I hate the Yankees. I have always hated the Yankees. I’m a 35-year-old man who hates a team of nice guys whom I have never met. I hated the Yankees when they had Derek Jeter and Tino Martinez. I hated them when they had Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher. I hate them now when they have Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius. I don’t hate any of these people individually; in fact, they all seem like nice guys and class acts. In actuality, the only Yankee of the past 20 years who I really despise individually is Roger Clemens.
If all these people are good people, why does it make sense that I hate the collective that is the New York Yankees? Many people wonder that about me. To answer that, let’s put all the cards on the table. How come it DOES make sense that I have always loved the collective that is the New York Mets, even if I don’t love all of THEM individually? I mean, by all accounts, Matt Harvey does not really seem that likeable to me. Why do I root all season long for a bunch of people I have never met, even if I don’t love all the people on the team? That is no less logical than rooting really hard against the Yankees.
Bill Hader said it best in Trainwreck, when he said that “sports bring people together”. Being a Mets fan means reveling with other Mets fans in the joy of the team’s success – like the 2015 World Series run – and suffering together through the rough seasons like this year. Ted Kaczynski and JD Salinger aside, humans like to be involved with groups of other people. We like to bond. We like to have common things that bring us joy and common things that bring us despair. In my case, I like to bond with other Mets fans.
Well, guess what? As a Mets fan, rooting against the Yankees is part of the deal. Do we have an inferiority complex because the Yankees have won 13.5 times more championships than the Mets have? Absolutely. Do 35-year-old Mets fans have an inferiority complex because the Yankees won 4 championships and were 2 outs from a 5th between the start of 9th grade and the end of sophomore year of college? For sure. Are all Mets fans bitter because this was supposed to be the year the Mets win a championship and because the Mets were supposed to own New York from 2015 through at least 2020? You bet. We thought the Yankees’ “time” had gone from 1995 to 2012, and we thought 2017 was to be part of the early stages of a Mets dynasty. That was not to be.
Anyway, it’s Yankees-playoff time. It is what it is. Nobody wants to hear Mets fans going on their own version of a “What Happened?” book tour, blaming injuries, the Wilpons, scheduling, having a team in Vegas, or Julian Edelman stealing Matt Harvey’s girlfriend. Likewise, nobody wants to hear Mets fans loudly ranting against the Yankees. Instead, Mets fans need to maintain dignity and not act like a-holes. Otherwise, we have no right to complain when Yankees fans root against the Mets in the 2018 World Series. Therefore, I urge fellow Mets fans to abide by these three simple rules when rooting against the Yankees during these playoffs.
- Unless you are by yourself or outside of the NYC metro area, keep your rooting to yourself. Deep down, we Mets fans are all rooting for Sabathia to get lit up during each start, for Chapman to blow a few saves, for Sanchez to let up a passed ball every inning, and for Judge to strike out four times every game. (Oh wait, that last one has actually happened.) However, we shouldn’t vocalize it. If we do that in a crowd of Yankees fans, we are just a-holes. Plain and simple. We are wet blankets, Negative Nancies, and d-bags. While that might feel good in the moment, that “a-hole” tag doesn’t leave us. We don’t want that “a-hole” tag following us every time we are with our friends in non-Yankees settings.
- When engaging in conversations with Yankees fans, be realistic. Mets fans hate when Yankees fans respond to any argument with “Mets suck”. The same goes the other way. You shouldn’t walk around saying, “Yankees suck” because a) That’s actually false, because they are in the ALCS (and, for relativity’s sake, the Mets did lose 92 games.) and b) It makes you an a-hole again. Also, don’t implicitly say, “Yankees suck”. By that, I mean, don’t go around saying, “Yankees have no chance against Houston” or “The Astros are going to destroy the Yankees”. Instead, make valid arguments. We have legs to stand on here. We can say that CC won’t be able to fool another MLB lineup in another playoff series. We can say that the bullpen’s workload is going to catch up with them. We can say that the team can’t keep carrying Judge and his strikeouts. Those are baseball arguments and legitimate ones. Stick with them. Sound intelligent. Don’t shout inane things about the Yankees sucking.
- Root against the Yankees. This should be the most obvious thing on a list of three aspects of “rooting against the Yankees”, but it needs to be said. Mets fans who also pull for the Yankees are like people who like pulp in orange juice or like unsalted pretzels. It’s weird, and I don’t know where these people come from. I am not saying you have to root hard against the Yankees for 162 games. That’s a lot of commitment toward hate, and it’s already a big commitment to root FOR the Mets for 162 games. I just feel that Mets fans should at least root against the Yankees in the playoffs.
Why should we root against the Yankees in the playoffs, you ask? We watch the Mets for 6 months and hear generally about the Yankees. However, we don’t watch that many of their games. Therefore, we don’t want them getting the big stage in October. We want the Mets getting the big stage at that time. When the Yankees get the stage, we root against them. Also, the Yankees are the Mets’ rival, and it’s weird to root for a rival. It makes no sense to me. I do also realize that most Yankees fans are OK with rooting for the Mets, but that is because the Red Sox, not the Mets, are the Yankees’ rivals. I get it. As a Giants fan, I don’t hate the Jets, but plenty of Jets fans hate the Giants. In both cases, the fans with the inferiority complex root against the superior team. In baseball and football, I cover both sides.
Therefore, Mets fans should be rooting hard against the Yankees, but I think that we do it respectfully.