The World According to Keitho

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The dawn of the evil empire

Posted by keithosaunders on October 8, 2010

My Yankee hatred is palpable.  It is a living, breathing organism which shows no signs of receding with age.  I spend the entire season rooting for them to lose every game they play.   I have tracked their magic number for playoff elimination as early as June 1st, and for the past 15 years and I have been disappointed each year, save one.  Once the playoffs begin I calculate how many outs they are from elimination.  Presently they are 81 outs away — unfortunately for me, the effete Minnesota Twins have only 27 remaining. 

I can trace the seeds of my bile back to my late teens when I still lived in Los Angeles.  I saw the Dodgers blow a 2-0 lead in the 1978 World Series, losing the final 4 games in embarrassing fashion.  This on the heels of the ’77 Series when Reggie Jackson famously hit three home runs against three different Dodger pitchers in the final game.

The Brooklyn lore had been passed down from my father, who spent his youth in Flatbush enduring year after year of Yankee domination.  Those “boys of summer” lost to the Yankees in 1941, ’47, ’49, ’52, ‘and ’53, before emerging victorious, thanks to a game saving catch down the left field line by Sandy Amoros in game 7 of the 1955 Series.  

When I moved to New York there was no doubt I would fall on the Mets side of the equation.  The Yankees were a free agent laden team comprised of disparate parts.  Their owner, George Steinbrenner, would change managers yearly, sometimes more than once.  He routinely lambasted his players in the press, sometimes exiling them to the minors for mere fielding errors.  Those mid 1980s teams, although competitive, never had the pitching to get to the post season and by the end of the decade they were mired near the bottom of the 7 team (yet to be realigned) AL East.

 How quaint it seems now to look back on the Stump Merrill era of the early 90s — an era in which I actually experienced a sentiment akin to pity for the hapless Yankee fan.  If I had only known what fate awaited me I might have savored the years when the AL East was dominated by, of all teams, the Toronto Bluejays.  I should have relished my ability to watch the American League playoffs without an iota of stress.  Little did I know that while George Steinbrenner was serving a two-year suspension, GM Gene Michael was using his new-found autonomy to build up the Yankee farm system and to nurture their talented prospects.  Storm clouds in the shape of Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera were ahead, and with them would come the end of my stress-free Octobers and the dawn of the evil empire. 

To be continued…      

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9 Responses to “The dawn of the evil empire”

  1. It’s fun to hate the Yankees, but where would we be without them? Bill

  2. artmodel said

    Our Mets have let us down yet again 😦 I had genuine hopes for this season, but what a disappointment. I share your Yankee hate. They are the “evil empire”! I remember vividly, though, the excitement they generated during the Reggie/Munson/Billy Martin era. I was a kid and I didn’t hate them then, but I have since the 90s. Grrr!

    At least we’ll have a new manager and GM for next season. Personally I’m hoping for Wally Backman. I think he’s just what this team needs now.

    Claudia

    • That’s my Queens homey, Claudia! I’m 3,000 miles away out here in Frisco yet the Braves are still aggravating me. Factor in another Crankee steamrolling of Minnesota and the damn Phillies, and you’ve got the WORST PLAYOFFS EVER!

      • Crankee. That’s cute. We can at least agree on the annoyance quality of the Phillies.

        And really, it’s not “hate” you’re expressing, it’s JEALOUSY. There is a difference. If YOUR team were going for its 28th championship, you’d be pretty happy, I assume. You probably wouldn’t even bother “hating” other teams, because… well, why waste the energy? It’s not about “hate” anyway. It’s about the love of the team that plays the game right, that does the job on both sides of the ball. It’s about the team that plays LIKE A TEAM, that picks each other up and helps each other out. Really, as Keith Hernandez so aptly pointed out, the Mets could learn some things from the way the Phillies play. We’ll see if the lessons they got in 2010 will graduate them to a better result in their next semester.

      • Call it hate or call it jealousy — all that matters to me is that they exit this playoff at the earliest possible juncture, which now is looking like sometime in the next 10 days. To tell you the truth I don’t think Texas will beat them either. It’s going to take a bad-ass pitching team like the Phillies or the Giants. Now that Brian Wilson has shown he’s mortal I’m worried about the Giants chances. Bochy is a classic over-manager. He’s gotten away with it this season because his bullpen has been lights out, but he’s got to let Cain take him deeper into these games.

        Like most Mets fans I don’t care for the Phillies, but let’s face it, they are light years ahead of the Mets. Hopefully with a new GM and manager the Mets will make some better decisions, which for me means pitching, speed, and youth. They should keep the Citi Field fences where they are and organize their team around the Stadium. It’s not called ‘home field advantage’ for nothing.

  3. Glad we were able to help keep your Octobers interesting all this time!

    So, are the Mets going to move the fences of their Ebbets Field impersonation in for next year or what?

    • Welcome Penpusher,

      At least the Mets really needed a new stadium, unlike the Yankees who were already drawing close to 4 million in the house that Ruth built. Then they went ahead and built a carbon copy. It was a testament to the greed of the real estate bubble that they (and the Mets) thought they could charge thousands of dollars to enter that marble palace.

  4. zapple100 said

    I got some die hard Mets fans where I work and I really let them have it. I don’t do it cause The Yankees are so great and The Mets suck. I do it cause it bothers them. The more it bothers them, the more I do it.
    I don’t know why they take it so personal, David Wright don’t pay their rent (lol).
    They try to get on my nerves when The Yanks lose. All I got to say is, “we won enough, time to let somebody else win.” Then they start to cry again.

  5. […] you would think I would grow tired of this situation, but as documented earlier, my pathological Yankee  hatred prevents me from fully enjoying any Series that they are a part […]

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