If you know Greg Kirkland, you know that he has never been a fan of the Wild Card. He wishes it would go away and either go back to the East/West two division system or that MLB would create a North/South/East/West four division compass-like system after two more teams joined baseball to make each league contain sixteen teams. There's a pretty good chance that neither is going to happen. So Greg Kirkland will make due and enjoy the sport for what it currently is. Thanks to the Wild Card and the second Wild Card, the Yankees have yet to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet. Can they make it? For Greg Kirkland, therein lies the challenge, the sadistic hope for which I will elaborate on, and the love of baseball.
I have mentioned before that the Yankees' constant success has made being a Yankee fan a bit stale for me. Not to the levels of some former writers of this site, or their friends, mind you. Finishing first all the time for the past two decades does leave the baseball fan in me wanting a bit more. It's quite possibly the most spoiled thing any fan can think. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think I'm close when I say that 98.9% of Yankee fans, or baseball fans, do not get bored with constant success or utter phrases like "I wish the Yankees could tone down the success just to give me something to root for!" 2011 gave me a taste of that, but that was nothing compared to this year.
This year, unlike 2011, there's an extremely good chance the Yankees do not make it to the postseason at all. What if they do though? What if, throughout all the injuries, trades, duct tape players and caviar dreams this 2013 Yankees team actually does make the playoffs? Does this thought make no one else salivate at the very idea of it? Because it sure does make me excited, in every sense of the word. This is why I love baseball in the first place. It's also what makes me the most spoiled, sadistic type of Yankee fan.
Baseball is fantastic because of the unknown, the unpredictability, and the unabashed joy of watching Red Sox fans suffer in defeat. You know, like 2011. I'm sure they, and probably every other fan base, get joy out of seeing us feel as deflated and defeated as the majority of fans probably do feel right now. They should. We're the villain. As an unapologetic arrogant Yankee fan, what gives me joy is seeing their hopes and dreams of us losing dashed. If all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players, then sign me up to play the villain. Most actors love to play the villain, because it's needed in the story and it's much more fun! I most certainly laughed like The Joker when the Red Sox were eliminated from playoff contention in 2011. It still ranks as one of my favorite moments in all of baseball, if not my #1 favorite moment.
The Yankees are supposed to be booed. They are supposed to hear the "Yankees suck" chants. That is their role in baseball and it is a role they excel at. The volume of those boos and jeers are an indication of how well they perform their role. And if they actually succeed in making the playoffs this year, the boos, the jeers, the sighs and the "BUNT EVERYTHING!" chants will be enormous. This is why I want the Yankees to succeed this year. I've seen more success from them than I ever thought possible, and I'll see more in the future because the Yankees will escape this Arkham Asylum they currently find themselves in. I want them to succeed because if they do, with this team, it will deflate the hopes and dreams of other fans' hopes and dreams that we'll be deflated.
Like the Emperor sitting inside his Death Star, I want to feed off of their anger, frustration, and hate. This is why I lobby for the site to be renamed Pinstripe Empire. For if we are to always be known as the Evil Empire, let us embrace it. Also, give us a Star Wars Day at the stadium, Yankees.