Hypocrisy in the Big Apple

Look, it’s mid-February.  The NBA has hit the All-Star Break; the NHL is finally back and rolling after a brutally long lockout; NFL Free Agency and the NCAA Tournament are right around the corner.   I’m not one of those baseball nuts we all know and spring training has only just gotten underway.  There’s plenty to talk about in the sports world before we all go crazy over baseball.  That being said, I do want to address all the recent stuff swirling around one Kevin Youkilis.

If you haven’t heard, Youk arrived at Yankee camp down in Florida and was immediately hounded by the New York media.  In particular, one quote stood out.  Youkilis was asked about playing for the Yankees after so many years with the arch rival Red Sox.  In short Youk responded, “I’ll always be a Red Sock.”  Well, needless to say the media immediately published the quote and started a firestorm of backlash and criticism from Yankee fans 900 miles away.

Every morning I usually lie in bed for about an hour fighting my snooze alarm and listening to Boomer and Carton in the Morning.  They are the morning drive show on NY sports talk radio and are also simulcast on TV by the MSG Network.  It is through the latter medium that I listen to/half-watch the show.  For the entirety of their first hour they debated and took calls from fans regarding Youkilis’ comments.

I was surprised by what I was hearing.  Yankee fans were livid.  They seemed to have this belief that because he said he was all Red Sox that somehow means he won’t try to play well or hope the Yanks win games.  What an unbelievably…unsurprising…asinine opinion from my brethren.  I heard all kinds of things:

“Why did the Yankees even sign this guy?”

“We should have brought in Mark Reynolds.”

“Why couldn’t Eduardo Nunez play third?”

“I’ll never root for Kevin Youkilis!”

That’s a little snapshot of the usual idiocy heard on NY sports talk.  First of all, they signed Youkilis because of Alex Rodriguez’s most recent hip injuries.  Even prior to the most recent PED allegations against Rodriguez, the Yankees were unsure how many games he’d be able to play this season.  Thus, 3rd Base became a need to fill over the winter.  And someone brings up Reynolds?  Are you out of your mind?  Last year the biggest knock against the Yankees after a futile ALCS against Detroit was the lack of clutch hitting.  Mark Reynolds is a living embodiment of “a lack of clutch hitting.”  Sure he hits home runs, but Yankee Stadium is a band box.   Ichiro is going to hit 15 HRs there this season.  The power will come, what the Yanks do not need is a guy who strikes out 250 times in 550 at-bats.  Forget about Reynolds you numbskulls.

Youk won 2 titles in Boston...including the curse breaking 04' Series

Youk won 2 titles in Boston…including the curse breaking 04′ Series

Oh, and don’t get me started on Eduardo Nunez.  Look, I know that Nunie can hit and hit well.  But you can’t even call him a defensive liability, he’s worse.  If Eduardo Nunez plays more than 30 games at 3rd Base the Yankees are fucked.  I’m not into the saber metrics or anything, but I’d bet a month salary that his VORP number or whatever, would rank near the bottom of MLB infielders.  I cringe every time I see Nunez in the lineup; he can’t be an everyday 3rd basemen, no ifs ands or buts about it.

Now for my favorite one, “I’ll never root for Kevin Youkilis!”  Bull Shit Sir!  The first time Youk comes up late in a game with RISP and lines a single over the infield, there will be forty thousand strong in the Bronx cheering for him.  If you’re really not going to cheer for a guy because he played for Boston then hand in your Yankee shit now.  I’ll be happy to take it off your hands.  The name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the name on the back.  If you won’t root for Youk, then you’re not really rooting for the Yankees.  If that’s the case, get lost.  We don’t need you.

There’s a long list of people who’ve come to the Yankees from Boston and felt the love of NY fans.  Clemens, Boggs, Damon are the ones the stand out to me, but there are plenty others.  I don’t doubt there are a myriad of hypocrites out there that said similar things about those guys and quickly changed positions as soon as they produced.  I’m sick of it.  They’re the main reason…well fine, people like me are probably the main reason…but from within the NY fan base, it’s those hypocritical assholes that give NY fans such a bad rap.

Frankly, I love it that Youk said he’d always be a Red Sock.  It’s true, so why shouldn’t he be allowed to say it?  I’m sick of athletes constantly doing the PC thing with stuff like this.  You spend your entire career, and win championships, with one team and we as fans have the audacity to expect you to just be like, “I hate those guys now?”  Forget that.  He’ll always be a Red Sock but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try and win now with the Yankees.

Now Youk joins longtime rival Derek Jeter in NY for a shot at another one

Now Youk joins longtime rival Derek Jeter in NY for a shot at another one

Kevin Youkilis is the exact player the Yankees need.  He’ll be able to hit HRs in Yankee Stadium, will lead the team in OBP, will play solid defense, and is going to play his ass off to win every game.  The reasons all Yankee fans hated him for so long in Boston are the same reasons why he’s a great fit for this team now.