The good news is that such anti-Yankee venom does not bother me much (although it does wound me). I have already addressed some of the Yankee-Hating Propaganda that we hear all too often, so I will not repeat it here. I cannot, however, permit my buddy's rant to go unanswered, if for no other reason than to alleviate some of the unwarranted anger that he obviously feels for his own team's shortcomings (the New York Mets), projecting them onto the Bronx Bombers. I consider this a public service to help Jon off the ledge, and maybe help other Yankee Haters out there. The unsolicited essay by Jon is a cry for help and we Yankee fans must reach out and save our brother from the pits of despair.
There are a number of ways to counter Jon's Top 10 List. I can repute them point by point, but I have already done so for some of them in my Letter to Yankee Haters. The other accusations are so baseless that they are laughable (such as the libelous/slanderous lie that the franchise does not care for New York or the Bronx -- their charity work, such as HOPE Week, is just one example to prove otherwise). As for Yankee fans not knowing their history, that's the most absurd insult of all -- if anything we dwell too much on the past, moreso than probably any other franchise. I recommend the excellent book Pinstripe Empire by Marty Appel for anyone looking to learn more about the incredible legacy of my favorite team (and you don't have to like the Yanks or even the sport of baseball to appreciate the marvelous anecdotes in it -- it's a bestseller for a reason).
I can choose to stoop to the "Hater Level" and go toe-to-toe with jabs at Jon's team, pointing out how the Metropolitans lack originality, taking elements from the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers when designing their uniforms, for example. Yet, I choose to take the higher ground, because I do not hate the Mets. (My own father, after all, is a loyal follower of the so-called Amazin' ones who are in another "rebuilding" phase.) If I may paraphrase Clubber Lang who once said about his nemesis Rocky Balboa, I pity the fools.
Instead, I will offer my own ten simple things I love about the Yankees. Maybe this will melt the ice around Jon's heart and like the Grinch he will see the light and grab the Bleacher Creatures' hands one day and sing "fahoo fores dahoo dores" or however that Whoville song goes as they're all circling the Christmas tree.
Ten Things I Love About the Yankees:
1. Babe Ruth
2. Yogi Berra
3. Lou Gehrig
4. Joe DiMaggio
5. Don Mattingly
6. Derek Jeter
7. Mariano Rivera
8. Ron "Louisiana Lighning" Guidry
9. Thurman Munson
10. Paul O'Neill
How can anyone who calls themselves a lover of sports even consider hating a franchise that has names like that associated with it. As Gehrig, "The Iron Horse," said during the speech that has been immortalized as the Gettysburg Address of Baseball, "Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?"
I also hold dear many other names, such as Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, David Wells, and others who might have human imperfections, but as athletes on the field gave us some unforgettable memories for the ages.
To Jon and others I say, embrace them! Enjoy the thrilling sports drama that the New York Yankees continue to provide. If nothing else, look upon them as shining beacons and hope that your own teams can follow in the path that the Yankees have blazed, for when they do, history is made. Look no further than the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies for proof. The Yankees and all they have accomplished would say "You're welcome" for paving the way, but they are too modest to do so.