Because of the Bellhorn deal, I had a brief conversation with a co-worker yesterday about what it must feel like to be a New York Yankee.
When I see the Yankees celebrate a key play or win, they seem to go after each other in an aggressive, bully-like sort of way. The hugs are more like chests smashing together and pats on the back are rough slaps. Fists pump in anger, rather than joy. I don't detect the camaraderie. Maybe it's because I'm so used to watching our sweet Red Sox jump and smile and demonstrate genuine love toward one another. I see them joke and laugh and lift one another's spirits.
So, what's the appeal of the Bronx? A fat contract? A chance at the play-offs? These guys are willing to put up with agonizing boredom, fair weather fans, and intense pressure to win in exchange for these things? As an extra bonus, you get Billy Crystal to represent you. And soon Michael Rappaport, who I am convinced will be moving into the Crystal position when Billy tires of it (he's starting to look more and more like Cashman - I wonder if Steinbrenner's been getting to him, too). I don't understand the guys who go out of their way to become Yankees. The Johnsons and Sheffields. With their abilities, they could play anywhere, get paid handsomely and actually enjoy themselves. Instead, they choose hell. There are all these rules about hair length and facial hair, which I guess George is loosening up on a little, but still. Not only does your identity get stripped away, but you have to throw on these pinstripes, which symbolize prison cell bars to me (Sorry, White Sox, but it's true). You are subjected to the wavering loyalty of your fan base and the unpredictable whims of the head vampire himself, Steinbrenner. Who wants to play every game walking on eggshells? Surely, if and when Bellhorn strikes out looking too many times he will get read the riot act by Yankee brass. Or perhaps he will suffer a worse fate. Maybe the plan is to let the players imagine how bad it will be and sabotage themselves through their own fears. This will be punishment enough for a string of poor performances and front office doesn't have to do a thing. Oh, they are smart.
Anyway, I don't understand wanting to play for this dictator and I certainly don't understand wanting to root for a team of storm troopers.