Caple on Yanks-Sox
Jim Caple’s got a book out on the Yankees (which appears to be about why they’re both vile and a required part of the game), and there’s an excerpt up on ESPN.com worth reading.
I’m not sure it needs a book, as Caple nails the fandom part in one sentence:
Yankees fans not only think their team is the greatest in the history of sports, they consider themselves to be the most knowledgeable, the most loyal and the most supportive fans in the history of the game. They refuse to acknowledge that fans in other cities love baseball and the local team as much as they do.
There are smart, witty Yankees fans — like Steve Goldman, for instance, author of the Pinstriped Bible, who I highly recommend as a fine writer and quality dude.
But as a whole, I’ve found this to be true. I’ve met a lot of Yankee fans, and this is exactly the thing that makes me want to drag them off into the wilderness and hack them up with an axe.
With Red Sox fans, it was always the belligerent “our suffering is better than your suffering” attitude.
And I can support Caple’s jokes about getting hate mail from Yankee fans. In my own experience, writing for any mainstream outlet and saying anything about any Yankee that isn’t glowing will chew up your email quota before your horrified eyes instants after it goes out.
Really — I wrote something about Chuck Knoblauch’s play in left field that said he wasn’t “good”. People wrote me hate mail.
The problem, though, is that I always feel a little bad when I say stuff like this. Is there something about Yankee fandom that inspires this? Is this a defensive reaction to constant attacks for being a fan of the richest, most successful franchise in baseball? Is it a New York thing I’m never going to understand?
Or is it simply a population issue — because there are so many Yankee fans, does the vocal minority of jerks every team carries mean that there are too many of those jerks, and they’re out reinforcing each other?
I don’t know.
And, as a stickler for this kind of stuff, I want to point out that from the page — “No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.”
Um, claiming that’s the case won’t make it true. Fair use, kids, let’s all play nicely.