Infestation

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(Yankees fans crawl out of the woodwork after having overtaken first place)

What’s that Yankees fans were always advising us after we won the World Series, “Act like you’ve been there before?” It’s good to know that sentiment is apparently completely optional when it comes to Yankee fan behavior regarding their position in the standings.

Yes, it’s true, with a win last night over the Texas Rangers coupled with a Sox loss to the improbable Devil Rays (Grrrr, grrrrrr!), the Yankees find themselves in first place in the AL East by a half game. And with all the hooting and hollering and posting and screeching and taunting they’ve been doing, you’d think it was Free Pint Night at Alpha Gamma Epsilon. During Mardi Gras. On the weekend. At the MTV Beach House. Because seriously? Yankees fans are NOT acting like they’ve been here before. Not in the slightest. They go away for months at a time when the team is tanking and their starting rotation is sucking more wind that a Boeing 747 and they reappear – totally coincidentally, I’m sure – as the Yanks scratch and crawl their way into first place. Klassy.

Now look, I’ll be the first to admit that I gave them more than my fair share of shit when they were bottom-dwelling and being swept by the likes of the Royals and the Devil Rays. Because that was good times. And I don’t regret it now. The schadenfreude tasted delicious and they deserved every pointed barb and biased criticism I tossed at them. Why? Because I knew it’d come back to this. The Yankees are often regarded as a sleeping beast or the monster in a horror movie who you can never be sure is completely and totally dead. It’s not like it was about to change this year. I mean, we all hoped, but come on, we’re Red Sox fans, we know it ain’t going down like that.

That said, Christ on a bike, are they annoying! I have fielded emails from people who have actually told me in the past “I’m not really a baseball fan” who now feel the need to ask me “What do the standings say? I can’t read them this morning.” These people are usually regarded with a quizzical look morphing into a choking sound. And the best part about that is, they have no response to that. Because what are they going to say? Exactly.

So while it is with much anger, gnashing of teeth and venom spewed in the direction of the Red Sox dugout that I watch this rapidly deteriorating series against the Devil Rays, it is with a mild “pshaw” that I keep an eye on the Yankees. Yes, the Sox have got to start playing better. No one knows that better than me. But, seriously, I don’t want to go all pretentious and start quoting people but Yankees/Red Sox is the “same as it ever was.”

However, I would like to say to any and all Yankee fans who insist on crawling out of the woodwork like the proverbial front-running termites you are; save it. We’ve had enough. And if you insist on taunting us because you are a MERE HALF GAME in front of us in the standings, well, shit, *cough*, *gasp*, *choke*. What I read into that is fear. Because if there’d been hide or hair of them to be seen for the entire first half of the season, I could respect the taunting now. I could understand it and I could accept it. I wouldn’t like it, but at least I would realize that they’d stuck it out all year long. But that it’s just coming up now, when the Yanks are back on top, however tenuously, tells me that Yankee fans are spewing all their bullshit when they have a chance. Because they damn sure remember last year and they know that a second place team is not something to be taken lightly. So go ahead, taunt all you want. But careful up there at the top. We’re gaining on you.

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