Pride. Power. Pinstripes. The Yankees have done a fantastic job of selling their history and “the Yankee way.” This message of the Yankee way is brainwashed into the fans and injected throughout the organization. Just the other day, while he was still in Double-A, Gleyber Torres was benched in the middle of a game because he didn’t run out a ball that he thought was foul but blew fair. Why?
Mitchell says he wanted him to know that would be a bigger problem in Bronx than this level. Wouldn't be accepted as "The Yankee way"— Matt Kardos (@mattkardos) May 22, 2017
The Yankee way. Quite possibly one of the most ridiculous reasons I’ve seen to bench a player. Yet, it’s a thing. Not only is it a thing, it’s a thing that is accepted. Because fans are just taught to believe that there’s a “Yankee way” to do things and there’s a lesser way.
After returning from a short road trip, the Yankees introduced a new feature at Yankee Stadium on Monday. The Judge’s Chambers are a section of seats in right field that have been made to look like they are in a courtroom.
This is awesome. The Yankees are showing personality and support for one of their younger players in order to have some fun. No one can see a problem here, right? Yet there were people whose immediate reaction were to complain.
As Grant Brisbee pointed out, people were apparently outraged. “This is something the Mets would do” and “Wouldn’t be seeing this if George were alive!” type comments were everywhere. People in the comments here have complained and lots of other tweets are out there complaining about The Judge’s Chambers. My question is: how is this a bad thing?
“This is something the Mets would do.” Okay? So? In no way, shape, or form do I want the Yankees to be like the Mets in most cases. However, I don’t see a problem with it here. The Mets know how to market their star players and have fun, but the Yankees? They’re as boring as they come.
“This wouldn’t happen if George was alive!” Well then, it might just be okay that he’s not. Yes, George Steinbrenner was the owner during the dynasty era and brought the Yankees back to winning, but he was by all accounts an awful person. Look at how he treated Suzyn Waldman just because she’s a woman.
This is really the man whose approval we’re looking for? The man who didn’t want anyone to bully Waldman, but was okay doing it himself?
Steinbrenner bullied Waldman to tears, then receded to more acceptable levels of boorishness days later. In the peculiar ways in which Steinbrenner was loyal, though, he was loyal to Waldman, and if she was never quite safe from the blasting unmanned firehose of Steinbrenner's personal cruelty and sexism, he worked to protect her from the cruelty and sexism of others
It’s this person’s ideals that are being taught as the “right” way? Steinbrenner was also the man behind the ridiculous grooming policy. In which, a player can’t have facial hair or long hair because it’s “unprofessional.” The other argument is because “it’s tradition.” Which is also a bad argument. Fun fact: the Yankees have won more World Series without the policy than with it.
Some of the other arguments against the Judge’s Chambers stem from how little time Judge has been in the majors. “It’s too soon! What if he slumps and has to be sent back down?” Well, the answer is simple: they’ll take it down at that time. Sure the chances are that Judge won’t continue just raking the way he has, but the chances are also good that he’ll stick around for a long time.
Aaron Judge is a fun baseball player to watch, and the Yankees are quite possibly the most boring team in baseball. In recent years, we’ve seen the Yankees become more likable. From BAE-ROD to the Yankees On Demand videos to just Didi Gregorius’ victory tweets, the Yankees have personality. The Yankees have even started selling shirts with Judge holding a gavel (though PSA did it first).
Now comes the Judge’s Chambers. The Yankees recognized they can market one of their stars and show some life. There’s nothing wrong with that. Scoffing down on it is basically just a war on fun, which I just don’t understand. Why does “the Yankee way” have to be so boring? Why is there a vendetta against fun? Take a look at Clint Frazier, imagine if they didn’t force him to cut his hair?
They could have had just as much fun with Frazier. Instead, they forced him to cut it and managed to convince fans that it was ok because it was “a distraction.” Because it’s “the Yankee way.” They could’ve sold Frazier wigs for when he makes it to the majors or shirts with just a silhouette of his hair, the possibilities were there. Nope...Yankee way.
This isn’t to say all Yankees fans hate this. There’s been an overwhelming majority of fans who are excited about the Judge’s Chambers, as they should be. That doesn’t change the fact that there is a toxic “Yankee way” mentality. Yankees fans shouldn’t look down on something because it’s an idea that a “lesser team” would put in place.
The only problem I see with The Judge’s Chambers is how they’re selecting fans to sit there. I don’t mean the long-term plan where “community groups, charity organizations, Little Leagues, schools, hospitals and others” will occupy the space, which actually sounds like a great idea. Right now, they’re randomly selecting fans inside the stadium wearing Judge gear to sit there.
I feel like this is too selective and isn’t fair to other fans who may not have or be able to afford new Judge gear. It shouldn’t matter what the fans are wearing, especially considering the fact that robes will be provided to fans sitting in the section. The Judge’s Chambers is a great new addition to the stadium, even if some parts of the short-term plan are questionable.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how it’s okay for Yankees fans to enjoy a successful April. I promised that it was okay to enjoy the ride. Now I am promising you that it’s ok to enjoy fun too. I am once again urging Yankees fans to avoid raining on their own parade. It’s okay to enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about “the Yankee Way” and end this war on fun.