Two home games at Yankee Stadium this season, and the biggest topic of conversation around the Inter-Google this morning has nothing to do with the play of the New York Yankees. It has to do with the attitude of New York Yankees' fans.
This, of course, in the wake of Javier Vazquez getting booed off the mound Wednesday afternoon. That circumstance, we know, had little to do with Vazquez losing Wednesday, and almost everything to do with fans still wanting to rip him for his 2004 failure in the ALCS.
We weren't immune to the silliness here at PA. There was plenty of Javy bashing. There was also the absurd notion floated by 'jigglytuffy' in Wednesday's Game Thread that the Yankees should go 162-0, mostly because they spend the most money.
I hate to even give that silliness any credence by talking about it, but it is indicative of the kind of stuff I read in several places today.
Over at Bronx Banter, something similar to the '162-0' exchange happened. It went like this.
After the Yankees lost to the Angels 5-3 this afternoon a friend of mine, big Yankee fan, came up to me and said, "You know, I’m really sick of how long it takes them to sweep a series."
Straight-faced and completely serious. "It didn’t happen for the longest last spring," he continued, "now, they ain’t even sweep the Angels. What’s up with that?"
"Dude, you are the reason why people hate Yankee fans," I told him. "What’s a matter, winning the first two series of the year isn’t good enough, winning the Whirled Serious last fall wasn’t enough, you greedy bastid?"
"See that’s how you and me are different," he said. "You focus on October, I want total domination all season."
ESPN's Rob Neyer was pointed in his criticism of the way fans treated Vazquez.
I'm still impressed with the intensity of the Yankee fans' collective memory.
Intelligence is something else entirely. I know a lot of Yankees fans, and most of them are actually sort of brilliant. They're probably not the ones who were booing Vazquez. Because boy, that sure is a stupid thing to do. Umm, guys? Vazquez is going to pull in $11.5 million this season. He's not going anywhere. Wouldn't smart fans -- even fans with long, intense memories -- figure that maybe, just maybe, reminding Vazquez of his awful second half in 2004 isn't the best way to start 2010?
Ouch! That stings, but I get where Neyer is coming from.
The 2004 season is long gone. Dead. Buried. Piled somewhere under the rubble of the old Yankee Stadium. And the 2009 World Series championship rings Yankee players just got. By the way, the 2004 ALCS was already lost long before Vazquez surrendered that grand slam to Johnny Damon. Time to let it go.
It isn't going to help Vazquez, or the 2010 Yankees, if he knows fans in the Stadium are just waiting for an excuse to release pent-up venom every time he isn't dominant.
Like it or not, Vazquez -- and every other pitcher the Yankees have -- is occasionally going to get rocked. Even CC and Mo. It happens. And likely 60 or more losses are going to happen. There will be highs. There will be lows. That is the nature of every baseball marathon.
In the end Yankees are likely to go to October with a shot at their 28th World Series title, which is really what is important.
So, enjoy the ride. And try not to feel like the world has come to an end every time our team loses a game.