I’ve never been a big New York Yankee fan. I was never a hater, just not a big booster. I think professional appreciator might be the most apt description. There is a faction who bemoans what Steinbrenner has allegedly done to the game. The game was more at fault in my eyes. Some of the true hardcores get a little over zealous in the off years, but I think the bulk of the Steinbrenner griping comes from fans of other teams whose best guys wind up in the Bronx.
That is an easy thing to understand. The Yankees are iconic. When they do well, baseball does well. Interest and ratings both ramp up. It’s the same reason the Cowboys are regularly on prime time, even if you aren’t a fan, you sort of want to see what is going on.
I do remember going to a Blue Jays game solely because the Yankees were coming to town. Everybody gets a little too cranked up at times. I enjoyed the Yankees in their 90s run as they were an actual good team. Sure, George has deeper pockets than most, but they were spent right in those years and this year’s as well. When Johnny Damon took third the other night, it might have been one of the smart moves I’ve seen in the field of all season.
The games despite whatever else could be construed as being wrong with the spectacle (poor umpiring, late starts) were really great baseball, right on down to Hidecki Matsui showing Pedro Martinez who his daddy really is. The Phillies are a great team, but there was something about Chase Utley’s slick backed hair that preventing me from liking them, or maybe it was Ryan Howard swinging in the breeze like a broken shutter. And the cool part was seeing what a good TEAM the Yankees were. I know Matsui is probably gone and Damon is more likely to DH than field next year, but when they win, it’s good for baseball. Happily it was also good baseball.