Let's face it, either you love them or hate them.
Growing up in Queens, I chose to root for the underdog New York Mets and learned to loathe the Yankees. I was rewarded for my loyalty in 1986, when the Mets won the World Series and owned New York. Since then, I've watched the Yankees win five championships, including the 2000 World Series against my beloved team. Furthermore, they've reached the playoffs 17 of the last 18 years. Thus, my disdain for the Bronx Bombers has grown over the years to the point where I am now a proud and unapologetic Yankees hater. And trust me, I have company.
But I have to be honest, a (very) small part of me almost feels sorry for them. The Yankees, who are down two games to none to the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series, have lost captain Derek Jeter to a season-ending broken ankle, employ the highest-paid bench-warmer in the game in Alex Rodriguez and have become a $200 million bust right before our eyes. As Yahoo!'s Kevin Kudak writes, they've become the Atlanta Braves of this decade in terms of playoff failures.
Judging by the empty seats which littered the baseball cathedral in the Bronx for the first two games of the ALCS, it's almost as if the most obnoxious fans in baseball are resigned to another playoff loss. It's as if Raul Ibanez's two-out, game-tying lightning bolt in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 never happened. Perhaps the final blow was Jeter's disheartening injury in extra innings. The guy who has carried the Yankees so many times before had to be carried off the field himself.
I have to admit, I paused when Jeter crumbled to the Yankee Stadium dirt. I may take joy in the Yankees losing, but I take no pleasure in legends like Jeter -- or Mariano Rivera, for that matter --- going down with injuries. I almost feel bad for A-Rod, who in his prime was the greatest baseball player of my generation. He's now a shell of his former greatness. But I stop short of feeling sorry for Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and the rest of the Yankees. And I hope the Tigers feel the same way.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. Adam follows back Mets fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Mets
- Derek Jeter