It’s fitting that you can apply a certain mobster mentality to a New York sports team. The Yankees have always been run in a similar manner, not as much since Don Steinbrenner passed, but the reputation that comes with being a Yankee is like a mafia badge of honor.
With most other organizations, you’re a member the minute you set foot in the clubhouse. That’s fine and that’s the way it really should be. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way when dealing with the Yankee fan base. You have to EARN those stripes; simply wearing them doesn’t mean a thing. When you earn the respect of the fans, you become a ‘made’ man, a true Yankee.
The problem with this generation is the Yankees Universe has gone from a neighborhood of friends to a subdivision of paint-by-number houses all divided by oversized picket fences. The ‘mom and pop’ fans that shook the old building have been overrun by an upper class of ‘fan’ likened to a strip mall. To find the heart and soul of the Universe, step into the living rooms of the folks who live and die with the team each night. They are the ones that represent the greatest and strongest family in sports.
Being a Yankee fan isn’t as easy as it seems to other fans. Yes, we’ve been spoiled the last 20 or so years with playoff team after playoff team and more rings than most organizations have had in their entire history. We have the burden (for lack of a better phrase) of rooting for a wealthy franchise that can easily replace or repair any flaws that show up. Yankees Universe is plagued with juxtaposing love/hate not seen in any other professional sport. The Yankees hog the spotlight and we do what everyone else wants to- we win.
The Yankees also have the pleasure of being labeled as cheaters. The Mitchell Report rocked baseball and ruined the reputation of the last Yankee dynasty, just another brick in the wall between the fans and the haters. Yankee fans at times feel they have so much explaining to do that any other controversy that arises seems to further balance out the pain and pleasure of rooting for the Bombers. Never mind the fact that it has started to become the norm for the media to jump all over ANY story that may negatively impact the Yankees.
This is why its time to ‘whack’ Alex Rodriguez.
Enough is enough with this guy. He’s been labeled as a cheater and no matter where he goes the ‘steroids’ chant follows him. His personal escapades, like the ‘baseball message’ incident, make for pinstripe-tarnishing back page fodder.
His goofball “Hi Mom” into the TBS cameras on Tuesday give fans no reason to believe he’s anything other than a perpetual teenager. Show us a little anger A-Rod. Show us that you actually care that you aren’t hitting for spit and WANT to be in the lineup. Don’t wander the dugout having water cooler conversations with other teammates. Stand up at the fence or at the top of the dugout steps like there is some invisible force field preventing you from running out and tossing Eric Chavez off third base.
But that’s not who A-Rod is or will ever be.
Its time for the bosses to have a meeting, if they haven’t already. Time to dig a hole and take out the trash.
Yes, A-Rod had his epic 2009 postseason but in a sport of “what have you done for me lately”, it’s meaningless now. His numbers have been slipping, he’s getting injured more, and…well, just look at him this month.
I will make the assertion that October 2012 is not all his fault. Robinson Cano, who has plenty left in the tank, should be public enemy number one. Curtis Granderson is the epitome of out of sight, out of mind. Nick Swisher, resident frat boy of the Yankee fraternity, has already signed his New York death certificate by taking on fans (the Bleacher Creatures no less).
Regardless, we are tired of sticking up for A-Rod. Tired of making excuses for him. Tired of hearing how much of a cheater he is which, by some form of distorted fan logic, means the rest of the team is too.
The road to bringing respect back to the greatest franchise in baseball starts by eliminating A-Rod.
For our own good, and his.
“Look…why take a chance? At least, that’s the way I feel about it.”
Remo Gaggi- Casino