Thursday, March 31, 2011

N.Y. YANKEES ~ Opening Day 2011

From the desk of:  Blame Carlos May

The Evil Empire Is Open For Business

Graffiti Mural South 11 Street; Willy'Burg BKN

OK Yankee fans, here's the deal.  I am very fair - most days - when it comes to the Yankees. 

I call myself a Yankee Hater.  And it's true.  I revel in their folly.  However I don't show it that much.  My bark is worse than my bite.  I'll take it a step further.  I'll say I'm a better Yankee fan than many newer generation Yankee fans.  But when I get in my moods, I say a lot of things you Yankee fans don't like to hear, but are none the less true.  But that's just when I'm being passive aggressive...ya know?

It goes like this.  You must know by now I'm a Mets fan; always have been.  My Pop was a Yankees fan though.  He and I went to as many Yankee games as we did Mets games.  He did me right in that respect.  And I still live that way today with my son the Yankee fan.  But it's never mattered to me which team is home.  If I feel like going to a game, I'll go to either park.  Many times I'll antagonize my son during the game, but he does the same to me at Met games.  It's pure fun though.  At games, I'm weird.  Sometimes I'll root for the Yanks if the spirit of the game grabs me (just not against the BoSox and Mets).  Sometimes I just sit as as unbiased observer.  When the ChiSox come to town, I bust out all my White Sox gear...(family ties ya know).

When I was nine years old.  One day after school, I was home doing homework.  He called home and told me to be ready when he got there because he scored a pair of tickets to that night's Yankee game.  The year was 1976 and the game was the fifth game of the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals.  With the score tied 6-6  in the bottom of the ninth inning, Chris Chambliss led-off and hit the first pitch he saw for a home run that won the Yankees the pennant.  The on-field pandemonium that ensued was insanity.  It remains till this day, as the sickest baseball game I ever attended.  He and I danced out in the right field area for a few minutes.  Then he had to play responsible Father again and get me safely out of there and back home.  The scene was complete chaos.  And I'll be honest, - as a 9 year old, it was a slightly scary scene not to mention it was the 70's!  Themz were some wacky times.  But it's a night I remember like yesterday and one I'll never forget.

Next year; 1977 ~ Bat Day at Yankee Stadium.  My cousin, three friends, and I,  along with my Pop and Uncle went to Bat Day.  The five of us kids got in line to get our bats.  My cousin got Reggie.  I was the last one to receive mine.  That mattered not, right?  It didn't matter who got theirs when right?  My friends pulled down a Mickey Rivers; a Thurman Munson; and a Willie Randolph.  Man I couldn't wait for my turn!  I was really excited.  I was hoping for a Munson.  I stepped up and received my bat and walked off to the side where cuz and the rest were checking out the bats they got.  They were comparing the names and different lengths of the bats.  When I looked down at mine and saw CARLOS MAY? ~ I said aloud, Carlos freakin MAY!?!?! - I damn near flipped!  I was like what?!  I wanted an exchange.  I wanted someone to trade with me.  I wanted a different bat other than Carlos Friggin May!!  A Piniella bat?  Nettles?  I would even have taken Oscar Gamble! Chicken Stanley!  But Carlos Friggin May? was the shortest bat of the models!  It was the ultimate insult.  This day as much as any, started my path towards the dark side.  I now began to steadily feel less and less tolerant of the Yankees.  And it was at this time that THE BRONX ZOO Days were coming into full swing making me dislike them more.  My Mets being in the toilet and Pop reminding me they sucked didn't help either.

Next year; 1978 ~ I was already intrigued by the Red Sox, because as a Mets fan, I hated the Big Red Machine; Cincy Reds.  So when the Sox faced Cincy in the Series of '75, I wanted Boston to win.  But because I was so involved with watching Yankee games with Pop, I also noticed the Red Sox happened to be the Yanks biggest rival.  And I started to like them.  Then I started to really like them.  When the Yanks and BoSox faced off in the one game playoff for the AL East title to conclude the '78 season, I remember running home from school to watch the game (6th grade?).

When Carl Yastrzemski hit a home run to put the Red Sox ahead early, I was genuinely jubilant.  When Yaz ended the game popping out to Craig Nettles at third, I was genuinely pissed off!  That's when we can probably pinpoint when I truly became a Yankee antagonist.  It was also then, I became a Brooklyn fan of the Boston Red Sox.  I still remain one today.  Yes, I like the Red Sox.  I'm fascinated with Fenway Park, and I dig the city of Boston too.  I go as often as I can.  Aside from the Mets, Yaz was/is my favorite player of all time.

I am the self-appointed President, Founder, and sole member of BROOKLYN-NATION!  I think (I hope I didn't steal that from somebody).  But not to be disrespectful to real Red Sox fans, I've never suffered to the degree they did rooting for their team and wouldn't claim to.  But I do consider them my secondary team.  My other cousin played with their 2007 championship team and that brought me even closer to the team (literally).

1986 Mets vs Red Sox World Series?  There was no conflict for me.  I AM a Mets fan first and foremost.  You do not have to question my loyalties there.  I repeat...There is no conflict.  But in that year of 1986 and the World Series lies the whole rub of my quasi-Baseball mixed salad.  From the latter part of 1985 through 1990 I was away in the Army.  It was a great five years by the way.  The point is I missed our Mets' glory years. I wasn't here for them and I am too young for 1969's championship.  Thus, the Chris Chambliss game remains as the single most sickest game I have ever been a part of.

So back to the Yanks..., the truth is, I treat the Yankees like a Brother from another Mother.  I'm a New Yorker first and I love having two teams in town.  I will go to Yankee Stadium as easily as I go to Citi Field.  I just love being at a ballgame.  I've always been one to take advantage of the fact we have two teams.  You must also know, I always loved old Yankee Stadium II.

So that's where I stand.  I do have a small spot in my heart for this team because of that Chambliss Home Run in '76.   And here's another for you...   In 1995, my cousin played for the Mariners.  I want you to know I rooted for the Yankees in the playoffs against Seattle in spite of that fact.  When Donnie Baseball connected during back-to-back home runs, I like everybody else in the place went bonkers.  When Bernie Williams got thrown out at home I grabbed my head with my hands yelling NOOOoooo! - also.  Then when Leyritz hit his winning home run in the unteenth inning, I like everyone else remaining till the end went nuts.  But outside of those two moments/games, I don't have anymore stories of me perpetrating to be a closet Yankee fan.  I'm not.  But I cheered like hell for Jim Abbott to get his no-hitter.  I was there for that.  And I forgot to mention I was at Gooden's no-hitter because they played the Mariners and I get the comps from my Cuz.'re welcome to find out just what kind of Met fan I really am.  But like I said, I'm fair.  And above all else, I love Baseball.  I don't have a problem giving the Yankees full credit for anything when credit is due.  But when the fans jerk the chain of death...well then..., I'm not responsible and may...

So if come here to read any of my Yankee posts, I have some favorite players, and I'm generally a fair guy.   I'll give you a decent read and a baseball/responsible take on things.  But every once in a while, I'm going to release the good natured hate from within.  I'll take jabs, make jokes and be derisive (but not too much).  It's designed for a laugh, so don't take offense...OK?  I don't do to the Yankees what I wouldn't do to my own team.

So, I wish you Bronx Bombers luck this season. 

May your days at the HOUSE WHERE SPARKY USED TO SPIT be filled with good times this season; just not too good...okay?

P.S.  I've decided to name the Yankees portion of my blog ~ BLAME CARLOS MAY 
Do you approve?  I'll be thinking about this.  I may change it.  But for right now, it works for me.  Tell me what you think.

The 108th Season in New York Highlander/Yankee History


Detroit Tigers

From the Highlander Museum and Baseball Park
161st Street and River Avenue

A fan of 30 baseball teams and a junkie of One

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