As I’ve said on many occasions, I don’t hate the Yankees. Really, I don’t. (No really! SHUT UP!). But they perpetuate a certain kind of Mystical Bullshit about themselves that the sports press force feeds to its readers, which makes me want to hate them.
When the Yankees reach the pinnacle of the baseball world, as they did last night, the sportswriter hackery goes into overdrive. Grown men turn a baseball game into Harry Potter fanfic. One of the great thing about baseball is that it turns adults into little kids again. That’s fun when you’re talking about fans. But as we’ve seen before, that feeling shouldn’t be invoked in self-proclaimed journalists.
So let’s take a tour of the NY papers today, shall we? How about the staid New York Times. Surely they will have some sense of restraint, like in this fan piece by Ken Belson:
Elijah McNally started rooting for the Yankees in 2004, when he was 6 years old. Back then, the Yankees were only a year removed from a World Series appearance, and another championship seemed just around the corner.
Since then, Elijah had known nothing but seasons that ended with the Yankees falling short of winning a 27th World Series championship. On Wednesday night, he and his father, Chris, secured two seats in the right-field bleachers to see the Yankees end that dry spell.
“I’ve lived too long hearing that the Yankees got eliminated,” said Elijah, who stood in the bleachers in an Alex Rodriguez jersey trying to get players to toss him a ball during batting practice.
Thanks to this piece, I think I am now legally cleared to smack an 11 year old.
To be fair, the Times also has one of the few pieces that dares to call out fans on their A-Rod flip-floppery, by William C. Rhoden: “With a World Series title, A-Rod will receive richly deserved adulation and praise. The fans who jeered, who called him A-Fraud, who
wanted him run out of town, now toss laurel wreaths his way. Makes you wonder who the real phonies are.”
But if the Times acts like this, you can just imagine how the tabloids are treating the news. Amazingly, the Post is not as ridiculous as you’d think, considering its earlier Photoshop work. There are, of course, talk about an “elusive” 27th title by Joel Sherman, and a piece on A-Rod by Mark Hale that glosses over the whole steroid thing.
No, for true batshittery, you have to go to the Daily News. For it is there that Simon Weichselbaum collects quotes from “psychiatrists” whose advice consists entirely of insults to Philly fans. Matt Gagne relates A.J. Burnett’s postgame “cream pie” adventures. (Glad to see Burnett made himself useful for something in this series.) There’s Filip Bondy’s report from The Bleacher Creatures (biggest bunch of mutants on the planet) and their declarations of “fifteen more years of domination!” (Try one for starters, see how that works out.)
And Joanna Molloy says that NYC “needed” the Yanks to win it all:
Ordinary New Yorkers needed to see the Yankees keep their act together, and hang tough day after day, because that is what people have been doing all over the city, all across this tough, tough year….
New Yorkers have just kept going. Feeding the kids, squeezing onto rush-hour subways, putting in long hours. Just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Ordinary heroes, their character only getting stronger.
And we saw the Yankees do the same. And we identified with these men in pinstripes.
Yes, this ragtag group of misfits are just like us regular New Yorkers! So plucky! Fighting and srapping with nothing but grit and determination! Plus a $200+ million payroll and a brand new state-of-the-art billion dollar stadium! What a testament to our city’s spirit!
And what of Derek Jeter? Oh won’t somebody please think of Derek Jeter! Sean Brennan, tell us how much this means to him!
It had been nine long seasons. Nine campaigns without experiencing baseball’s ultimate victory, without a parade through the Canyon of Heroes, without being the last team
standing at the end of the season.
After four championship rings in his first five seasons, Derek Jeter had to wonder if the success he enjoyed early in his career would ever come around again.
“With only four World Series rings, piles of money, and tons of beautiful women around him, how could Jeter live with himself unless he won his fifth title?!”
Just 160 days until spring training…