This is as difficult an opinion as I have ever had to deliver here: I don’t hate the New York Yankees anymore.
When the stars re-align and the next Jubilee arrives, I may hate them again, but in recent years they have rid themselves of most of their high-priced busts (with the possible exception of Alex Rodriguez’s groupies; the current honor goes to Kate Hudson) and head cases, the Yankees play superb baseball. And that’s all I ever expect when I see a sporting event or a theatrical production – people working hard to perfect their craft.
The reason this is a difficult opinion at which to arrive is that I grew up hating the Yankees. There was no expressed reason, just as there was nothing I can remember that told me to hate Nixon, both of them in their damnable heydays.
The Broadway and Hollywood productions of “Damn Yankees” featured my Washington Senators, who, despite their lack of talent, often played the Yankees pretty evenly while losing more frequently than necessary to worse teams.
Maybe the Yankees have changed character and began playing flawless baseball when their convicted felon of an owner, George Steinbrenner, became too old to effectively run the team anymore, although he and his sons did run off Joe Torre, the classiest Yankee since Joe DiMaggio. (On the field anyway. Off the field, DiMaggio has been exposed as a Hall of Fame asshole.)
I will be rooting for the Yankees to beat the pretenders from plastic Anaheim and the reigning world champion Philadelphia Phillies.
As with the Phillies, the only thing wrong with the Yankees is their fans. My hope is the fans of both teams thin their ranks in Darwinian fashion by rioting at New Jersey Turnpike rest stops on their way to and from the games.