Just Saying, Is All… | Why America Loves To Hate the New York Yankees

April 1, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Thank heaven for durable hegemons.

The New York Yankees are terrible for Major League Baseball’s competitive balance. They’re also great for Major League Baseball’s television ratings. On the eve of the 2010 season, the Bronx Bombers look primed for yet another run at the World Series—which would be worse news if it weren’t so much fun to root against them in their pursuit.

Comity means getting along with your rivals.

Conflict, on the other hand, means getting in touch with your roots.

I’m not suggesting that our collective Yankee hatred is entirely becoming. There’s a close kinship between antagonism and envy, and we certainly wouldn’t resent the Yanks like we do if they hadn’t spent the last century beating our favorite clubs. But resentful brotherhood is better than no brotherhood at all. In a league where money so often buys championships, the most valuable bonds are those which unite the have-nots against the haves.

White is white because it isn’t gray.

We is We because it isn’t They.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from the example of diehard Yankee denouncers, it’s simply that contrast can brighten even the dreariest shade of being.

Rancor makes the baseball world go ‘round. Jealous scorn, jeering snarls, the “Jeter Sucks” shirts for sale at Fenway Park—they’re essential elements of fanaticism, no less fundamental to the game than peanuts and Cracker Jack. The reason, of course, is that affection for the home team necessarily implies disdain for the visitors. Idealists will argue that we’re most honorable when we merely cheer our boys in victory. I’d counter that we’re most honest when we also boo those other bastards in defeat.

It’s good to stand apart from your foes.

It’s better to stand together with your friends.

The Yankees may not earn respect by purchasing their pennants, but they at least deserve gratitude for focusing our fury.

Identity is an act of opposition. What you are depends on what you’re for; what you’re for is defined by what you’re against. America loves to hate the New York Yankees because hating the New York Yankees draws us nearer to each other, and brings us closer to ourselves. Every nation needs an existential enemy it can rely on. The one that won the Cold War will have to settle for the only Evil Empire still worthy of its trust.


Ronald Reagan wasn’t a Boston Red Sox fan, but he did know a thing or two about the utility of formidable adversaries:

I believe that Steinbrennerism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave the most talented free agents.

Which is the strongest statement ever made in support of power-hungry tyrants.

Because the righteous are born to rail against the wicked, and any man who praises his own virtue without damning someone else’s vice is either predicting the end of history or only just saying, is all…

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