Tuesday, May 29, 2007
What We Expect From Yankees Fans
And then you have your atavists:
My friend Javier and I faced off with a group of Angels fans yesterday. There were four loud ones behind us who started up in the seventh inning and didn’t quit until the final out when they aimed a racial jab at Derek Jeter.Now, I'm not going to defend anybody making racial slurs; that kind of behavior is uncalled for. And to do it in the Bronx is just asking for trouble, sure. But assaulting fans of opposition teams who come to your park? It's those kinds of rowdies who show up at Angel Stadium each and every Yankees series. That circus is why Helen abhors being at the park for any of the games with the Bombers, and why their loud, entitled, arrogant fans have such a negative reputation throughout baseball. It's not enough that their team has to win; they also have to beat down fans of every other team.
There is nothing that will touch off a war in the Bronx quicker than a knock on The Captain.
“Shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you,” Javier shot.
“Jeter’s overrated,” one of them giggled.
Javier lunged and the giggler crashed back into his seat.
“If you want to step outside we’ll go,” Javier challenged. “There’s four of you and two of us so you might want to go back to Disneyland and get some more guys.”
Javier set his shoulders in a manner that showed he held victory in his fists.
The Angels scattered and Javier carried himself out of The Stadium the same way the Yankees will carry themselves into Toronto: Knowing that victory in their hands and their bats.
I certainly hope the Angels continue to bedevil them, especially by the time the Yanks make it to Anaheim.
I'm sure the proverbial fly on the bleacherseat heard more wounded muttering, more broken English and more slapdash machismoronics than our gabby gladiator lets on.
On Saturday, the crowd applauded Reggie Willits' wall-climing catch -- and that was in the seventh inning with the Yankees down. When Chone Figgins made a heroic catch in centerfield (in the early innings) last year, they gave him a standing o. For the most part, I have found Yankees fans to be pretty classy and real appreciators of the game.
There will always be the obnoxious, idiotic, and even menacing fans everywhere you go, and I don't think it's any more accurate to represent Yankee fans by a few thugs than it is to represent Angels fans by a few racists. (And as an aside, I'm a little disturbed by your readiness to discount the racial slurs as any less ugly.)
I love your thoughtful and personal analysis on this blog, but you're being an apologist for indefensible behavior here. These are loutish assholes who make our team and their fans look bad, who don't respect being a guest in someone else's home, who come into another ballpark clearly seeking to antagonize the home fans, eventually stooping to spouting racist remarks in the most multi-ethnic city in the country, if not the world. Eventually, they got the reaction they were looking for, and your take is that "This is what we expect from those belligerent, arrogant Yankees fans."
Can we really afford to be so smug to say that their ugly fans are worse than ours, that we can gloss over the antagonism and racism because of the reaction they provoked? The plain fact is that both sides here acted despicably, and to suggest otherwise reflects partisan apology and legitimizes the completely unacceptable behavior of people that I personally would rather not have as fellow Angels fans. I'd expect that sort of thing on less intelligent blogs, but not here.
Howso is it undisputed? It could have been a fictional bit of color that the Yankee bravo added on to try to justify his chest-thumping. I didn't buy the original story. Why shouldn't I suspect that the racist bit was a fabrication as well?