Two outs in the ninth and ... 'Yankees suck!'
Triggers for human quirkiness don't come from a manual. They are random and wonderful, adding to the intrigue. Go to the mall sometime, find those comfortable chairs and simply watch people. It's almost seductive.
Speaking of random human quirkiness: The other night, for example. Two outs, bottom of the ninth. Red Sox lead the Mets by a run. J.D. Davis, the Mets' hottest hitter (maybe the only one as well) is at the plate facing closer Matt Barnes. Some would call it a tense moment.
And then — right there, two outs in the ninth — the immortal "Yankees suck" chant was heard throughout Citi Field. The Mets and Sox, enemies from back in '86, found solidarity amid anxiety.
Shall we discuss?
The aforementioned hymn is nothing new to either fan base. Kind of like French fries: Comes with the meal. But in the bottom of the ninth with one out left — when one pitch could change or end the game — they're all worried about the Yankees?
It's like asking somebody to marry you while you're still pining for somebody else: "My dear Wanda. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Sally just said no."
So your humble narrator took to social media to ask the masses. Why in the middle of a tense moment are the Yankees front and center for the Mets and Red Sox?
Daneen Roth: "It's the only cheer they know."
John Ratcliffe: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It's the only thing Sox fans and Mets fans have in common."
Arnie De La Rosa: "Everyone worries about the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Red Sox worry about the Yankees ... but the Yankees worry about no one."
Scott T. Cooper: "The Yankees are the pretty girl that doesn't know they exist, but they can't get her out of their minds."
Vickie Fulkerson: "Why do you say Yaz popped up 100 times? Same reason."
Will Hernandez: "It's people at a baseball game for the first time in almost two years. Who really cares what they chant?"
Natalia Ciccone: "Because there's never a wrong time to hate the Yankees."
Love it, love it, love it. Good stuff. Not arguing with any of it. (But I will say that the new circumstances of baseball have permanently ended all of my cheap, lame Yaz jokes. The guy played all 162 games just about every year. I watch Aaron Judge miss game after game for mosquito bites and suddenly, I'm in a shame spiral for my past stupidity.)
But I digress.
This isn't necessarily about why the Yankees still occupy so much head space across town and 200 miles to the north. This is more about the "when." Put it this way: I consider myself a passionate sports fan. And when Wayne Gallman of the Giants fumbled with a minute left against the Cowboys this past year — and nearly blew the game — none of my yelling and cursing at the time involved, "Eagles suck!" (That came later).
My team was involved in a tense moment. Who cares about anything or anyone else? Mets/Sox fans apparently do.
And why? History will always follow the Yankees like the blanket behind Linus. That counts. But why does it remain so pervasive? The Red Sox, for example, have soiled the metaphorical blanket, winning the World Series twice since the Yankees won their last and four times in the last 17 years.
I mean, when do Bucky and Boone become duller aches?
Not any time soon, apparently.
I could go all psychological-like right now and suggest that fans who keep chanting "Yankees suck" are actually making the Yankees look better, not worse. But that's way too deep for a baseball discussion.
And who knows? Maybe Sox/Mets fans are right. I'll watch Judge cower to "load management." The alarming regularity of strikeouts with runners on base, a shortstop with more errors than RBI and think, maybe they really do suck.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro
Stories that may interest you