Overtime: Let Me Hate the Yankees


Giancarlo Stanton walks to the dugout after striking out against the Red Sox. (Courtesy of Twitter)

By Jack McLoone

Giancarlo Stanton walks to the dugout after striking out against the Red Sox. (Courtesy of Twitter)

I don’t want to get a single @ about this article. I simply do not.

With that out of the way: I felt unrepentant joy when the Yankees were bounced from the playoffs, especially since it was at the hands of the Red Sox and doubly especially since it was at home. I loved the Red Sox listening to “New York New York” during their celebration. I loved the newest iteration of “Da Yankees Lose” set to “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye.” And I loved Yankees fans instantly transforming into @dril’s “im not owned” tweet.

This isn’t fully a case of reckless schadenfreude. Okay maybe it is a little bit, but it’s also the fact that watching the Yankees fail is wonderful. Okay, I guess that is the definition of schadenfreude. Let me try this again.

There are very few fan bases more defensive than Yankees fans. If you make fun of them for letting the Red Sox pop champagne in the Bronx not once, but twice this season—Boston clinched the AL East there as well—you’ll hear a lot about how “this wasn’t their year, it was always 2019” or, even worse: “27 rings, bro.”

You’d think a fanbase that has 27 rings to hide behind and champion would be less insecure, but you’d be more wrong than Andrew McCutchen in pinstripes. I was kicked out of a groupchat with my mostly Yankee-fan cousins (not an uncommon occurrence) during the team’s Game 3 loss for sending a text that read “Uhhhhhh oh.” I had one of the few Mets fans add me back in following the Yankees’ ousting so I could send some of the spicy memes that were rolling in. The memes were met not with another banishment, but long paragraphs about how I had no right to make fun of the Yankees because my team is bad. How insane is that?

I’m not parading around and saying the Mets are better than the Yankees—though the Mets have more pennants this decade than they do (just saying). But I will make fun of the Yankees for having their chants of “We Want Boston” stuffed right back in their faces.

There are basically three camps of trash talk, which apply to both those playing the game and fans. There’s pre-game trash talk, an arena currently owned by Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey. It requires the ability to back your talk up, because nothing looks worse than making your trash talk a pre-game story line and then getting burned. As a parallel, talking a lot of smack before a game starts could go badly for you in a hurry.

The next is in-game, the domain maybe most famously of Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett. This type also requires some ability to back up the trash talk, but is different in that worse players can get away with trash talk to better ones if the worse ones get hot in-game. For example, if you were a Browns fan (or rooting for the Browns) when they beat the Jets on national television for their first win in 19 games.

But post-game? Any and all are allowed to take pot shots, and the losing team has to take their lumps—within reason.

Losing immediately opens you up to being made fun of, and unless you have a good burn back, you have to take it. I do not make the rules, but also, I’m going to.

First of all, don’t be surprised that people are making fun of you—especially when you’re the Yankees—and instead just weather the storm. You were just bounced from the playoffs by your rival in a pairing that you love to extoll as the “best in sports.”

Secondly, you may not reply with, “Oh yeah, but your team sucks so you can’t talk,” unless you are going to be funny or actually devastating. Just saying, “Whatever you’re a Mets fan” doesn’t cut it. Mets fans are painfully aware of that fact and, yes, they already know the team sucks. Tell them something they don’t know. At the very least, do some petty research and dig up some funny comparative stats (I will not do this for you).

And most importantly: never, ever, bring up the distant past as a reason why a fan of another team can’t make fun of your recent failure. This one’s for you, “27 rings” Yankees fans. 10 of them came before integration in baseball, with the 11th coming the year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. 20 came while the playoffs were only just the World Series (just saying, the Miracle Mets won the first ever-expanded playoff in 1969). Yes, seven is still a lot, but not as heavy a difference as Yankees fans would like you to believe.

Yes, hating the Yankees comes from some sense of “little brother” syndrome; no matter what the papers said during the Mets’ recent World Series run, they will never be “New York’s team.” And no, Mets fans will never get over it. No matter how much some of them profess not to care about the “rivalry” and wishing the regular Subway Series would end, I know from experience that plenty were basking in the Yankees being bounced.
Let me send my memes in peace. Let me enjoy the Yankees’ failure.