Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bidding Adieu to the New York Yankees

This baseball season, I will officially be a fan of the Oakland A's. No more split loyalties for me, I've given up on the New York Yankees.

Like a bad break-up, this has been in the making for several years and finally crystallized a few days ago. Yet, this decision to drop the Yankees like a bad habit still tears at me a little. The Yankees were the team I grew up with, and now I'll be following closely a team from a city I've never even visited.

Why? Mainly because the current team is not the Yankees franchise I grew up loving. It has nothing to do with how they've done performance-wise. There's no passion, no energy and no excitement there today. This is -- in no way, shape or form -- the team Don Mattingly led during my childhood. Now it's just aging players collecting that big paycheck every two weeks. Nothing spicy there, except for the clubhouse hijinks that sporadically grace the tabloids' back pages.

The A's are almost the inverse of this. A habitual underdog because of their payroll, they always field a team that is intriguing and chock full o' talent. And scrappy as hell. Zito, Harden, Blaton, Swisher, and Dan Johnson-- all are amazing, and now they've added Frank Thomas, the 'Big Hurt'. And I greatly respect what general manager Billy Beane has done with limited payroll, as chronicled in Michael Lewis' "Moneyball" and followed up by several baseball beat writers since.

So, goodbye to Pinstripe Alley; hello, Athletics Nation. This should be a fun year.

Note: This doesn't mean I'll be rooting for the Red Sox in any shape or form, though.


The Assimilated Negro said...

If Beane were to ever leave for a bigger platform/payroll you might be stranded without a team again. but the beane A's are a fun group to root for ... their farm system has been great.

Chris said...

Totally agreed.

Don't think Beane's will be leaving anytime soon, though-- the smartest thing Lewis Wolff did when he bought the team was to give Beane an ownership stake (about 5 percent, I think) and extend his contract through 2012. Damn smart move.