An Open Letter to Yankee Fans: Relax
Yankee fans, for years I have been counted as one of your ranks. A fan since birth, I’ve been there through the good times and the comparatively dark – though really not dark at all – mid 2000’s. I would be remiss if I did not use this electronic podium to deliver a message. That message is simple. Chill the heck out.
I've heard a lot of worrying from pundits and Yankee fans recently, and I think it's misplaced. Look, I watched, as I’m sure all of you did, with disgust as the Sox swept the Yanks out of their own building this weekend. Yeah, that was rough. But seriously folks, it’s going to be ok. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not good – but the end is not exactly nigh. You need to step back and see the big picture. Have we as a fandom forgotten that just two short years ago we lost nine straight to the Red Sox? How did that year end again? Oh yeah – we won the next nine and went on to collect a record 27th world title.
Brief message to haters: Yes, I did just refer to the Yankees as ‘we.’ Forgive me, but I invest some emotion into this team so I’d like to refer to us as a collective. I’m not delusional – I know I’m not stepping to the plate to try and get a big hit late in a game, but sometimes I prefer to discuss the team and its fans as one entity. So lay off! Moving on.
Bottom line folks, things aren’t that bad. We’re two games out of first place and two games north of the Sox. This with a slumping offense, slumping defense, slumping CC, an injured starting pitcher, an injured 8th inning pitcher and a 7th inning pitcher who, while starting the year well, now seems to give up the long ball every time he takes the mound. Come on Joba, figure it out, will you? I know chicks dig the long ball, but when you hit it - not when you give it up.
Seriously though pinstripe faithful, these things happen in a 162 game season. The offense will come around; the defense – one of the best in the league last year – will come around, and anyone worrying about CC is crazy. Dude’s an ace, he’ll be an ace. We’re in mid May, which means there’s still about four years left in this un-Godly long baseball season.
Look, whether your happy or not right now, realize, this is a season that’s kind of exceeding expectations. I mean, it’s a gift that we’re two games north of the Sox this far into the season anyway. An objective look at both rosters would yield only the thought that the Red Sox were by far the better, and that the Yankees' plan was to hit their way into shouting distance of first, then make a big trade at the deadline for an all-star pitcher. It was a fine plan…
IT STILL IS! Just because the Yanks jogged out of the gate and the Sox stood in it before stumbling out onto their face doesn’t mean that we need to change our expectations. The AL East is a dogfight, and despite all of the issues, we’re in the middle of it. Imagine what this team could look like with another pitcher acquired at the deadline and an offense firing on all cylinders.
In conclusion my dear and fellow Yankee fans, all teams slump. It is a fact of the baseball season. Even the ’98 Yankees got swept. I know this weekend leaves a sting and you’re hearing it from Red Sox fans, but let them talk, we know that a title isn’t won in May (we should know, we’ve got 27 of ‘em on what has to be the largest mantle in sports). A season this long is bound to have some ups and downs, but never forget that this is a talent-laden team with as much skill as it has veteran leadership. Rest assured, they’ll get this thing turned around. So take a step back, take a few deep breaths, throw on ‘Yankee Classics’ and remember the good times. Because hey, we could be the Mets.
I offer you this as a way to help you sleep tonight (check out around the 3:27 mark). Go Yankees!