Monday, November 1, 2010

Who's the biggest "embarrassment"? Yankee fans, Chuck Greenberg, or Randy Levine?

There was a whole to-do in the media today over Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg criticizing New York Yankee fans. According to an ESPN New York report, he called them "awful," an "embarrassment," and "either violent or apathetic." But I have a different reaction than many Yankee fans did reading these quotes from the article:
"I think our fans have been great," Greenberg said on The Ben and Skin Show on 103.3 KESN. "I think particularly in Game 3 of the World Series they just blew away anything I've seen in any venue during the postseason. I thought Yankee fans, frankly, were awful. They were either violent or apathetic, neither of which is good. So I thought Yankee fans were by far the worst of any I've seen in the postseason. I thought they were an embarrassment."
Are all Yankee fans "either violent or apathetic"? Of course not; he's painting with way too broad a brush here, partly, I'm sure, to get Cliff Lee to stay in Texas.

But does Greenberg have a point? I believe he does. As I complained during the ALCS, way too many fans for my tastes left these games early when the Yankees were losing, like fleeing during the sixth and seventh inning after Game 4. And then there was that brouhaha about Cliff Lee's wife during Game 3, with some Yankee fans acting like knuckleheads, and some real security concerns.

Is it surprising that an another team's owner would bring up these points, especially when he's trying to keep from answering a question about fans in his own ballpark yelling at others for standing during two strikes? Not really.

So I'm not gonna be a hypocrite and be all "how dare he say this," when I've complained over the same things myself. For all the monetary support (ticket sales, memorabilia purchases, etc.) Yankees give their team, there are some fans who are fairweather fans, and some who are jerks.

However, no fan base is perfect; there are knuckleheads everywhere. Greenberg didn't bring it up, but I know Yankee fans have yelled drug-related insults at Josh Hamilton and Ron Washington, which is tacky. Much like it was tacky when I personally heard Ranger fans yell drug-related insults at Darryl Strawberry in the 90s, when he was on the Yankees. One of the times, he shut the Rangers fans up by hitting a massive homer!

As for Greenberg's comments, Yankee president Randy Levine was asked to respond, but he declined to do so. Instead, he had a spokesman issue this statement: "At this time, we are honoring the commissioner's policy regarding respecting and not distracting from the World Series." Huh? You mean like announcing Joe Girardi's new deal during World Series Week?

And this is the second time in a week that Levine's done the no-comment thingy with the Rangers. See this from an article from last week about fans acting up against Cliff Lee's wife:
Yankees president Randy Levine, called to pinpoint precisely where the visiting players' wives were sitting -- inside the moat, in the expensive seats with the supposedly "better-behaved'' crowd, or outside the moat, with the riffraff like you and me -- refused to come to the phone and referred all inquiries to a Yankees publicist.
At any rate, Levine ought to have some reaction as to what Greenberg said, as his comments are an opening salvo in the battle for Cliff Lee, as well as an indictment of the team's security. Last time I checked, I thought the Yankees wanted to sign Lee.  Why is Levine so blase on this?

Back in the day, George Steinbrenner would either have said something withering about Greenberg, or had his press agent, Howard Rubenstein, write a sarcastic statement. Now, we get "no comment." Boring!

What do you think? Tell us about it!


The Omnipotent Q said...

I think the Minnesota Vikings management has them all beat.

Uncle Mike said...

Yankee Fans haven't been an embarrassment since the booing of "O Canada" in September 1985. Levine can always hide behind the Steinbrenners to avoid embarrassment. Greenberg, however clumsily, did apologize. And while the Rangers were conclusively beaten, they fought to the end and did not embarrass themselves.

So the biggest embarrassment is actually Kristin "It's so nice living close to home" Lee. I hope she's not the one negotiating her husband's contract, because Benton, Arkansas is 313 miles from Arlington, Texas. Roughly the same distance that Fredericksburg, Virginia; Biddeford, Maine; and Syracuse are from Yankee Stadium.

"Close"? Closer than Orlando is to Cincinnati (if you remember the way Ken Griffey Jr. left Seattle in 1999), but not close, and no victory cigar, either.

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