A great interleague series between the Cubs and Yankees came and went last weekend. Although the Yanks swept my Cubbies I noticed that my burning hate for the Bronx Bombers no longer existed. As a child, there was no team more hateable than the Yankees and I am not the only on in this camp. This is a different Yankee team though, unlike one I have ever seen before. With this new found respect for the Yankees what team should replace them as the most despised team in sports? The answer is an obnoxious little basketball team out of Oakland known as the Golden State Warriors. This is a luke-warm take but not one that should go without a thorough explanation.
Why I Used to Hate The Yankees
The Yankees of my youth (the late 90s to early 2010’s) were one of the most obnoxious teams out there. Refusing to build their own talent they used their immense wealth to sign studs from other teams that had a smaller checkbook. Guys like Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, and Jason Giambi were given offers they could not refuse to leave their small market teams. It seems like every time a player started to emerge as a superstar, the Yankees were ready to swoop in and offer them the big payday. Now I get it, “that’s baseball” but a lot of these guys were also finding other ways to give the Yankees a leg up, yes steroids. Yes everyone was on steroids back then but when The Yankees were, it put a bad taste in our mouths. Guys like Clemens, Rodriguez, Pettite, and Giambi were juicing on the very field in which DiMaggio, Ruth, Mantle, and Gehrig put on the map. It was more of a disrespect to the game when the roids were used by Yankees as the Yankees are the biggest name in the sport. Is that fair? Hardly, but baseball is weird like that. If the steroids and the free agency did not turn you off to the Yankees always winning sure did. Let’s face it, we were all jealous of the yearly success of the Yankees. This is why the underdog victories like the 03 Marlins and the 04 Red Sox were such massive wins, they beat the big dogs. Don’t get me wrong, the Yankees had their fair share of class acts (Jeter, Bernie Williams, Soriano) but they take the second stage to all the jealousy and controversy.
Why I Like These Yankees
What’s not to like? They are a young team filled with absolute hustlers. Guys like Ellsbury, Hicks, and Gardner will clock a blistering StatCast making sensational plays in the outfield or while chugging to beat out an infield ground ball. Then there is the big elephant, scratch that, wooly mammoth in the room Aaron Judge. Dude is massive and can absolutely scorch the ball. One would be hard pressed to find Judge not smiling during a baseball game and he passes his love for the game onto the fans. Multiple times at Wrigley judge would be handing baseballs (because he does not have to toss them) to young fans cheering for both teams. I would be willing to bet some of his favorite players did the same for him. The pitching staff is something to be desired but I am always of the mindset that a great team builds around hitting, which the Yankees seem to be doing. I do not dislike a single player on this team and I will be rooting for them to get to the playoffs (most likely a wild card spot).
Next Man Up: The Golden State Warriors
At the start, like many, I initially liked these guys. By these guys I mean the Warriors from like 2012-2014. They had a true underdog story in Steph Curry and a supporting cast of up and coming shooters. With their success came their arrogance. As their arrogance grew the little things started to piss us all off. (Steph chewing on the mouth guard and yes, Riley Curry press conferences). Then they beat the unbeatable record forcing all of Chicago to root for Lebron and the Cavs, a sin in most neighborhoods. This was followed by Draymond Green constantly kicking people in the manhood. Finally, the mother of all offenses was on the 4th of July,2016 when twitter exploded reacting to the Kevin Durant signing. On the day in which we expected to celebrate our great nation’s independence we were forced to observe the second coming of Benedict Arnold himself. (Obviously, this makes Russ, George Washington). This team, like the Yankees of old, has a stacked roster and downright dismantles teams, for the most part(*cough* 3-1 lead “cough*).The only person who must truly love the Warriors right now is Lebron James, as all the hate that was directed at him seems to be shifting towards the West Coast and he is finally the underdog he has been trying to be his whole career.
So sports fans rejoice as we have finally found a Yankee team that is palpable, but it comes at a price. As a youthful baseball fanatic, I would always hope that the Yankees would never win another championship. Many years later, a slightly more mature me… says the same damn thing about the Golden State Warriors. Go pound sand, Kevin Durant.