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What Not to Wear in the Lineup
September 16, 2010 7:01 AM   Subscribe

If you see someone walking towards you late at night, on a dark street, wearing a big NY on their cap, watch out. The New York times examines a link between Yankees clothing and criminal behavior. Mets fans say we told you so. Is there a link between Jay-Z, the Yankees and criminality? "Criminologists, sports marketing analysts, consumer psychologists and Yankees fans have developed their own theories, with some attributing the trend to the popularity of the caps among gangsta rappers and others wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team's aura of money, power and success."
posted by Xurando (98 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The pinstripes get them ready for jail?
posted by chavenet at 7:04 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


(In other news: there are Mets fans?!)
posted by chavenet at 7:05 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Ny Mets are my favorite squadron!
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:08 AM on September 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


In Boston, wearing a Yankees hat is asking to be the muggee, not the mugger.
posted by briank at 7:14 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]




I swear, working in a newsroom in the 80s in CA it seemed like every other police scanner call I heard described the suspect as "Wearing a Raider sweatshirt."

So I'm not surprised the bad guys have switched to a team that wins a few games.
posted by cccorlew at 7:16 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


THIS!
posted by Fizz at 7:17 AM on September 16, 2010


cccorlew, I was just going to say that when I was in junior high & high school in Southern CA in the late 80s/early 90s, Raider clothing was specifically prohibited in school dress codes.
posted by epersonae at 7:18 AM on September 16, 2010


“It’s a shame,” said Chuck Frantz, 57, the president of the 430-member Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club in Pennsylvania. “It makes us Yankees fans look like criminals, because of a few unfortunate people who probably don’t know the first thing about the Yankees.”

You know, when religious people condemn violence by members of their own religion by insisting that they don't really understand the religion, I roll my eyes. When the exact same rhetorical form is used by a sports fan, I can't stop laughing!
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:19 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Since 2000, more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or arraignment.

So...about ten criminals a year wear Yankees caps at one of three points in their lives?

Next idiotic trend piece, please.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:19 AM on September 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


Didn't we go through this exact same thing with NBA-branded clothing a few years ago?

On the other hand, I'd really like to see a study of the link between the Harlem Globetrotters and criminality. Those guys are up to something.
posted by schmod at 7:21 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Posted by a New Englander, so this is clearly a bunch of anti-Yankee propaganda and lies, aimed to prevent the fast-track cannonization of St. Steinbrenner, long may he shower all baseballdom with puppies and cookies and World Series rings, because he is a kind mangod, and a wise mangod. Yeah.
posted by vrakatar at 7:23 AM on September 16, 2010


In Boston, wearing a Yankees hat is asking to be the muggee, not the mugger.

Though I live in New York now, I grew up in Red Sox country, so I always feel a little stunned that there are actually people who like the Yankees. It's been thoroughly drilled into me, on a subconscious level, that they're The Enemy, Evil Incarnate. I've had to really work to convince myself that yes, the Yankees have genuine fans, and no, that's not really that bizarre. Because instinctively, I feel as weirded out by Yankees fans as I would be by someone who was like, "Yeah, I can't wait for that upcoming Harlem Globetrotters game, I'm a total die-hard fan of The Washington Generals."

Even after living in NYC for like six years, it's still deeply strange for me to see people wearing Yankees jerseys so casually -- it's like my brain has the same instant reaction that it would if someone was wearing a T-shirt proudly proclaiming their fandom for NAMBLA. Like, "Holy shit, you wear that in public?"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:25 AM on September 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


The adorable part is that after these folks take your money A.J. Burnett totally steps out of the shadows and hits you in the face with a pie.
posted by mintcake! at 7:28 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Then Javier Vasquez jumps out and hits them in the face with a pie.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:31 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I might have to start walking around boston with a yankees cap and red sox jersey and see how many people explode into tiny little pieces of stupidity.
posted by pwally at 7:34 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Greg, I have a friend from New York (slightly up the Hudson -- no, not Sing Sing) who is a diehard Yankees fan, which I just do not get. When the Yankees win she acts like it's something to be proud of, not just the baseball equivalent of a war galley.

Wooo, it's like Ben-Hur with shirts!
posted by Madamina at 7:34 AM on September 16, 2010


I'm with Greg Nog - "Wait, the Yankees have fans?"

And yes, in these parts whenever I see a car with a Yankees bumper sticker, I know it's gonna get keyed.
posted by sonika at 7:35 AM on September 16, 2010


> The adorable part is that after these folks take your money A.J. Burnett totally steps out of the shadows and hits you in the face with a pie.

One good thing about the Yankees having enough money to buy any player they want is that sometimes they throw $82.5 million at a career .500 pitcher who went 18-10 one year.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:38 AM on September 16, 2010


cf. "Fat" Nick Minucci of Howard Beach, who prefers the black-on-black look.
posted by swift at 7:38 AM on September 16, 2010


Even after living in NYC for like six years, it's still deeply strange for me to see people wearing Yankees jerseys so casually

Every year I go watch the Boston Marathon when it runs through my town. It's pretty much non stop cheering the whole time. Every now and then the cheering gets louder and you think "Ok, the Hoyts must be coming" or "must be a vet running on his bionic legs" or something of the sort.

Then you start to hear this low moan coming from the distance. As it gets closer you think "Huh? They can't be..." but yes, it's booing. The crowd is booing. This never happens during the race. Why would they be booing?

The booing gets louder and louder as it gets closer until you're caught up in it because you see what it's about.

It's the guy running in a full NY Yankees uniform, a permanent smile on his face because he knows the booing is our way of cheering him on for 26.2 miles.

I love that guy.
posted by bondcliff at 7:43 AM on September 16, 2010 [38 favorites]


So...about ten criminals a year

No, just suspects or persons of interest. So, probably about 5 criminals a year.

I guess you could do the same trend story about other things these people have in common, like fatherless childhoods and fourth grade reading skills, and the numbers would actually be significant, but less entertaining.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:45 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I go to a lot of Cardinals games here in St. Louis, but I'm best described as "casual fan". Two years ago, when St. Louis hosted the all star game, I watched it on TV. My reactions went along the lines of,
"Jesus, the whole AL squad is Yankees!"
"Man, Ichiro has an awesome swing."
"Seriously? Yeah, fuck the Yankees."

The last part was a sudden, overriding, core-of-my-person reaction.

Also - the DH is a fucking travesty.
posted by notsnot at 7:48 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Team gear least associated with gangs and criminal behavior: The Washington Generals
posted by Flashman at 7:48 AM on September 16, 2010


is there a link between Jay-Z, the Yankees and criminality?
♪ Thanks to the lames, niggas with bad aim
Thanks to a little change I tore you out the game
Bullet wounds will stop your buffoonery
Thanks to the pastor rapping at your eulogy
Though I live in New York now, I grew up in Red Sox country, so I always feel a little stunned that there are actually people who like the Yankees.

Unfortunately, there are millions of them. My dad (grew up in Jersey) and brother (NYC transplant) are both Yankees fans. My coworker (Jersey) in SF who sits 5 feet from me is an actual Yankees fan.

These are sane people who read box scores and discuss their teams just like you and I follow the Giants, Tigers, Royals, or Reds.

However, people with Yankees apparel != Yankees fans.

Yankees merch is like anything from the Dallas Cowboys, LA Lakers (Chicago Bulls, back in Jordan era), or Detroit Red Wings. People wear their shit because they are "winners" (which, as a longtime Red Wings (from Detroit) fan, I find amusing.)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:49 AM on September 16, 2010


Though I live in New York now, I grew up in Red Sox country, so I always feel a little stunned that there are actually people who like the Yankees. It's been thoroughly drilled into me, on a subconscious level, that they're The Enemy, Evil Incarnate.

Yeah. I met a lot of people like this when I moved down south.

You can imagine my horror when I realized they weren't talking about sports.
posted by schmod at 7:52 AM on September 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I might have to start walking around boston with a yankees cap and red sox jersey and see how many people explode into tiny little pieces of stupidity.

I'm pretty sure that the first one will be you.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:52 AM on September 16, 2010


Just to give the Yankee fan perspective on what we see when someone is wearing a Boston or Met hat: We see a masochist with a severe and irreversible inferiority complex who root more for their rival's failure than their own team's success. Being a Sox/Met fan seems more affliction than avocation.
posted by any major dude at 7:53 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Times change. Used to be, if the Phillies Phanatic was walking towards you late at night, you'd want to make a run for it. Or stop taking acid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:54 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is bad acting a crime?
posted by kmz at 7:55 AM on September 16, 2010


Team gear least associated with gangs and criminal behavior: The Washington Generals Freedom
posted by mrgrimm at 7:58 AM on September 16, 2010


"...fatherless childhoods and fourth grade reading skills..."

Both also strongly correlated with Yankee fandom.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 7:59 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Won't anyone please think of the lowly Oriole fans?
posted by josher71 at 8:01 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


MAYBE HATS IN GENERAL CAUSE EVIL
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:02 AM on September 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Is bad acting a crime?

Heh. The fact that Yankees fans prefer Derek Jeter to Alex Rodriguez makes me loathe them (even more than I already do).

Jeter stinks, even worse this year (and he's my f'ing starting fantasy SS! :'()

Just to give the Yankee fan perspective on what we see when someone is wearing a Boston or Met hat: We see a masochist with a severe and irreversible inferiority complex who root more for their rival's failure than their own team's success.

To give the non-Yankees fan perspective on what we see when we see someone wearing a Yankees hat: We see a pompous jackass who grew up in Akron and roots for the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:06 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


One good thing about the Yankees having enough money to buy any player they want is that sometimes they throw $82.5 million at a career .500 pitcher who went 18-10 one year.

Isn't that the same amount the Sox threw at a washed up John Lackey? What are the odds of him bringing the Sox a championship in his first year like Burnett did? Face it, the Sox and Mets waste the same amount of money on washed up free agents as the Yankees do but the core of all championship teams generally come from farm developed players. Say what you want about the Yankees buying championships but they don't have a single ring if they didn't develop players like Rivera, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte.
posted by any major dude at 8:07 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is stupid. I'd estimate that 99% of baseball cap wearers I've seen in NY are wearing a Yankees cap.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:11 AM on September 16, 2010


(a) Yankees merchandise comprises over 1/4th of all MLB merchandise.

(b) NYC is a city of 8.5 million people, many of whom identify with their city strongly. And the Yankees logo long ago became a preeminent logo for the city itself. Hence, lots of folks (Wall Street criminal and street thugs alike) with a strong pride in their town wear the white and blue.

So given the above, why is any of this a surprise or a mystery?
posted by adamms222 at 8:13 AM on September 16, 2010


Just to give the Yankee fan perspective on what we see when someone is wearing a Boston or Met hat: We see a masochist with a severe and irreversible inferiority complex who root more for their rival's failure than their own team's success. Being a Sox/Met fan seems more affliction than avocation.

I'm a Red Sox fan living in Boston, and honestly that's what I see a lot of the time, too. "Yankees Suck" chants at a Beastie Boys concert? Seriously, guys?
posted by Plutor at 8:14 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mere coincidence. Men wear baseball caps. Men in NY wear Yankee caps. Some men are thieves who live in NY and wear Yankee caps. But do these men wear them with the bill over their eyes or behind their head?
posted by Postroad at 8:22 AM on September 16, 2010


This types of articles are exactly the reason I hate the NY Times.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:34 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The NY Times is worse than the Yankees!
posted by orme at 8:35 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, doesn't it make sense for criminals to want to blend in with their surroundings? What other ball cap should they be wearing?
posted by orme at 8:37 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also - the DH is a fucking travesty.

And why is the DH an American League thing?

That's right.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:41 AM on September 16, 2010


Here's tomorrow's headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Incidents of people wearing Phillies hirts and throwing up on whole families up 1000% in 2010.
posted by any major dude at 8:43 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


pwally:I might have to start walking around boston with a yankees cap and red sox jersey and see how many people explode into tiny little pieces of stupidity


You might consider a safer hobby, like a Prophet Muhammed caricature booth at a Saudi street fair.
posted by dr_dank at 8:49 AM on September 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just to give the Yankee fan perspective on what we see when someone is wearing a Boston or Met hat: We see a masochist with a severe and irreversible inferiority complex who root more for their rival's failure than their own team's success.

Well, um, yeah. And your point is? We're New Englanders - descended from the most Puritan of Puritans. You can't even buy beer on a Sunday in Massachusetts. Do you know how much self-loathing we have? We can't possibly contain it all, thus, we have to obsess about the Red Sox or we'd all simply implode.
posted by sonika at 8:50 AM on September 16, 2010


Go Yanks!
posted by ReeMonster at 8:51 AM on September 16, 2010


Do you know how much self-loathing we have?

I've seen the pink hats, yep.
posted by inigo2 at 9:00 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Won't anyone please think of the lowly Oriole fans?

I'm sure New Yorkers were thinking about us when we took two of three from the Yankees last week, helping knock them out of the division lead. Or when we registered the best record in the AL East in August.

But that aside: as a diehard Yankee-hater, I was all ready to enjoy this story -- but according to their numbers, 25% of baseball merchandise stuff is Yankees, and 5%, a fifth as much, is Mets. There were about 100 mugshots with Yankee gear and "about a dozen" with Mets stuff. If "about a dozen" were 9 , they would have said "fewer than ten." I'll bet it's 14. A fifth of 100 is 20. I don't think we're looking at ironclad evidence that Yankee fans love crime.
posted by escabeche at 9:05 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


is it just me or do we always see pieces like this?

JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, MINORITIES ARE WEARING THIS TREND NOW. WATCH THE FUCK OUT, LAW ABIDING WHITE CITIZENS!

I hate this shit. fuck you, New York Times.
posted by shmegegge at 9:19 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh you think it's bad in USA land? Try here in the UK. Stupid Yankees caps & jackets everywhere but the worse thing? HARDLY ANY OF THE FUCKERS EVEN KNOW WHO THE YANKEES ARE! They wouldn't even know which end of a baseball to hit!

I only keep keep half an eye on baseball (mainly because following another major sport would destroy my already overloaded sportocampus) but I'd put the Yankees right near the top of my most loathed sports teams list, alongside their marketing partners Man Utd.

I've said 'Yankees suck' to a few folks wearing their gear before and I just get met with a blank expression. Meh. There's a level of hell reserved especially for these dullards.
posted by i_cola at 9:19 AM on September 16, 2010


Very bizarre study, but I suppose it's good to know....
posted by flyawaygal at 9:24 AM on September 16, 2010


Seriously? You can't fathom how someone can cheer a team on? just because it's a team you don't like? You can't figure that out all by your lonesome?

Is it possible some folks grew up in the New York/New Jersey area and perhaps, with three area-based team (NYY, Mets, Phils) chose the Yankees? Is it possible that they were becoming fans at the team's worst ebb since they were the Highlanders? Is it possible they take pride in their team's success the same way others take pride in their team's success? Especially if they sat through so many years of ungodly failure? You really can't figure it out, huh?

Well, that's my story. And if you can't imagine how someone in that situation would choose the Yankees to be his favorite baseball team, then you have a pretty shitty imagination, don't you?

Jesus Hopscotching Christ, grow the fuck up: love your team, hate my team, but don't pretend to be so intellectually stumped by my (or others') fandom.
posted by grubi at 9:26 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


mintcake!: The adorable part is that after these folks take your money A.J. Burnett totally steps out of the shadows and hits you in the face with a pie.
More like A.J. Burnett walks you on four straight pies before the next muggee hits the first pie over the fence.
One good thing about the Yankees having enough money to buy any player they want is that sometimes they throw $82.5 million at a career .500 pitcher who went 18-10 one year.
any major dude: Isn't that the same amount the Sox threw at a washed up John Lackey? What are the odds of him bringing the Sox a championship in his first year like Burnett did?
Shut your filthy pirate hooker mouth!!!

Besides, the season's not over with 6 head-to-head against the Yankees, and as bad as Lackey and Beckett have been for their salary, they're still around 'average' and the real loss has come from the injuries and the lousy bullpen that has turned several important wins into losses...
posted by hincandenza at 9:29 AM on September 16, 2010


...love your team, hate my team, but don't pretend to be so intellectually stumped by my (or others') fandom.

It's not your fandom, it's your stupidity ;-)
posted by i_cola at 9:32 AM on September 16, 2010


In Boston, wearing a Yankees hat is asking to be the muggee, not the mugger.

This was really only true when Red Sox mania was at its height and only for certain parts of the city. I guess you'll still get some lame taunts walking around Fenway during the season with a Yankees hat on but take a walk through JP, Roxbury, Dorchester, etc. and you'll see plenty of people going unmolested about their day in Yankees gear. As the comment about the UK suggests, for most people it's more about NYC style and mystique than the Yankees per se.
posted by otio at 9:38 AM on September 16, 2010


They wouldn't even know which end of a baseball to hit!

Oh, hey, you know - a baseball doesn't ...

Ah, forget it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:48 AM on September 16, 2010


Harlem Globetrotters and criminality. Those guys are up to something.

They've been developing a space program.
posted by drezdn at 9:57 AM on September 16, 2010


We're New Englanders - descended from the most Puritan of Puritans. You can't even buy beer on a Sunday in Massachusetts.

You can buy liquor and beer on Sunday in MA since 2004. And the idea that we're all descended from Puritans has been untrue for about 100 years now.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:07 AM on September 16, 2010


In Boston, wearing a Yankees hat is asking to be the muggee, not the mugger.

One of two times I was mugged in NYC was when I was (stupidly) wearing a Red Sox cap while walking around in Wash Heights. And the mugger made it clear that it was my hat that was the problem.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:13 AM on September 16, 2010


I wasn't kidding
posted by briank at 10:13 AM on September 16, 2010


Re: the link between Yankees clothing and criminal behavior. This is why we need more retro uniforms. When was the last time anyone wearing a New York Knickerbockers uniform ever robbed anyone? Bring back wool pantaloons and straw hats!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2010


If you wear Mariners gear, you will elicit smiles of pity. Try it!
posted by Skot at 10:17 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wasn't kidding
posted by briank


are we going to do this again?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:18 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I told you so!
/Mets fan

> Also - the DH is a fucking travesty.

Favorited.
posted by languagehat at 10:19 AM on September 16, 2010


I've seen the pink hats, yep.

Heh. You mean the New York Yankees Victoria's Secret PINK® Opening Act Women's Caps? Yeah, I saw those too.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:31 AM on September 16, 2010


In Boston, wearing a Yankees hat is asking to be the muggee, not the mugger.

This was really only true when Red Sox mania was at its height and only for certain parts of the city.


Pro tip: in Rhode Island, this is true all the time and for all parts of the state. You've been warned.

(I've been told that some parts of Lil' Rhody are Yankee-friendly, but I have yet to experience these parts. The city of Providence almost literally SHUTS DOWN when the Red Sox are playing.)
posted by sonika at 10:37 AM on September 16, 2010




Yeah, I saw those too.

I guess the only difference is I've never seen one of those in the wild.
posted by inigo2 at 10:58 AM on September 16, 2010


Harlem Globetrotters and criminality. Those guys are up to something.

They've been developing a space program.


Actually, now that I think about it further, I'm not even sure how I'd react if a guy in a globetrotters uniform tried to mug me. It'd probably be a pretty effective thing for a mugger to wear, given that I'd never expect it, and I'd probably be too confused and bewildered to react or run away.
posted by schmod at 11:00 AM on September 16, 2010


Bred to hate the Yankees and love the Red Sox.

Grew up and hated the Yankees for unbalancing the game I adore by sucking every gifted player they could buy into their uniform in the annual elbowing out of other franchises from the post season.

Then there was 9/11 and I actually went to baseball games with a Yankees hat to show solidarity and sympathy.

Then some time went by. Back to Yankee hating.

Dunno where the hat went.

But still not willing to buy off on this stupid linkage of criminal behavior and clothing choices.
posted by bearwife at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Grew up and hated the Yankees for unbalancing the game I adore by sucking every gifted player they could buy into their uniform

I know. I love that the Red Sox don't spend any money on salaries and that their entire team came up through their minor league system.
posted by inigo2 at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


During the 2000 Subway Series, I read an article in local (Toronto) rag by a reporter who wanted to see what would happen if he wore a Yankees/Mets jersey in the other teams "turf" so to speak.

Couldn't find the article, but when he wore a Mets jersey in the Bronx, he got threatening looks and within a few blocks was told by a guy to take the jersey off. "There's no problem, you're just going to have to take the jersey off."

When he walked around Queen's wearing a Yankees jersey, no one even did a double take.
posted by dry white toast at 11:22 AM on September 16, 2010


I know. I love that the Red Sox don't spend any money on salaries and that their entire team came up through their minor league system.

Heh. Reminds me of the conversations i had with a few Sox fans in 2005 or so, when they were ragging on A-Rod and how he was overpaid and a spoiled brat, etc etc etc. I would ask them "So you don't like that the yankees simply outbid other teams and purchase talent, right?" And inevitably they'd confirm that. Then I'd drop "What was the other team the Yankees outbid to get A-Rod?" They seem to have forgotten it was Boston. And if Boston got him, they'd be singing the EXACT SAME GUY's praises.

I also call them out on their hypocrisy when it came to Manny Ramirez. With one Red Sox fan, I described Manny as "such an asshole." "Well," he replied, "that's just Manny being Manny." "Tell me something," I retorted, "if Manny did the same things but played for the Yankees, wouldn't he 'just be an asshole'?" He paused a second, smiled, and said "Yeah, probably." We both laughed and I said "You just like him because he's YOUR asshole." He nodded.

Fuckin' baseball, man. I love this sport. I hate most of its fans.
posted by grubi at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2010


I know. I love that the Red Sox don't spend any money on salaries and that their entire team came up through their minor league system.

The Yankees unbalanced the system. They can't make the Yankees spend less money, so they try the only other thing to restore the balance. Joking.

An anecdote. I spent the day in Manhattan and Brooklyn with a whole bunch of friends in June. We went to a Phillies/Yankees game with several people in Phillies hats or shirts and nobody in Yankees hats.

• Taunts/threats: 0
• "Hey, did the Phillies win?": 2
• "Woo Phillies!" from someone's window in Brooklyn: 1
posted by Plutor at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then there was 9/11 and I actually went to baseball games with a Yankees hat to show solidarity and sympathy.

I did this, right after 9/11. Wore a Yankees hat around, because hey - New York. I wanted to show solidarity, despite being on the other side of the country, in Seattle.

That stopped on 9/16 or so, when some random person, who didn't seem particularly unhinged, started screaming at me at the bus stop because of that hat. Now, I don't know a lot about baseball, I'm a fairweather fan at best. Haven't been to a pro game in years. Didn't know what the big deal was about the Yankees was, and wasn't about to explain to this guy that I didn't care because he's all BASEBALL = SERIOUS BUSINESS at 120 decibels at the bus stop.

Thanks, random dude. Thanks for ruining baseball and hating America. I'll stick to pro soccer from now on.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2010


I don't disagree that the Red Sox played the salary game too. But no team has the payroll the Yankees do, and it has had a corrosive effect on baseball as a whole.

To see this pattern over the years, try this tool.
posted by bearwife at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2010


I did this, right after 9/11. Wore a Yankees hat around, because hey - New York. I wanted to show solidarity, despite being on the other side of the country, in Seattle.

well, in crazy ranting guy's defense, that was the year the Seattle Mariners were pretty much unbeatable. Major league record for number of wins in a season... the year the long suffering, perennial underdog Mariners were poised to win it all...

everyone grieves in their own way.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:38 PM on September 16, 2010


This is why we need more retro uniforms. When was the last time anyone wearing a New York Knickerbockers uniform ever robbed anyone?

Well, since the Cooperstown Ball Cap Company went under, it's even less likely. That place was a national treasure - you could buy almost any cap, from any team throughout history. Anything from 1870s Boston to the New York Knights.
posted by zamboni at 12:45 PM on September 16, 2010


and it has had a corrosive effect on baseball as a whole.

Like I said, I can totally listen to this coming from someone who isn't a Sox fan (among others). Remember when the Red Sox paid over $50 million dollars simply to negotiate with Matsuzaka? And you're going to talk to me about a "corrosive effect on baseball"?

But hey, that $50MM doesn't show up in the links you had there. So I guess it shouldn't count?
posted by inigo2 at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I root for the Mariners now and have for the past two decades (though I admit I'm still very, very fond of the Sox), so does help you hear me?

Also, I already said that I don't disagree the Sox played the salary game too. But it's not an OK thing because the Sox have done it too. More than one entity doing wrong never makes everything right.
posted by bearwife at 1:52 PM on September 16, 2010


Also, I already said that I don't disagree the Sox played the salary game too. But it's not an OK thing because the Sox have done it too. More than one entity doing wrong never makes everything right.

I know two wrongs don't make a right. I just find it very disingenuous for Red Sox fans to complain about team spending.

But, I suppose it's all moot. The whole system is broken, both on the top end and and the bottom. The recent post / news about teams taking in more in revenue sharing than they're spending, lying about revenues to get stadium deals, etc etc etc... But now we're way off topic, so I'll just close by saying I love Safeco Field, and would kill for some garlic fries right now.
posted by inigo2 at 2:13 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I might have to start walking around boston with a yankees cap and red sox jersey and see how many people explode into tiny little pieces of stupidity.

Some people are working on bridging that gap.
posted by Evilspork at 2:26 PM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


THAT IS AWESOME.
posted by grubi at 2:38 PM on September 16, 2010


I don't disagree that the Red Sox played the salary game too. But no team has the payroll the Yankees do, and it has had a corrosive effect on baseball as a whole.

To see this pattern over the years, try this tool.


I can (sorta) see a pattern (salaries rising), but what makes high salaries a bad thing?

Can one of y'all explain this "corrosive effect" that overspending on baseball players has on the game of baseball?

Is it the higher ticket prices? Or is there more to it?

I don't think the game has suffered at all because of high salaries. If anything, it's helped the sport stay competitive (for high-end athletes) with basketball and football.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:48 PM on September 16, 2010


It's not the individuals getting paid too much; it's the fact that the current system makes it so only the wealthier teams have an unreasonable competitive advantage. In the NBA, NHL, and NFL, there are salary caps that help smaller teams stay in the hunt.
posted by grubi at 3:07 PM on September 16, 2010


But now we're way off topic, so I'll just close by saying I love Safeco Field, and would kill for some garlic fries right now.

Oh, now we are totally on the same page!

Can one of y'all explain this "corrosive effect" that overspending on baseball players has on the game of baseball?

Well, it is arguable that there were many fantastic baseball players back in the days when payrolls were more than reasonable. Think of the players in Negro League Baseball, and legends of the game like Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Brooks Robinson, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays.

What the willingness to pay any amount of dollars for top players does do is distort the season . . . the Yankees or Red Sox, for example, buy the best sluggers and pitchers in the market, and teams with lower payrolls just can't compete. This makes fans in big media markets like Boston and New York very happy, but it doesn't do much for the quality of baseball overall, the competitiveness of games, or the happiness and loyalty of fans in smaller cities.

Really, it is very clear that without a high payroll, a team doesn't really have a hope of getting into the World Series. For example, one study showed no team that was not in the top percentile of payrolls had won as much as a single game in the World Series in the five seasons since the 1994 strike
posted by bearwife at 3:16 PM on September 16, 2010


It seems to me that there is a much simpler explanation for this:

These are crimes inside the NYC city limits. The Bronx has both the highest crime rate in the city and the highest percentage of Yankees fans, probably due to the fact that Yankee stadium is in the Bronx. Add in the fact that there are more Yankees fans in the city as a whole than Mets fans, and it isn't surprising that more criminals are found to be wearing Yankees stuff.
posted by overhauser at 4:02 PM on September 16, 2010


Seconding, i_cola. The Yankees logo is easily the most popular thing to stick on a baseball cap in the UK, despite the fact that most people couldn't tell you which team it belonged to if you held a gun to their head.

I'm not sure that its wearers even connect it to the city of New York, particularly. It may as well be an abstract design. It's just the done thing to wear it, amongst those people who care deeply about having the right baseball cap and trainers.
posted by the latin mouse at 4:02 PM on September 16, 2010


And in my capacity as a crazy furriner, can I just ask why is it that Boston seems to have only one team for each major sport, which is then supported with greater or lesser fanaticism by the entirety of New England? That always seemed weird to me, but I'm from a country where every decent sized city has a pair of rival teams, sometimes more.

I realise that any attempt to create a new team now would be battling against the might of the unforgiving Red Sox nation, but is there a historical reason?

posted by the latin mouse at 4:09 PM on September 16, 2010


That stopped on 9/16 or so, when some random person, who didn't seem particularly unhinged, started screaming at me at the bus stop

Welcome to the Seattle public transit system.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:39 PM on September 16, 2010


> can I just ask why is it that Boston seems to have only one team for each major sport, which is then supported with greater or lesser fanaticism by the entirety of New England?

Boston used to have two major league baseball teams; the National League team was the Braves, which was in Boston from 1871 (before there was a National League) until 1953, when (because of dwindling attendance) the owner moved them to Milwaukee (in 1966 they moved on to Atlanta, where they are to this day). One wall of Braves Field still exists; I have touched it. Once upon a time most major cities had at least two major league teams (NYC had three); now only NYC and LA do (if you count Anaheim as part of LA, which most people outside Southern California do).

As for "the entirety of New England," not so: many people in Western Mass., out of their hatred for Boston and its domination over the state and malign neglect of the western counties, root against the Sox (and often go so far as to root for the Yankees, an unforgivable act for both Sox fans and Mets fans like myself).
posted by languagehat at 6:21 PM on September 16, 2010


A Hierarchy of Individual Ability to Increase the Total Net Fame of a New York Yankees Baseball Cap, in Ascending Order:

The New York Yankees
Jay-Z
Criminals
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:36 PM on September 16, 2010


Really, it is very clear that without a high payroll, a team doesn't really have a hope of getting into the World Series. For example, one study showed no team that was not in the top percentile of payrolls had won as much as a single game in the World Series in the five seasons since the 1994 strike.

Well, that was true ... for a selected period: 1995-2000. (Article not coincidentally written at the time when the Yankees won 3 in a row.)

(Also, the term "top percentile" confuses me here? I know "top quartile" is top 25%, but what's "top percentile" with no number? Top 1%? Can't be that, as there are only 30 teams ... I'm guessing top 50% ... (yeah, existence of San Diego in 1998 makes it only top 50%))

Anyway, that "top percentile" or whatever rule has been invalidated in the 2000s: 2003 Marlins (#25/30) won the world series, 2008 Rays (#29/30!) lost in WS ... 2007 Rockies (#25/30) lost in WS. It also wasn't valid 1990-1993 (see below).

This year [ed: 2000], the White Sox and A's are making good runs at the postseason, despite low payrolls, but when the World Series comes around, we're still most likely to be looking at the Yankees and Braves again.

Heh. Seen the Braves in the World Series lately? This guy put the jinx on them for a decade (or more). They haven't been since 1999, and haven't made the playoffs since 2005 (tho they did win the NL East 2000-2005, I think.)

The early 90s seemed to have a lot more parity. I wonder if that had anything to do with the strike, i.e. a players' perception that owners were suppressing salaries.

1990 - Reds won WS - #20/26 highest payroll
1991 - Twins (#16/26) beat the Braves (#20/26)
1993 - Blue Jays (#1/28) beat the Phillies (#20/28)
1994 - duh duh duh

1995 - 2000 - here's the period where high payrolls are supposed to dominate (and certainly are perceived to do so, with no help from the Yankees)

1995 - Braves (#3/28) beat Indians (#9/28)
1996 - Yankees (#1/28) beat Braves (#3/28)
1997 - Marlins (#7/28) beat Indians (#4/28)
1998 - Yankees (#2/30) beat Padres (#14/30)
1999 - Yankees (#1/30) beat Braves (#3/30)
2000 - Yankees (#1/30) beat Mets (#6/30)

Then 2000s:

2001 - Diamondbacks (#8) beat Yankees (#1)
2002 - Angels (#15) beat Giants (#10)
2003 - Marlins (#25) beat Yankees (#1)
2004 - Red Sox (#2) beat Cardinals (#9)
2005 - White Sox (#13) beat Astros (#12)
2006 - Cardinals (#11) beat Tigers (#14)
2007 - Red Sox (#2) beat Rockies (#25)
2008 - Phillies (#12) beat Rays (#29)
2009 - Yankees (#1) beat Phillies (#7)

And then 2010 ... "If the current standings hold up through the end of the season, this will be the first year in the game's modern history—the period since the 1994 players' strike—when the amount of money a ballclub pays its players bears almost no relationship with how many games it won."

From: The Year Money Didn't Matter: More Than Any Baseball Season in Recent Memory, the Size of a Team's Payroll Isn't Tied to Winning. (WSJ link from Google News; hopefully it works ...)

To be honest, I think most fans prefer disparity. This way, there are bad guys (Boston, New York, Cubs (god I hate the Cubs)), and Cinderella stories like the 2008 Rays.

In the NBA, NHL, and NFL, there are salary caps that help smaller teams stay in the hunt.

There's no cap on team profits. Why should there be a cap on how much a player can earn?

It gets a bad rap, but I like revenue sharing to alleviate the unfair advantages of "big markets." I think there should be more revenue sharing as well as a salary tax to "encourage" owners to spend that revenue-sharing money on player salaries (and not on cocaine, prostitutes, or fantastic art.)

It's not a simple situation - some owners (ahem, Lew Wolff) care much more about making money than winning. If your priority is making money, payroll will stay low. And, of course, owners would never lie about their team's finances (hamburger).

Lastly tl;dr - take a look at the NHL, NBA, and NFL. Payrolls correspond with team success there too, despite salary caps.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:08 AM on September 17, 2010


Once upon a time most major cities had at least two major league teams (NYC had three); now only NYC and LA do (if you count Anaheim as part of LA, which most people outside Southern California do).

And San Francisco, (if you count Oakland as part of SF, which I'd imagine most people outside California do).
posted by Plutor at 9:28 AM on September 17, 2010


And Chicago. No hand-waving necessary.
posted by Plutor at 9:28 AM on September 17, 2010


Great heavens, I forgot Chicago! Sorry, Chicago. (I don't think most people even outside California count Oakland as part of SF, but I could of course be wrong.)
posted by languagehat at 3:08 PM on September 18, 2010


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