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.
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