What is a 'true Yankee?'

NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Nick Johnson #26 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run in the bottom of the firts inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the Yankees home opener at Yankee Stadium on April 13, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

The whole 'true Yankee' thing came up in the comments of a recent Game Thread. I will admit up front this 'he's a true Yankee' or 'he is not a true Yankee' nonsense really gets under my skin.

Yes, there are Yankee Legends and then there are guys who are simply Yankee players. There is a difference between Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte vs. Marcus Thames, Nick Johnson and Javier Vazquez. I get that, and I understand it.

I still do not, however, get this whole "he isn't a true Yankee because he hasn't done something spectacular or won a World Series yet" bunch of hooey.

Let me put it this way. Are you a 'true' Yankee fan? If you are, or if you at least call yourself that, how can you root for some players wearing the Yankee uniform and, seemingly, root against others wearing the same uniform?

If you are a 'true' Yankee fan, you root for the uniform. That means you root for anyone wearing it to have success. Because, ultimately, you want the team to succeed and to do that the players in the Yankee uniforms have to succeed. 

You can't pick and choose which players to root for simply because you haven't accepted a certain player as a 'true Yankee' in your heart. You can't root for Johnson, Thames, Vazquez, Randy Wynn or anyone else to fail simply because you did not want them on the team in the first place and can't wait for them to be gone, then call yourself a 'true' Yankee fan.

Does it help the Yankees for Vazquez to know he is going to be booed at Yankee Stadium every time he pitches poorly? Does it make sense to seemingly feel good, or at least vindicated, when Johnson or Thames fails? Did it help the Yankees a couple of years back when fans booed LaTroy Hawkins simply because he chose Paul O'Neill's number? No, no and no. 

Yes, there are special Yankees. Those Yankee Legends, from the current Core Four to Yogi, Mickey, Joe D., Whitey, Babe, Lou, Donnie Baseball and the rest will always live in our hearts.

But, the Yankees -- our Yankees that we hope are headed to a 28th World Series title -- are whichever 25 guys Brian Cashman puts on the roster and Joe Girardi chooses to use.

Rooting against any of them makes no sense. To me, that's the truth.

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