Did The Yankees Win The World Series Yesterday?
I work in Midtown Manhattan, the place of which they always show wide shots on national TV broadcasts to signify the “New York” in “New York Yankees.” The buildings are tall and photogenic, so it makes sense. It’s almost as if they scrape the sky!
The Yankees won the World Series yesterday, and I didn’t watch most of it. The last six innings of it, at least. But I didn’t feel like I was missing much. I’m not fundamentally opposed to watching the Yankees win it all—yesterday just wasn’t the day.*
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who missed the game. Short of a slight uptick in the number of Yankees hats people are wearing around the city, you would have no idea that a local team just won the World Series. There’s no random high-fiving in streets, there’s no “I can’t believe it!” or even “Yes! We won!” anywhere. The city’s moving at its normal, impossible-to-catch pace.
So to those fans who argue that “Yeah, the Yankees spend a lot of money, but it still feels great!” I’d ask: Where are you? I’m a Red Sox fan at the nexus of the Yankees universe and I don’t see you. Are you in Starbucks? If so, hi! The day after the Red Sox won the World Series, do you know who was in Starbucks? A bunch of delirious, stupefyingly happy (and possibly drunk) people waiting to use the bathroom, but not waiting to celebrate.
Maybe the answer is that the Yankees, much like the Red Sox, are far more of a regional team than they are an urban one. Upstate New York, Long Island, and Northern New Jersey are all Yankees-blue bleeding regions; Manhattan’s polyglot communities don’t lend themselves to life-fulfilling emotional obsessions with baseball. There’s just too much else to do, to many people around to invest yourself so completely in something over which you have no control (In Boston, this may be true, but probably far less so). Besides, the Yankees are the safe choice. Their aura pulls in the casual fan, but the truly baseball-obsessed fan often lands with the Mets. I got two texts from my best Yankees fan friend last night. They were both about the commercials during the game.** If the Mets won the World Series, I guarantee you’d know it, even if you just had to go to the grocery store. And I wouldn’t get texts about commercials.***
Tomorrow the celebration “begins” with a parade up the “Canyon of Heroes” downtown, sure to draw tens of thousands of people from across the region. Commuter trains and parking lots will be jammed. No doubt many, many kids will visit the city for the first time. They’ll get the impression that in Manhattan is the center of the Yankees universe. They’ll be sorely mistaken.
I won’t be here. I’ll be in out of town for a wedding in what can only be termed as “gloriously serendipidous timing.” I’m sure tomorrow the louts will be out and about. At least they can follow directions.
** Sorry, Ravi! (Here comes the hate mail.)
*** I’m not saying all Yankees fans are like this, either. See Big Dood’s great screed from inside the mind of a die-harder for more. He calls all Yankees fans, including himself, Edward the Longshanks. That’s just fine work.
UPDATE: Ravi responds (eloquently) in the comments:
It’s not hate mail. I didn’t want to write anything about the game, b/c after 2004, anything could be a jinx. This has been the most nerve shattering playoffs for me, and I don’t mean that as a joke or a snide comment. The absurdity of those late-90s teams was the created expectations of continuous dynasty, which the organization itself bought into.
When I ran down 9th avenue after the last out, a cab passenger stopped at the light rolled down the window and said go yankees. Back at the bar, clinking beers with the two yankees fans I know from school (again wtf, if there are so many Yankees fans, how come I dont know more of them?) was, for me atleast, a result of relief the victory brought than any celebratory toast.
I will also say that the beer I had after the game was the most satisfying beer I’ve ever drank in my life. I wish this text box was larger, because watching Rivera lock it down again, helped those jitters from 2004 finally subside, and to this day, no writer has ever been able to capture what he means to the Yankees or to Yankees fans (possibly I suspect, because most writers aren’t Yankees fans).
But like Big Dood says, what can you do when they win? Why is it bad to show relief because the big bad Yankees won? How does a fan celebrate and act like an a–hole, knowing the expectations and costs of a $208 million payroll? I guess we’ll leave that to the douches at the parade tomorrow. But for me i celebrate with quiet satisfaction of knowing that my team is the best one this year.