’ve said Philly last year has the most down on their luck fans (Phillies/Eagles/76ers) but then they went and won the World Series. Maybe Detroit now, considering the Lions went 0-16 on that alone.

    Red Sox fans, as a whole, have taken the obnoxious thing to a new level. Payroll is just as overpriced, have just as many juicers, new bandwagon fans, etc. Hating the Yankees for any of that, while justified in itself, is still hypocritical if you’re a Red Sox fan.

  20. Little known fact, this song was made about Barry Bonds, suck it EZ Baby (at least you’re 10.5 games ahead of Geffen)


    Go Red Sox! All their fans should be SO proud of this great organization and their progressive city!

  22. What BS. First of all Sox fans so not cheer louder for the Yankees losing then them winning. Unless you were in Baltimore then you need your hearing checked. I have been to multiple games at both Fenway and the Skankees and that is just wrong.

    Second Yankee fans have nothing to be obnoxious about. They suck now and only do as well as they do in the regular season because of the money. They have no heart and the way they lose in the post season rocks.

    What you are going through is denial. You forget how obnoxious Yankee fans were when they were winning. You forget the self entitlement they feel just because last century they bought 26 world titles always having the biggest payroll in baseball. Don’t worry you will remember how much you hate them when they win another title.

    No true Orioles fan would ever like the Yankees PERIOD. You are now not a Orioles fan. Don’t even think about stepping foot in Camden yards when you jump back on the bandwagon and show up only when the Yankees or Sox are in town to be a jerk. We don’t want you with us real fans.

    I went to Fenway on a road trip to see the O’s this year and had an amazing time. Sat with some of the nicest fans I have ever met from an apposing team. Also did this last year and also went to NY. I was spit on there for no reason and when security came over they did nothing. Walked away lauging. I left early and I will never go back. I’ll stick to seeing my O’s in Fenway.

    Let us no crusify the present for the pasts failures. Get over it AAron.

  23. Aaron I am sorry but after realizing you are the owner of this blog your biased hatred pretty much proves to me you are really a Yankee fan with nothing better to do then bash a team that has finally passed your organization.

    What amazes me is that you call yourself an Orioles fan but you forget just how much Baltimore owned Boston for a few years in 02-04 I’d say. We beat them for years over and over again. It has only been the last few years they have owned us. Perhaps a real fan such as yourself would know this if you were actually an O’s fan.

    Please stop representing yourself as an O’s fan. You’re a racist bored Yankee fan that needs some therapy. I hope you get some. You are making O’s fans look bad and that makes me angry. We are smarter then you.

    Being in baseball should have nothing to do with color. The best players should make the team. Being on a team just because of your color is racist.

    The red sox have had at one time of another half the Dominican Republic on their roster. Color dosen’t matter. It’s a professional sports team for Gods sake. Grow up.

    • Jack,

      Aaron is not the owner of the blog. I am. And I am in no way a Yankee fan. Please re-read my post. You will see that I in no way said I like the Yankees, or am a fan of them. I still bleed black and orange, and have for most of my life, despite tons of incompetency from the organization. My point was that I no longer hate them.

      Everyone has ignored all other points that I made in the post, and have been hung up on the Red Sox part.

      Please do not refer to me as a racist.

  24. Getting back to the topic of the Yankees…

    You’re far too forgiving of the Bronx Barons. You say it doesn’t matter that they have a lot of money and they spend it willy nilly. That’s just the time we’re in, and you wish Baltimore did the same.

    But your Orioles wouldn’t have to do the same if it weren’t for Steinbrenner and his Yanks. Nor would Pittsburgh or Kansas City or any other team left out in the cold because of their ludicrous spending. They are the reason contracts have gotten out of hand. It’s not inflation. It’s not the natural way of things. Salaries were increasing at a much slower, more sustainable rate before the Yankees started throwing cash at everyone, outbidding left and right.

    They aren’t the only ones to blame. But they’re the biggest perpetrators and should be hated for it. If not for them, you could take a family to a baseball game for less than $100 and still see great talent on the field. Those things are mutually exclusive now.

  25. Jack,

    Andrew is the blogger not Aaron. Read the blog and you’ll see that he’s not a lover of the Sox or the Yankees.

    I’m glad you had a good experience at Fenway. I sat with Oakland fans a couple of weeks ago at Fenway and had a great time talking with them about their team. I also went to a game with Andrew (and most of the Cape Cod Baseball League) at Fenway and he proudly wore his black and orange.

    Andrew – sorry I started the Red Sox part of these comments…

  26. I would like to use this spot to officially say I crossed the line with some if not all of my comments.

    I hope Steve and Jack and whoever else might have been offended can forgive me. I rarely back down from things like this…but today I’m in a good mood because we’re ONE MONTH FROM THE START OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!!

    Still don’t like the Red Sox though!

  27. Hi Andrew. My antipathy for Ny teams started when I was young. The Celtics had won Championships for years, then had a bunch of injuries in the 69-70 season. The Knicks snuck in that year, & the NY press instantly proclaimed them the best team ever & the next dynasty. That dynasty lasted one season, one of the shorter dynasties. And given the Mets- yanks & jets-Giants hatred you tapped into, I don’t think the egos have mellowed.

    • Hey Tom,

      I understand the sour feelings that Boston fans have for New York sports. For me, there’s not much of a rivalry between Baltimore and New York, particularly because the Orioles are so lousy. With Boston and New York being competitive year in and year out, and with their media markets being so big, I can’t see the rivalry going anywhere anytime soon.

      I think it’s a healthy rivalry, but do you think that Boston fans are generally jealous of New York fans, because of the amount of press that they get?

  28. It isn’t the amount of press, it is the attitude. Chicago fans hate NY too- not because of the press, but because if something happens in NY, the press treats it as magic.

  29. not the amount of press, but the quality

  30. And you know that your old Chatham Athletics are now the Chatham Anglers?

    • Haha, yes. But they were never my Chatham A’s. I was a broadcaster for the Orleans Cardinals, who decided to change their name to the Orleans Firebirds (blech). I kinda like the Anglers name though. At least it’s Cape Cod-ish, unlike Firebirds.

      It’s all MLB’s fault though for trying to extract more money from these teams.

  31. Sorry- I thought you were in Chatham

    • No worries…I lived in Chatham my second summer, so that’s why you might have thought that. But my broadcasting was strictly for Orleans.

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