I was actually in a bit of a quandary about the Yankees this weekend. If they beat Cleveland it would set up another series with the Red Sox which, as a sports fan, is about as good a series as you can get without your own teams involved. I would've been forced to watch every game simply out of my obligation as a sports fan to watch any sporting event of a certain order of magnitude. Plus, New York is a true baseball city (much more than any other sport), and it would have seeped into every conversation (and been on every TV in every bar) for weeks. Exciting, eh?
Still, after doing some cost-benefit analysis, I decided that (assuming I had the power to control these things) I would rather have a less interesting baseball series between the Red Sox and Indians than take the risk that the Yankees could beat the Red Sox and go on to win the world series. In other words, I'd rather sacrifice any pleasure I'd receive from a great, even classic, series than live in a potential world in which the Yankees are World Series champions. Yup, I hate them that much. Feel free to shake your head in wonderment and disgust, non-sports fans.
Why, you ask, do I hate the Yankees so much? Well, there really are about hundred things about them that drive me crazy, but I'll just list a couple and point you to things like this and this if you're actually interested in all the reasons. My biggest problems are these:
- They have so much more money than everyone else that they outspend everyone (save the Red Sox) by 100-150 million dollars. Who cares about things like chemistry when you can just keep buying bigger and bigger collections of talent? The fact that this strategy has backfired the last seven years still doesn't make me feel any better about this. This strategy leads teams like the Royals and the Devil Rays to basically give up, unable to compete the with talent the Yankees can pay (and grossly overpay) for and thus content to sit back, collect their revenue sharing checks, and trade away they're best players once they're do for a raise and contract extension.
- They dominate the television coverage so much that you could reasonably think that there were only about 5 teams in the league. Did anyone else out there know that there was a National League as well? It's true, apparently. I don't actually know the teams or who plays on them, but I can certainly tell you everything you want to know about Yankee coach Joe Torre's job statue.
- When they lose, we all have to lose. Now that the Yankees out of the playoffs, we get to spend a week hearing about how bad this will be for ratings and how Madison Avenue is praying for anything but a Cleveland-Colorado World Series (because their television markets aren't big enough). Somehow, we hear about this every year when New York teams aren't involved, yet I don't know any sports fan that cares, in the slightest, about ratings. I'll admit, though, that when I was a kid I remember it seemed kind of shameful, like I should be embarrassed that the Detroit television market wasn't big enough. Honestly, it doesn't matter. I don't own stock in the Fox Network, what do I care if they get a good return on their investment? You never hear this kind of talk about the NFL, because there is enough financial parity that one or two teams can never dominate the sport (and thus the coverage) the way that the Yankees have done most of the past 12 years.