The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What Kind of Yankee Fan are You?

So the Yankees took round one, but not in a manner in which anyone expected. If anything, it should have started the other way around. Nearly everyone expected Curt Schilling to be dominant and to give the Red Sox the early lead in the series. Apparently the injury to his ankle is more serious than the Red Sox and Schilling let on. He consistently missed his location last night and he simply wasn’t fooling anyone.

Mike Mussina, the Yankees starter, clearly was. While dominance from Mussina isn’t unexpected, sitting down nineteen Red Sox (they of the most potent regular season lineup in the game) in a row is more than impressive.

Adding salt to the wound of the game one loss is the fact that the Red Sox rallied back and had the tying run as close as 90 feet away as late as the eighth inning. Schilling’s poor (and injured induced) performance and Manny Ramirez’s poor outfield play may have sucked the hope out of Beantown fans that the Red Sox might actually win this series this year.

But that doesn’t mean that you should start rooting for the Yankees at this point. ESPN’s Bill Simmons put it best when he said that there are three ways someone becomes a Yankees fan. They are: "A.) they grew up within two hours of Yankee Stadium; B.) they jumped on the bandwagon as a kid because they wanted to be associated with a winner; or C.) they have no soul."

Many of you, particularly those of you who came to the team later in life or simply cannot use either A or B for the reasons of your Yankee love will say that there must be a choice “D” after “C” – which you likely find greatly unappealing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. “C” is really a catch-all and the real reason that you are a Yankees fan. It’s sad but true.

Do you cheer for Goliath versus David? Do you cheer for tax cuts for the rich? When two teams that you aren’t partial to play each other, do you cheer for the underdog or the overwhelming favorite? Cheering for the Yankees is like rooting for the house in blackjack. The Yankees are Goliath, they are the rich. They are the unquestioned, all-time, overwhelming favorite. If you cheer for them and didn’t grow up within a short train ride of the Stadium or if you didn’t grow fond of them as a kid, you have no soul.

Go Red Sox! It’s futile, but you’ve got to root for someone until you have a new team to cheer for against the Yankees in the World Series.


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