June 11, 2003

Yankees No-Hit!

Note the exclamation point. I just enjoyed so much writing that headline for whatever it was to be written below it. I caught only the bottom of the ninth of the first time the Yanks have been no-hit in 45 years. I'm not sure if the fact that it was accomplished by six Houston pitchers in interleague play makes it any less sweet. All Yankee losses are good, but this was special. Is this attitude unhealthy?

I know the rivalry extends well back into the pre-Steinbrenner era, with the Indians and Yankees as the two best American League teams of the 50's, with the Tribe being the perrenial also-rans, (except in '54). In other words it wasn't till the Sixties that the Indians got terrible for 30 years or so, and the rivalry between the teams became the haves and the have nots. I watched Mantle, Maris, Richardson, Ford and Pepitone trounce the Tribe all through the 60's. That's where a lot of it comes from.

But for me, the Steinbrenner-factor is now a big part of the whole anti-Yankee thing too. A Cleveland guy who reportedly tried to buy the Indians and then landed the Yankees. No matter what you think of the guy, many Tribe fans I know have sort of a love-hate winning-envy complex about him. We project what it might have been like in Cleveland with Steinbrenner in charge. The good and the bad. The egomaniac along with the World Series titles. I just know that it wouldn't have been boring, losing baseball.

As long as he's in pinstripes though, officially, he's a bum.

And I couldn't help feeling sorry, as the game ended, for the poor guy from the organization was that was going to have to answer for the team to Steinbrenner after the no-hitter tonight. (How long did he have to look to get a General Manager named Cashman anyway?). Maybe he's mellowed in his old age. It's just one game, but those New York players really looked down in that ninth inning. I didn't see any on-camera shots of George.

When the game ended I had a good feeling. Sure, history was made and everything, but it's really about the Yankees losing. It's about as close as I get to experiencing Schadenfreude. (Why do we have no English word for that feeling?) Is there anything wrong with me feeling like that about the New York Yankees? Nobody gets hurt.

Oh, did I mention.....Yankees No-Hit!.....Yankees No-Hit!

UPDATE: ESPN.com's Jim Caple says that the rejoicing is nearly universal. My favorite passage:

Torre must feel miserable. He's taken the Yankees to the World Series five times in seven years, winning four world championships. He's been the man most responsible for the Yankees' return to prominence, a great manager who symbolizes the best New York can offer. And if the Yankees don't turn things around soon, Steinbrenner still will fire him just as soon as he finishes digging up Billy Martin's body.

By the way, this Caple guy is a card-carrying Yankee Hater. Be sure to click on links to several of his various other Yankee-hating columns, and of course the Page 2 List of the Ten Best Moments Ever for Yankee Haters

Posted by dan at June 11, 2003 11:49 PM