I hate the Yankees.

Sharad Mattu
Never mind Mike Mussina, the fans are the reason to hate the Yankees. (AP PHOTO)
Sharad Mattu

I say it all the time, and I never hesitate to say it. I’m
a Mets fan, so that’s obviously part of the reason. But I
have my reasons, right?

So when I decided to write a column about this very hatred, I
thought it would be easy.

But then I asked myself why I hated the Yankees. About two hours
passed, and I had no answer.

I don’t hate the players.

Fans never really know what kind of people athletes truly are
(like Kobe Bryant — who knew?), but for the most part, it
seems like the team is filled with good guys.

Derek Jeter is the ultimate team player, someone who never, ever
seems to make the wrong play. Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera,
Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui all seem to do everything right,
too.

Sometimes players behave themselves while they’re on the
Yankees, and as soon as they take off the pinstripes, things
change. Take Shane Spencer. Five years ago, he was an unheralded
rookie slamming huge home runs in the playoffs. This past year, on
the Mets, he had three incidents involving alcohol, including one
in which he mysteriously sliced his heel and had to go on the
injured list.

I don’t hate George Steinbrenner.

He’s obnoxious and a little senile. He fires the elevator
operators and cuts his employees’ dental plan to save money.
He forbids facial hair. And he cried during this year’s home
opener for no apparent reason.

But he really tries to put together the best team possible, so
how can anyone really complain?

The last few years, even though he’s had a team that he
knows will make the playoffs, he’s never been satisfied. Some
of the moves have backfired horribly, but enough have worked.

He’s definitely amusing, and I can’t say I hate
him.

I don’t hate the Yankees’ endless supply of money
that allows them to solve problems with ease.

The fact that the Yankees can have a $200 million dollar payroll
and a team like the Brewers has a payroll that is a fifth of that
is ridiculously pathetic, but it’s the way Major League
Baseball works. The fact that the lack of a salary cap benefits the
Yankees more than all other teams combined is just the way the
cookie crumbles.

I don’t hate Yankee Stadium.

Have you seen Shea Stadium?

Just about out of ideas, it was at that point I remembered
seeing a car in the Daily’s parking lot with a huge Yankees
sticker on the front hood. I don’t know whose car it is, but
every time I see it, I want to smash the car with a bat.

That’s it! I hate Yankees fans.

Yeah, that’s it. I hate all of them. The diehards. The
phony, bandwagon ones who pop up in October. The old, crusty ones
who remember DiMaggio and Mantle. The young ones who wear Yankees
hats in colors like sky blue, red and orange (remember those?). I
hate Billy Crystal and Rudy Giuliani (the Yankee fan, not the
person), too.

Being a Mets fan is far from easy. They’re in the same
city as the Yankees, who have made the playoffs 10 straight years,
and in the same division as the Braves, who have a streak running
at 13. But while the Braves have no fans, everyone pretends to be
Yankees fans. Among people under 25 in the New York area, I
estimate Yankees fans outnumber Mets fans 5-to-1.

Yankees fans pay no attention to baseball until October, because
they know they’ll make the playoffs. Somehow, they think they
deserve to win the World Series.

They even complain that they haven’t won a World Series in
four years, when teams like the Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs have
been waiting for a combined 200-plus years.

They think they’re clever with chants like
“1918,” shirts that say “Who’s your
daddy?” and chants of players’ names during the first
inning. But they’re not.

The fans even mess up the actual games, like when Jeffrey Maier
reached over the fence to give Jeter a home run in 1996 against
Baltimore. Sorry to bring that up, Orioles fans.

The point is, they’re everywhere. And if the team
wasn’t good, they wouldn’t give a damn. I guarantee
it.

The only good thing about Yankees fans is the look on their
faces when they lose during the playoffs.

 

Sharad Mattu is confident the Yankees will lose to the Red
Sox. The time, simply put, has come. He doesn’t care about
game one. He can be reached at
“mailto:smattu@umich.edu”>smattu@umich.edu.

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