full life

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Apropos of nothing, one of the partners in my office just went on an anti-Boston rant that culminated in calling Boston "Newark on Cape Cod". (Side note - and this is very, very cool: he also just showed me a photograph of Ted Williams and his ex-wife, as a little girl, holding the bat that Ted Williams hit his 500th home run with - apparently this photo is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.)
you're taking this pretty hard, huh?
sorry, man. but at least now you know what it's like to be a sox fan:

also, i have a question. now, i can understand how some people can be yankee fans (i guess, because who doesn't like winning and doing it often?), but do you really like and repsect most of those players? i mean, bernie williams is the man. and matsui is a fucking machine. but other than that, c'mon. a-rod and jeter are those kids from high school that i hated because they would cry whenever they lost a game. sheffield is a dick. and posada and olerud? rednecks. now, i realize how upset you are about this, and i really don't mean to fan the flames, but its really something i've been wondering about a lot. do you really like those guys?

(i swear this is an honest question.)
I'm dealing with it. I have congratulated my Red Sox friends, and given a ton of shit to Yankee-haters who aren't Red Sox fans; anyone can hate the Yankees, but I'm not going to congratulate/debate with those people today.

As for the personnel: well, look. I've been a Yankee fan my whole life, which was tough growing up in a Mets/anti-Yankee house. I love my team, and anyone who's on it gets the benefit of the doubt in my book. What am I supposed to do, NOT root for my team just because we have a few assholes? I hated Clemens before he was a Yankee, but when he put on the pinstripes, am I supposed to boo him?

That said:

The core Yankees, from the 96-2000 era, will always be my boys. Jeter, Bernie, Mariano (and Posada, although I've heard that he's a dick in real life) are unimpeachable. Matsui is the first real left fielder the Yankees have had in about 12 years, and I love him. Sheff carried the team on his BROKEN SHOULDERS all year - he was the least diva-like superstar on the team and he played his balls off the whole season. This year, the only guy I could never get behind was Kevin Brown - he's an insufferable prick.

I find it interesting/amusing that you keep bringing up A-Rod... if I remember correctly, he was supposed to be on your team this winter. I was perfectly happy to have a healthy and adjusted Aaron Boone - whom, before getting traded to the Yanks, was KILLING the NL. Call A-Rod a bitch, whatever, he was very nearly your shortstop and everyone in Boston was REJOICING at the thought of A-Rod replacing your own beloved Nomar.
Now Jervo...

Regarding A-Rod: yes, the Red Sox did try to acquire him, and in the end they determined that it wasn't feasible. But for the Yankees to then go and get him, it was greed and antagonistic behavior. It was "in your face, Red Sox" and nothing else. And you have to realize that. So yes the Red Sox went for him first, but the Yankees getting him was nothing but reactive behavior, and it backfired.
Was it really that it wasn't feasible, or was it actually that the union ruled that A-Rod couldn't lessen the value of his contract? I mean, EVERYONE was trying to get that deal done - even Bud Selig. And had Aaron Boone not broken his leg and left a gaping hole at 3rd base, A-Rod would never have appeared on the Yankee roster at all. George making that deal happen was incredibly greedy and antognistic, true, but to be fair, we DID need someone to play 3rd.

A-rod isn't why the Yanks lost, though. The Yanks lost because: (a) Boston won; (b) Kevin Brown sucked; (c) David Ortiz is a manimal; (d) Javier Vasquez, in Chinese, translates into "Jeff Weaver"; (e) Curt Schilling pitched one of the gutsiest games of all time. This series had waaaaaay more to it than one player.

This offseason should be VERY entertaining, to put it mildly.

there's no denying that the yankees are an amazing team. they play hard and they play well. however, what i was getting at is more of a personality/charisma thing. the yankees have very little of it, i feel. they have no character. no chutzpah.

now, i hate to compare them to the sox (because this really isn't about sox vs. yankees), alas the sox are all i know, so here goes:
here you have a oddball team of strange, hairy, men who, as it was put so well, are "idiots" for the game. these dirty rag-taggers struggle behind the yanks all year (again!), only to end up in to the world series following the greatest comeback in sports history. ok, this is no longer just a sport. this is the best reality television there is. this is a film. this is the bad news bears go to fucking japan. and who stars in this film? johnny "jesus" damon. curt "the hero" schilling. david "HOLY FUCKING SHREK" ortiz. pedro "what the fuck?" martinez. kevin "i've got to be gay" millar. manny "i smoke a lot of pot" ramirez. i mean, the list goes on and on (i'll spare you). these are characters who grab your heart and don't let go. they pull you along for the ride. this is the fucking sandlot. this is the best film of all time. and if they lose the world series, then it becomes the first bad news bears movie. what do they care? look where they've gotten themselves. they couldn't be happier.

and i just don't see the yankees this way. like i said, no character. kenny "fast" lofton? tony "i look old" clark? john "obvious joke" olerud? miguel "miguel" cairo? if they had won, alright. they would have beaten houston (!) in 5. fine. not much of a movie. but the sox? well, we all know its gonna go to game 7. and then it'll be bad news bears or rookie of the year. either way, its gonna be awesome.

and growing up a yankees fan, OF COURSE you're gonna always love them. i'm not expecting you not to. but just realize that (at this point) you love nostalgia and winning, and not the players. unless you do. in which case, forget all this.
It's true, what you say about the difference between the Sox and the Yanks in terms of clubhouse charisma and a loveable cast of characters. And it's true that the way George keeps shuffling stars in and out of the lineup makes it difficult - it's not easy to love mercenaries, which is essentially what they are. (Although, I kinda like Miggy Cario.) The '96-'00 Yankees had a lot more personality and lovability to them - Tino, O'Neill, Boomer Wells, Brosius, El Duque, Coney, even pre-psycho Knoblauch - none of them were superstars, but as a team they were unstoppable and fun to watch. That era was a magical time for Yankee fans, because they won - especially when it counted most - and they were a classy group of guys, and even if they weren't as playful as the recent Sox teams, you could tell they had fun playing together.


You can only love team chemistry so much; eventually they have to win when it counts. I don't root for the players as much as I root for the team. Some of these millionaires have earned their pinstripes by making clutch plays. Giambi's 13th inning walk-off grand slam in 2001 was a heroic moment, for example. Clemens' 15K masterpiece against a 114-win Seattle team. Sheffield earned my respect and admiration this year; he carried the team with clutch hit after clutch hit and was in terrible, agonizing pain the entire season, and watching him waggle that bat, getting ready to MURDERIZE the ball is a sight to behold. These are high-priced guys who hadn't truly earned the fans' trust until they performed. (And the high-priced guys who didn't perform never stick around long enough to redeem themselves - I expect the Yankees to buy out the rest of Kevin Brown's contract by the end of the week, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Giambi let loose, either.)

George isn't interested in anything other than winning. I respect that ethic, even though it sometimes results in terrible, terrible decision-making. I'll never understand the Lofton signing, or why George was so actively interested in Sheffield instead of Vlad. I'll be very sad to see Bernie leave if George signs Beltran. George has also destroyed the Yankee farm system, so there aren't any homegrown rookies to root for and support.

But look - I'm going to root for my team, regardless. And the thing about being a Yankee fan is that you're rooting for the franchise as a whole, and the history, and every Yankee championship is a salute to Ruth and Mantle and DiMaggio and Ford and Berra and Mattingly and Munson etc. et al. As a fan, it goes beyond one season and one group of guys - the "Yankee Mystique" is the 100+ year history of unparalleled greatness.

Yankee fans have been spoiled rotten, but some of us know not to take it for granted.
well said. and that team with o'neill and fatty wells was definitely more likeable than this one. you're right that their hayday really was 96-00.

my only suggestion to george is to let those boys grow some hair if they want. let's face it, hair = flair, and they need at least 37 pieces -- office space style. because man, don mattingly's power was in his 'stache.
you want me to "take care" of these guys for you, jervo? i hear there's space at a vacant lot in queens now...