Tuesday, June 15, 2004

KK, QT, and A-Rod 

The arrival of the Yankees in our fair city begs additional thought. This is not the standard for teams visiting Phoenix to play the Diamondbacks. As prolific as our hardy band of D-Back bloggers are, we generally don't spend too much time talking about, say, the Rockies or the Expos prior to their arrival. But our friends in the professional press wasted no time. By Monday we already had two articles about the Yankees in the Arizona Republic, with two more today. The series has essentially been sold out since the beginning of the season.

And in New York, well, they're too busy celebrating the latest improbable Yankees come-from-behind victory to even talk about the D-Backs series. Only in today's Post do they talk about the series.

Clearly there's some imbalance here. And that's the problem. Just as with Krispy Kreme donuts, Quentin Tarantino, it is well nigh impossible to discuss the Yankees rationally. You're either addicted to the sticky sweetness or hate it, right? (That would be the donuts, not QT.) You either love Quentin's constant movie-riffing or find him a hyper-violent bore, right?

Uh, no.

Look, the Yankees are a big deal. Their mystique, outsized salaries, and unmatched success renders the rest of us mortals in the boondocks of America speechless. The Alex Rodriguez soap opera only played into the hands of every Yankee cliche ever written.

But they're just a team, folks. I know a couple Yankee fans, and they're every bit as passionate and knowledgeable as fans from other teams. Sure they can be obnoxious -- but wouldn't you be a little cocky, too, if you'd had the success they'd had so far? I mean, Murray Chass refers to the infamous Curt Schilling "mystique and aura" quote in his column today (registration required, I guess), but only in relation to mentioning the Yankees' success thus far this year in coming from behind. (It's pretty remarkable, but when you consider the Yankees' strong bullpen and offense, perhaps not such a surprise.)

But at the end he mentions the key point: "Mystique and Aura didn't show up in Phoenix for the last two games of the 2001 World Series, which Arizona rallied to win. Will they make the trip this time?"

So before we watch the game tonight, let's remember the following things:
1) It's just a game. A regular season game. In June. (I know, it's obvious, but some of the press coverage has been outsized.)
2) Winning will not admit Phoenix to the ranks of great world cities; losing will not prove the gross inequities of the current system of baseball financing.
3) The last time the Yankees visited the BOB, they went 0-4.
4) The Yankees haven't won a World Series for nearly 4 years.

Interesting piece. You make some good points, but not sure I agree, "They're just a team." Personally, while I might not trade entry to the playoff for a sweep this series, would happily trade quite a few wins against the likes of Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay. Expect my 'Why I Hate The Yankees' blog entry some time this week! :-)

Oh, and for the record, love Krispy Kremes, but find QT greatly over-rated, tho' Kill Bill (particularly Volume 1) was a big improvement...

Jim - But It's a DRY Heat...
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