Friday, March 16, 2012

Yankee Fan Stereotype

Being a Yankees fan isn't as easy as one would think.  Now, before you respond to that opening sentence with expletives, hear me out.

No matter where you go, no matter what you stand for, if someone hears that you're a fan of the New York Yankees, you are automatically assumed to be, well a -insert insult here-.  In some cases, that insult is rightly earned.  I know a ton of people that want the Yankees to acquire a superstar player at every given choice.  When it comes to some of them, they won't be satisfied until the #5 starter is Josh Johnson and the backup outfielder is Matt Kemp.  Yup, some Yankee fans are extremely spoiled and intolerable to the point that they resemble Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.  Some of them want that Oompa Loompa now & he had better be a five-tool stud who's off day is going 2-for-4 at the plate. 

Those types of fans disgust me & almost make me feel obligated to apologize on behalf of the New York Yankees fan base.  Not every single fan is like that though, certainly not to the point where other fans should approach total strangers and start belittling them at random.  I can't even begin to get into the amount of times that some Joe Schmo has given me crap because of the stereotypical attitude displayed by what they feel is representative of all Yankees fans.  There are stereotypes everywhere with all fan bases but being a snob and that the World Series is their birth right, is an unfortunate stereotype that Yankee fans deal with.  From people that I work with to people I meet at the local bar, from Baltimore and Boston to San Francisco, I've heard it all and it is exhausting.  I've even had my chops busted at a small pub in Rome.  That completely threw me off because who would expect that?

Some of you may not want to believe it, but there are large amounts of Yankee fans out there that don't subscribe to the "World Series or Bust" mantra.  You are only familiar with the type of fan that ESPN broadcasts to increase their ratings.  There are tons out there like me who preach patience and develop from within as the proper way to go.  If there is a legit stud on the open market that fills a pressing need, then yeah go ahead & lock that guy up.  C.C. Sabathia is a shining example of a necessary big money signing to fill a dire need but Mark Teixeira was not.  That signing was overkill and now the Yankees are once again saddled with a huge, long term contract at top dollar.  Yeah it fed a short term need in the 2009 World Series but the last two seasons, he's been underwhelming to put it nicely considering the contract he was signed to.  He was signed to be elite for a long time, not just an all or nothing home run hitter with a nice glove at first base.  Contrary to popular belief, there are fans that do think about the long term success of the Yankees and think the "What have you done for me lately?" attitude is dated and inaccurate. Also, it's going to make you look stupid if that's your opinion.  Everyone has an opinion but if that is yours....yeah, then it really is stupid. 

I'm not a Homer.  I don't feel that the Yankees should be a strictly home grown team.  They should make trades and free agent signings that fill needs.  What they shouldn't do is acquire a player just because he's elite & on the market.  If they truly need that player, like I said, go out and get him.  If not, let him be someone else's albatross of a contract.  The system is deep and there are impact players there at every position.  From starting pitcher to any infield position to the relievers, the system is stacked.  The quick fix high salary star should not be the initial thought for the Steinbrenner brothers.  But the point of this post is that fans throughout baseball need to realize that there are Yankee fans out there that don't want the top dollar mercenary by any means necessary.  Not all of us are going to stomp our feet because the Yankees didn't win the World Series.  Show me progress of young talent on the ML roster and of impact prospects in the minor league system and I am content.  I will mark out over a World Series title like a teenager at a Jonas Brothers concert though, don't get me wrong.  I detest that "World Series or Bust" attitude and I always will.

If you're going to approach a Yankees fan blindly thinking something negative, there's an excellent chance that you will look foolish for that assumption by the end of the conversation.


Twitter: @trevwolff

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