Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The #21 debate, irrational Yankee fans, and how I became an elitist

In the news today comes word that LaTroy Hawkins has bowed to the fans' wishes and will stop honoring Roberto Clemente and switch to #22. Of course, this only became an issue when fans began to boo Hawkins for wearing "Paul O'Neill's" #21.

What seems to be getting buried in this story is that Hawkins has stopped wearing the number due to the urging of Yankee veteran leaders such as Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.
"I figure if it's important enough for Jeter and Mariano and some other veterans to ask me about it, it's not worth it to keep wearing the number," Hawkins said.
My first reaction to reading this quote was anger at the supposed veteran leaders on the team. I have long been against the late 90's Yankee nostalgia of the fans (as you have read many times on this blog), and now it appears that our heroes who are left over from those teams are displaying the same irrational nostalgic feelings.

Then I thought a little more and realized that Mo and Jete very well could have told LaTroy:

"LaTroy, you are an awesome dude and don't deserve to be booed. These fans in NY are mostly idiots. Just switch your number, strike out Manny tomorrow night in a big spot, and the fans will love you forever - they are that fickle and stupid".

Then I came to the striking realization that I have somehow become an elitist Yankee fan. I really never wanted this to happen, but I am afraid it has. Attending so many games as a season ticket holder and witnessing the booing of A-Rod, the ridiculous things people say at the games and now the booing of LaTroy Hawkins have done the trick. I guess a lot of this can be attributed to maturing as an adult and reading more sophisticated baseball materials than the typical beat writer/columnist drivel.

I'm not going to apologize for the way I am. Instead, I encourage all of the Yankee fans reading this blog to drop your inky newspaper and read some objective baseball materials every now and again. For starters, if you are an internet guy, check out The Hardball Times and Baseball Prospectus and branch out from there. If you like to have a book in your hands, check out Bill James' Handbook or Baseball Prospectus (the book version). Just stop basing every baseball feeling you have on nostalgia and what you read by some idiot columnist who cans "controversial" articles designed to rile you up.

Oh yea, one last thing - "Take ya hat off". (edit: just realized this is an inside joke and I have never blogged about it. If you want to know what I am talking about, go to a Yankee game and listen to the crowd right before the recorded version of "God Bless America" starts playing. Classic.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums!


Paulie21-4life said...

Depsite having never served in the military, I urge all those at the stadium wearing hats to remove them during God Bless America, as it is a song honoring those who have risked and/or given their lives to protect the liberties most Americans take for granted every day. I don't see why my simple, polite request to make this patriotic gesture has become fodder for any "inside jokes."

kaybli said...

He's not joking about those who have risked their lives protecting us. He's joking bout the guy with the heavy Bronx accent going "Take ya Hat off!" because it sounds funny. Get it?

ian kennedy said...

Dudes, not everyone can get j-ed off in the bullpen during a baseball game like I can. So here's a trick to help you out: Buy a big tub of popcorn, cut a hole in it that roughly matches your own girth. Pop yourself right through it, then convince your female companion that at Yankee Stadium, the best popcorn is at the bottom of the bucket. Then sit back and let the magic happen.

Ross said...

Ian - you are so outlandish.

ian kennedy said...

Just sayin', I shared that little tip with Brian Cashman, and now I'm not playing for the Twins.

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