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The New York Yankees have become the "evil empire" of the baseball world, and this book examines the reasons baseball fans have come to hate the Yankees. Is it the fact that they've won so much? Or is it because the team wins simply by outbidding every other team for free agents-and, when those free agents don't pan out, by buying more free agents? Or is it the arrogance of their fans, who act like they are responsible for all Yankees championships dating back to 1923? (Answer: All of the above-and more.) Authors...
The New York Yankees have become the "evil empire" of the baseball world, and this book examines the reasons baseball fans have come to hate the Yankees. Is it the fact that they've won so much? Or is it because the team wins simply by outbidding every other team for free agents-and, when those free agents don't pan out, by buying more free agents? Or is it the arrogance of their fans, who act like they are responsible for all Yankees championships dating back to 1923? (Answer: All of the above-and more.) Authors Kevin O'Connell and Josh Pahigian deconstruct the origins of the so-called "Yankees mystique," discuss reasons to despise the team's overbearing owner, George Steinbrenner, and examine why the Yankees are actually bad for baseball. The tongue-in-cheek narrative is interspersed with revealing quotes from Yankees players, fans, and the media. This is a must read for any Yankees hater-or any Yankees fan wondering why his or her team is so hated!
O'Connell and Pahigian are also the authors of The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip.
"George Steinbrenner is the center of evil in the universe." ~ Ben Affleck
"One's a born liar, and the other's been convicted." ~ Billy Martin, on Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner
"After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that." ~ Reggie Jackson
"This is my 24th year of doing this, and the Yankees' payroll has been 'dangerously high' 24 of 24. They've been the Goliath of the game, and I don't expect their position to change." ~ Scott Boras, player agent
"I wasn't trying to turn around the outcome of the game. I was just trying to get a ball. I'm starting to understand what it did. It struck me this morning when I woke up. Wow! I may have really helped the Yankees win." ~ Jeffrey Maier, a 12-year old fan who interfered with a fly ball hit by Derek Jeter in a 1996 ALDS game against the Orioles, turning a fly ball out out into a home run.
"I thought it was the ball." ~ Roger Clemens, after throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series.
"Is it me, or was the last home-grown prospect to stick in the Yankees' locker room Jason Giambi's and Kevin Brown's intestinal parasite?" ~ Bill Scheft, Sports Illustrated
To understand how out of whack things have become, consider the 2004 season during which the Yankees spent $184 million on player salaries. The next closest payroll belonged to the Red Sox at $125 million, followed by the Angels at $101 million. After that, the figures fell off dramatically, with the mean payroll of the average major league team settling at $63 million, about a third of what the Yankees spent. The bottom five teams on the list-the Marlins, Pirates, Indians, Devil Rays, and Brewers-combined to spend a total of $172 million, still $12 million less than the Yankees.
What's a Detroit Tigers fan to do?
In 1974, Steinbrenner found himself in hot water when it was revealed by federal prosecutors that he was being investigated for his role in the Watergate scandal. Steinbrenner eventually pled guilty in federal court to charges of making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon, and of obstructing justice. He was given a $15,000 fine, which amounted to a slap on the wrist. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn made a strong statement that there was no room in baseball for illegal, immoral characters when he handed Steinbrenner a two-year suspension from the game. The ban prevented the Yankee boss from attending major league games and from participating in the operations of his team...Finally on March 1, 1976, Kuhn commuted Steinbrenner's sentence, allowing him to return to the game after a 16-month hiatus. Columnist Red Smith continued to refer to the Yankee owner as "convicted felon George Steinbrenner" in the New York Times. Amidst a public dispute with Yankee slugger Dave Winfield in the 1980s, Steinbrenner paid $40,000 to Howard Spira, a renowned gambler from the Bronx, to fabricate incriminating evidence against Winfield. In 1990 Commissioner Fay Vincent handed Steinbrenner a "lifetime ban" from baseball. When it was announced during a game at Yankee Stadium that Steinbrenner's involvement with the team was essentially finished, the fans in attendance responded with a 90-second standing ovation. But in 1993 Vincent inexplicably allowed Steinbrenner to resume his previous post at the Yankees helm. Talk about second and third chances...and we thought MLB's drug policy was lax. (Insert your own Steve Howe joke here.)
|1||Yankee Baseball, Yankee Business||3|
|2||Family Ties: One Family's Contentious Baseball History||19|
|3||George Steinbrenner: The Man, The Myth, The Felon||25|
|5||Over-Played, Over-Hyped, Overrated||41|
|6||Film Review: Damn Yankees||55|
|7||Yankee Fans-Just What Makes 'em Tick||63|
|8||The Sad Case of Mr. Salvo||79|
|9||Yankee Pride, Yankee Arrogance||85|
|10||No Day at the Ballpark||101|
|11||The Axis of Baseball Evil-It Wasn't Always This Way||107|
|12||The Yankees Always Get You in the End||121|
|13||The Yankee Mystique-The Mystery Unraveled||127|
|14||Into the Heart of Darkness||141|
|16||The Greedy Glutton's Curse||169|
|17||An Open Latter to Yankee Fans||177|
|18||An Open Letter to George Steinbrenner||191|
|About the Authors||207|