The dreaded post season post

OK. So here goes the post I’ve been dreading to put up. You know that sad- mopey faithful fan post season rant after we didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs. Sadly, I didn’t get to post anything during the actual ALDS (you probably shouldn’t have heard words coming out of my mouth at that time anyways). It happens you know, you win some you lose some. That’s the way baseball goes that is just how the game is played.

We played the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS and you know what even I will admit they played a dang good series. I don’t like to admit it but they had a much better pitching game. We had a good season hands-down. You can’t win them all… you can’t win every year.  Nevertheless, it is heartbreaking to see the other team chest bumping and yours do the trying not to show emotion, head hanging and slow motion walk  off the diamond. It is so much worse when you are so so close and can see the comeback right in front of your eyes and then with strike 1…strike 2….strike 3… you are out. The whole season is done, months of hard work over and the gut wrenching realization that baseball season is over for your team. Yes, I sound a little dramatic, but I kid you not this is how big of a deal baseball season is to me. My dad always told me there is no crying in baseball but I have to say I always get a little choked up at the end of a season which is saying something because I don’t cry watching “The Notebook”.Now like I have mentioned I am from Dallas. Which is now home to one of the biggest bandwagons in baseball: The Texas Rangers. I never really liked the rangers but my complete despise for them started last year, when everyone suddenly became a rangers fan as soon as they were winning. It’s really annoying to be from somewhere where baseball wasn’t such a huge deal to BAM all of a sudden every facebook status says “Go Rangers” when my thoughts were “Uhh, when did you start watching baseball?”

Me in the Yankee dugout

Whatever, people can be ranger fans I don’t care but let’s get one thing straight the biggest rivalry in baseball is Yankees and Red Sox. They are nothing without each other. Here’s what makes me mad: Getting on social media after a loss. Red Sox fans…bash away we are true rivals you guys go for it, I understand. Ranger fans… shut up. You are not our rivals don’t criticize the yankees when you cocky people have only been in the playoffs TWICE in MLB history..guess what? We have 27 World Series Championships… don’t even try! It was insane to see how many people were saying “Haha the yankees lost. Haha they suck” well all I have to say is “Haha. You guys are ignorant and must not know anything about baseball if you think they suck.” One of the best parts about baseball is the rivalries but let me make clear the rangers are NOT our rivals, they are by no means on our level. Even a die-hard Red Sox fan who is a friend of mine said ” I’m a Sox fan and it’s annoying me how much crap Rangers fans are talking about the Yanks. Hope the Tigers shut them up.”

Poor Red Sox loving best friend in my Yankees shirt

 As much as you hate a rival, it is important to have them. So you can have moments where you and your best friend (who is a die hard Red Sox fan) make a bet on the outcome  of the game…. needless to say poor girl had to wear my Yankee shirt, which nearly killed her. I think players on our team, such as Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, earned so much more respect and recognition this season. That’s something to be proud of. We still had the best record in the American League.. we may not be going to the World Series but that is still something to be proud of. Tune in next time when I will cover…oh yes I am going to go there… Alex Rodriguez.

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Did you forget to mention Maris?

50 years ago from October 1, Roger Maris surpassed Babe Ruth as the single season homerun champion. Now it doesn’t seem like it should be a huge deal, but as the 50th anniversary arrives people are just now giving credit where it was due. I think he should have gotten more praise than bad press at the time of his actual achievement. The Yankees held a ceremony for Maris during the first game of the playoffs at Yankee Stadium where his sons were given one of his old bats and threw out the first pitch. What’s sad about Roger Maris’ situation is that he was in the shadow of Mickey Mantle and the rest of murderer’s row throughout his entire career with the Yankees.

It is very sad when a player who is truly great is not recognized simply because he is outshined by another player who isn’t necessarily better. Maris is still fighting for respect when it should have just been given to him. He literally achieved one of baseball’s greatest achievements and was not recognized for it until way later. After his death, he was commemorated in Monument Park where his plaque reads “In 1961 he became the only player to hit more than 60 homeruns in a single season in belated recognition of one of baseball’s greatest achievements ever. He hit 61 in ’61. The Yankees salute him as a great player and as author of one of the most remarkable chapters in the history of Major League Baseball.”

 It is absolutely crazy to me how someone who did so much for baseball was so little recognized! Also I kind of like that he spent less than a semester at the University of Oklahoma- obviously he had some good sense in him. You know, I can’t help but love those “coming from nothing” and completely making someone out of yourself in the world, whatever I’m a sap for those stories. I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes now but I hope baseball fans everywhere realize he wasn’t just a “one year guy” he helped build one of the most important eras in not just Yankee history but also in the entire history of baseball.

How baseball helped to heal a city and the Yankees were a symbol of hope

No one would ever think sports would really help to keep spirits up after such a great tragedy, but somehow when all hope was lost there was something to look to.

September 11, 2001 was a day our nation will never forget. Our nation was attacked. New York City was in shambles. How could a team react to such tragic events? What is their even to say when your home is attacked? The Yankees had no idea how to make anyone feel better but they did what they are best at. They gave hope to fans that needed it. They volunteered and they talked to victim’s families. The team pulled together for the people that they play for. The Yankees had a bigger part in their community than just playing baseball games; they really mattered in that moment for something so much bigger than baseball.

Standing ovations were given to the terrible, hated Yankees in their first game after the 9/11 attacks in Chicago. Fans held signs that said “We are all Yankees.” It seemed the nation came behind the Yankees after 9/11. Usually, when they would travel the fans were split where they hated or loved the Yankees… no in between. This time was different. This time people were looking at the Yankees not as the baseball team they usually don’t like but rather as a statue of hope for a broken city. They were playing for the victims and for the families who were hurting. If they could have them smiling or if there was any they could help to get rid of the grief at all, then they would do it.

They could never fully take away the pain but they gave the city hope, something to keep their minds away from all the pain and tragedy. They lost the World Series that year… but they won so much more. Their fans needed them in this horrible time and the Yankees needed them too.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

So recently there was yet another record broken by a Yankee. I understand people hate the Yankees for the simple reason that they win and they break records, which is understandable. Seeing a team that have won 27 world series and broken several records probably would seem obnoxious to most people, but not to me. The success to me is not too different from the failures we have had, I am a fan when we are playing our best and when we play our worst.

Let’s talk a little bit about the history of the Yankees. Actually don’t hate me but I am really going to brag on Derek Jeter for a while. Seriously though, Jeter is one of those players that you can’t hate for being a Yankee because he is so good at being a Yankee. Derek Jeter is the essence of a true Yankee he has been a Yankee from the very beginning and he has been a true asset to the Yankee franchise.

 Derek Jeter recently surpassed Mickey mantle for the most played games in the Yankee franchise history. That’s a lot of games. On September 14, 2008, Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for most hits at Yankee Stadium. He passed Gehrig on September 16, 2008. On August 2, 2009, Jeter played in his 2,084th game, tying Babe Ruth for 4th in Yankees history. On April 6, 2010, Jeter, along with Posada and Mariano Rivera, became the first teammates in any of the four major league sports in North America (MLB, NFL, NBA, or NHL) to play in at least 16 seasons on the same team as teammates. On July 9, 2011, Jeter became the 28th member of the 3,000 hit club when he homered off David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays in the third inning at Yankee Stadium. He is also the first player in Yankees history to achieve the feat. On July 14, 2011, Jeter and Posada played their 1,660th game together, breaking the previous franchise record of 1,659 by Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri. On August 29, 2011, Jeter played his 2,402nd game with the Yankees, breaking Mickey Mantle’s record for most games played as a Yankee.

I hate to seem cocky but it’s crazy how so many people hate the Yankees out of jealousy. That’s something that really bothers me when other people bring down an organization for their success. When people were bashing Derek Jeter on his 3,000 hits achievement it horrified me, he should be proud of this rare accomplishment and not ever have to hear the haters. To me “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

What it takes to be a Yankee fan!

Ok so I am from Dallas, Texas, not the ideal place to live for a dedicated Yankees fan, trust me. Not only do I get criticism for being a Yankees fan in general but it’s a lot worse in the vicinity of Rangers fans. Let’s be realistic though, a lot of people don’t like Yankee fans. The thing about Yankee fans though is that there is a huge base of us all over the country, what other team can truly say they have as many fans as we do?

Being a Yankees fan you will hear the never ending “bandwagon” remark, that all Yankee fans are simply fans because they are winners. I don’t think that is true at all but I guess I am pretty biased. I have heard you are not a real fan of baseball if you are Yankees fan, seriously? I think you are more of a baseball fan if you are a Yankees fan because you are a fan of a team with so much history and a team that helped to make baseball more well-known.

Here’s my idea of what a real fan is made of: a real history with a team that you love. My Dad’s grandpa came to New York on Ellis Island from Poland. He was working in New York City when the Yankees dynasty was being born under Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. If you know anything about baseball then you know they are two of the greatest players to ever walk on a baseball diamond.

The tradition started in my family from there and lives on through a signed Babe Ruth baseball, dirt from the old stadium and a need to know every score of every game. My great-grandpa lived in the time of Babe Ruth, my Dad’s generation worshiped Mickey Mantle and I get to experience Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira. I find it honor to be able to watch these great players and know that I have the pride of the Yankees within me too. It takes a true love of the game to be a fan but it takes a true love for the pride, history and tradition of baseball to be a Yankees fan.