Thursday, March 11, 2004

A View From The Bean (Vol. 1)

Since MLB and NESN still consider Fairfield County part of New York only, and NOT part of New England, which, in reality, it is, our only option around here is watching the Sox at a bar. I go every once in a while, but as a non-drinker, I'm not always eager to go down there, so I usually Castiglione it. But when I do go to the bar, I go to Billy Bean's. It's actually pretty cool for a bar, a lot more like Cheers--which is what I always thought bars would be like when I was little--than other bars, not because "everyone knows my name", but because, well, you can actually see in there, and the Sox are on (one tv, anyway). My buddy Pat, who I've known since Rich Gedman was a rookie, frequents the Bean a lot more than I do. So he gets to see a lot more games, but the downside is, he also gets to deal with y*nkee "fans" up close on a near-nightly basis. Here's his first column about that:

Y*nkee fans: The chosen few...err...uneducated billions (by Pat)

Going into 2004, I've decided that what bothers me most about Y*nkee fans isn't the fact that they know and care little about the sport outside of their toilet bowl of a stadium, or the fact that they conveniently ignore that one thing -- MONEY, not mystique -- is responsible for the majority of their success. It's the attitude: "Looks like I've made the right choice in which team to root for, I guess I'm just smarter than you!" Well, congratulations, my mustachioed friend, you've made it big.
I know a few Y*nkee fans who are nice people, relatively intelligent, who happen to have liked the team since they were kids. Good for them. And I don't even mind talking baseball with the few Y*nkee fans who can name 10 major league baseball players that aren't wearing pinstripes.
But these fans are few and far between in northern Fairfield County, Conn., to say the very least.
Most Y*nkee fans I encounter are completely ignorant about the sport of baseball as a whole, but they know the only two things NYY fans need to know: (1)Y*nkees rule. and (2) 1918.
One doesn't have to look too hard to come to the conclusion that Y*nkee fans around here are, by and large, very casual bandwagon fans who wouldn't give two poops about the Y*nkees if they were a middle of the road team. They also, for the most part, don't start caring about the team until October, when they dust off the old Paul O'Neill jersey and magically transform into "The Biggest Y*nkee Fans in the World," and will gladly run their puke-holes about it until they're blue in the face.
It seems like many of these folks are using their support of the glorious Y*nkees to establish themselves as better people. As if I'm a lesser person for following the Red Sox than whatever career-drunk, Sambuca-stinking, visible-gold-chain-and-cross-wearing Y*nkee fan acting like A-Rod came to New York because he knew this guy was a fan.
I'm sure those trade discussions went like this:
ARod: "I don't know Cashman...I'm not sure about this."
Cashman: "All right Alex, I didn't want to bring this up, but we've got a very special fan up in Connecticut who would be willing to root for you if you approve the trade. He stinks like Sambuca, and he'll tell just about anyone how great the Y*nkees are, regardless of whether they're listening."
ARod: "Why didn't you say something earlier? That's the deal-breaker. I'm in."
These types of fans are fun. There is no room for reasoning or discussion when dealing with them. Since the A-Rod trade I've been dealing with them in the following manner:
Typical NYY Fan: "We got A-Rod, the Red Sox are toast. 1918!"
Me; "Yeah, you're right. You've got me. Congratulations! Good job."
They look at me funny, then I ignore them. Also, I found insinuating that Jeter and A-Rod are homosexuals really gets 'em going, then I try and explain to them that there is absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about it. The mayor of Nyack, NY, is now performing gay marriages just 40 minutes north of the Stadium. This gets these guys really mad, so I wouldn't recommend using that one too often.
I used to play fun games with Y*nkee "fans," time-honored games like "Name Any Y*nkee Player From the Early 1990s Who Isn't Named Mattingly," or "Who Played Shortstop Before Jeter?" Of course, they never know any of this stuff because they just started paying attention in 1996, if not way later than that.
This past off season, my friend Bob (a huge Mets fan who pulls for the Red Sox because he really hates the Y*nkees) came up with a great one. During the months of Nov. Dec. and Jan. we'd ask any NYY fan who was running their mouth about "Y*nkee Aura" what they though of Jon Leiber. Of about 25 random loudmouthed NYY fans, maybe one barely knew who their 5th starter for this year was, much less that he was signed with the team all of last year. The rest of them just stood there, slack-jawed. That pretty much sums it up. Their typical response to learning that they know very little about their glorious Y*nkees? "Whatever, 1918." Wow, that's a good one. Zing!
But I'm now officially done trying to talk with these fans, the majority of whom are idiots. Not to say all Red Sox fans are geniuses, but even my buddy and fellow Sox fan Drunken Fran can discuss baseball somewhat rationally -- even after 50 Budweisers. I'm also done with Y*nkee Stadium, because I feel like going on a killing spree whenever I'm there. For real.
Enough of spring training, let's bring on the real games. I can't wait for that $200 million pile of crap in the Bronx to self-destruct in history-making fashion. Sheffield's already crying, by the way.


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