This series takes a look at all 10 MLB teams to qualify for the postseason. We'll give them a ranking on a scale of 1-to-10 (1 being the Yankees, 10 being the Mets) to determine who best deserves Mets fans' casual support in the playoffs this year.
The Case: Well, here’s an annoying plot twist.
The New York Yankees are…likable?
Don’t get me wrong, the Yankees organization is a microcosm of the worst parts of society. Their self-important, grandiose attitude is absolutely nauseating. Yankees Stadium is an overbuilt monstrosity that makes a mausoleum look inviting. The fact that George Steinbrenner (a man who was banned from the game for paying a gambler to dig up dirt on one of his own players) is revered by this franchise is as good of an indicator as any that these people have their priorities out of place. But then there’s the unsettling reality that this team of young upstarts and veteran mainstays is just a cool ass baseball team.
Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro, seen above doing an endearing spoof of Step Brothers, are a dynamic middle of the infield. Everyone, and I mean everyone – Yankees fans included – thought Gregorius would fall flat on his face taking over for Derek Jeter. But in his three seasons with the Yankees, he’s been worth 9.3 WAR. Jeter was worth 11 WAR….from 2009-to-2014. Basically, Didi has been almost as valuable to the Yankees in 444 games as Jeter was in his final 762.
Aaron Judge is a monster. Seriously, it’s pretty hard to hate a dude that hits home runs like this on the regular:
And if all the young stars, like Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, weren’t enough, they went and got Todd Frazier, all around good dude. He, of course, is the one that turned a Mets fan’s displeasure into a meme, and made it a rallying cry for the ’17 season. Damn it.
Why to Hate Them: Okay, coming back down to Earth: No matter how endearing the players wearing the uniforms are, the Yankees brand is the worst thing in sports. Leading this insufferable charge is their sad sack of mouth-breathing fans.
Since they can no longer scream, “JEE-TAAAA” at the top of their lungs, they’ve spiced things up by leaping out of their seats every time Judge hits a fly ball…literally anywhere. Seriously. If you were at Citi Field for the Subway Series, you saw the collection of fans with the worst depth perception in human existence.
“OOOOOH, DER IS GOES,” they scream, as the ball settles into Amed Rosario’s glove two steps shy of the outfield grass. At least their judgement is as good as their radio broadcaster’s.
When you play for the Yankees, it's practically a requirement that you bow down at the altar of the pinstripes. So, of course, when Players Weekend was announced, and the Yankees were – GASP – going to be outfitted in clown suits like the rest of Major League Baseball, you were just waiting for someone to step into the role of curmudgeon. Enter Brett Gardner.
“I tried to go no name at all and keep it original. But they made me put something,” Gardner said. “I figured I never had my name on the back of my jersey before, so instead of putting a freakin’ nickname, I put my name on there. [Having tno name] apparently is not allowed.”
Oh, no. You poor thing! It sounds like a dark time for you, Brett. We’re all here for you in your time of need.
This is true: Ask Yankees fans about their broadcasters. They hate them. One of my best friends listens to Mets/Yankees games on WOR just for Howie Rose. When we used to go out in the summer and we were in his car, he’d throw on the Yankees broadcast and he’d count the seconds of dead air before Sterling and Waldman decided to grace us with the ear-piercing voices again.
And Michael Kay, he of the, “I hope Mets fans choke on their own bile,” fame, just can’t help himself. Look, I don’t mind that the guy grew up rooting for the Yankees, and he obviously enjoys it when his boyhood team and his current employer are doing well. But Kay wears a lot of hats – TV voice of the most valuable sports franchise in the world, interviewer of the stars on Center Stage, talk radio host. He needs to find a way not to be such an uppity jackwaggon at every given chance.
Rating: 1/10. They may not be the dynasty-era, or even the A-Rod years, Yankees that were so easy to hate. This team in literally any other uniform might lead the field. But c’mon: They’re still the Yankees. Don’t pull the, “I just am pulling for New York” thing. Remember, “Mets fans for Yankees”? See where it got that guy...
It's not often a home team does something like this for visitors, and we tip our caps to them. Great gesture by the Nationals.