September 16, 2010
OK, so you might have let your guard down around people donning Yankees gear when we recently reported that today's gang members are preferring to wear the hats of the Reds and Dodgers.
Still, you should apparently consider the threat level of those rocking the interlocking NY — a logo designed by Tiffany & Co.! — to be at its regular high.
That's because the noted fear-mongering paper of record (the New York Times!) has an article in Thursday's edition that insinuates it's maybe a good idea to put your wallet in your front pocket when someone wearing a Yankees cap comes walking by.
So suggests the paper!
Since 2000, more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or arraignment. The tally is based on a review of New York Police Department news releases, surveillance video and images of robberies and other crimes, as well as police sketches and newspaper articles that described suspects' clothing. No other sports team comes close.
Now, far be it from me to ask someone a question I'm often asked myself, but why is this news? Over the past 15-20 years, the New York Yankees cap has arguably become the most ubiquitous sportswear item that's worn on an everyday basis, even by people who couldn't tell Alex Rodriguez(notes) from Curtis Granderson(notes). That applies even more so in the actual Big Apple itself. The NYT should have just went ahead and seen if these criminals were also wearing things that are just as common. Like socks or hooded sweatshirts or Levi jeans or whatever.
Yeah, people probably do a lot of bad things while wearing a Yankees cap, but there are others who are holding doors open for old ladies, giving up their seats to pregnant women on the subway and paying their taxes on time. What I'm saying is 100 criminals out of a million hats sold is rather negligible. (Sample size, people! Sample size!)
That's not to say that I don't enjoy pointing out when there's a piece of Yankees gear involved in a publicized crime. There was the guy who wore a Yankees hat to one heist, then a Red Sox one to another. That guy who dressed up like Darth Vader and robbed that bank in Long Island? He was wearing a Yankees backpack.
And lest we forget the shadiest character of all: The man who destroyed all of Cleveland.
Anyway, I'm not sure what we're supposed to take away from that NYT article I linked above. I think it was to stock up on mace before heading to Yankee Stadium for the playoffs, but I think I'm going to be just fine. We're all going to be just fine.