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MLB hater nation: New York Yankees

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An updated look at the perennial ALDS losers

Derek Jeter Ceremony Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Since the schedule makers have decided that the Phillies and Yankees will only play a two-game series beginning on Saturday, rather than doing a whole new preview for the Yankees, I’ve re-visited this piece from last summer when we weren’t entirely sure if baseball was ever going to be played.

Most of what I’ve written holds up because Derek Jeter will forever be overrated, and Yankees fans will forever be obnoxious braggards with no self-awareness and no sense of irony.

I will provide a few updates though:

  1. The Yankees won a Wild Card berth in 2020 and then lost in the ALDS for the fourth straight year. They paid all that money to Gerrit Cole, only to end up with the same result as the three seasons prior. But hey, at least they didn’t lose to the Astros this time!
  2. After getting off to a 9-13 start that had their fans ready to fire the entire team, the Yankees are now 33-30 and in third place. As is their wont, Yankees fans are still calling for everyone to be fired.

3. You know how sometimes you see a starting pitching matchup between two aces and get excited? Unfortunately, we’re not getting Cole vs. Zack Wheeler this weekend. Instead, we’ll get Vince Velasquez vs. Jameson Taillon, and that should cause whatever the opposite of excitement is.

4. Miguel Andujar is still bad, but according to bWAR, he has not been the least valuable player on the team this year. That “honor” goes to outfielder Clint Frazier who has been worth a full one win BELOW replacement.

And now you’re fully up to date. Please enjoy the rest of the story where I rip on the Yankees and their fans...

In preparation for a 2020 season that may or may not happen, I’ve been going around the major leagues and spending some time hating on every team. I had started off at the bottom, but for this edition, I decided to jump around a bit and pick one of the American League’s better teams in 2019. You know them, and most likely hate them: The New York Yankees!

Brief history of the franchise

If you didn’t know that the Yankees franchise has had some success in the past, just ask any Yankees fan, and they’ll tell you. And even if you don’t ask them, they’ll probably tell you anyway. Because if there’s one thing Yankees fans enjoy talking about, its how successful their team has been.

If ESPN, Fox, and MLB Network are to be believed, most of that historical success is because of one man: Derek Jeter. Based on the media’s deference to Jeter, you’d be forgiven if you thought he was the greatest player in the history of the sport.

Actually, I got a little carried away there. People who believe Jeter is the GOAT should not be forgiven under any circumstances.

Want to see a good example of how insufferable Yankees fans are? Bring up the fact that Jeter was not a unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame.

In the history of the Hall of Fame, every single player save one (and while great, its bizarre that he was the first to receive the unanimous honor) has fallen short of unanimity. But sure, Derek Jeter not getting a single vote is the biggest injustice in the history of the sport.

What happened in 2019

The Yankees had a nice regular season only to get spanked by the Astros in the ALCS for the second time in three years. Yankees fans claim that they should be retroactively be awarded the 2017 World Series title because the Astros were caught cheating. Then again, Yankees fans could probably find a reason why EVERY World Series should be retroactively awarded to them.

These people actually think its good for baseball when their team wins, and because the Astros success came at the Yankees expense, it somehow makes the crime worse.

Speaking of the Yankees-Astros rivalry, it’s amusing how the Yankees are crying about the Astros cheating against them in 2017, while conveniently overlooking some not-so-legal tactics they employed themselves.

Alanis Morissette has a better sense of irony than Yankees fans.

Guess you don’t hate them THAT much

The Yankees supposedly hate the Astros for “robbing” them of a title, yet when one of the 2017 Astros came available in free agency, they couldn’t wait to throw as much money as they could in his direction. And the fans have gotten over their grudges shockingly fast.

Least valuable player in 2019

After an outstanding rookie year which saw him finish second in Rookie of the Year voting (Surprise, surprise - Yankees fans insist their guy was screwed in that voting), Miguel Andujar was considered a future star at third base. Instead of building on his rookie campaign, Andujar spent the majority of his sophomore year on the injured list.

In the limited games he did play last season, he was downright awful. Appearing in 12 games, he batted .128 with no extra base hits, and was a disaster in the field. It’s tough to earn negative -1.2 wins over (under) replacement in just 12 games, but Andujar pulled it off.

Whither Giancarlo

Remember Giancarlo Stanton? After the 2014 season, the Marlins signed the slugging outfielder to a huge extension. At the time, pretty much everyone predicted:

  1. He was going to spend a lot of time on the injured list, because players who are often injured early in their career also tend to get injured a lot as they get older.
  2. He was going to get traded at some point, because the Marlins are basically allergic to paying a lot of money to players.
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees
Stanton was never going to play out his contract in Miami
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Sure enough, three years into the deal, the Marlins wanted to rid themselves of Stanton’s contract. And when you want to unload a good player with a hefty contract, who’s the first team you call?

Based on the return, the Yankees might have been the only team the Marlins called, because he did not bring back an overwhelming return. The deal made some people question if Marlins president Derek Jeter was still on the Yankees payroll. As it turns out, the Marlins are just a poorly run franchise.

And then, after being healthy for most of 2017 and 2018, Stanton spent a lot of time on the injured list in 2019.

To the Yankees credit, they haven’t allowed this behemoth of a contract to slow them down financially. Many of you may dislike the Yankees because they outspend everyone else and “buy championships.” However, the correct reaction should be jealousy that your team isn’t doing the same. Back when the Phillies had a top five payroll - and not coincidentally winning a lot of games - I certainly wasn’t complaining about how much they were spending

Prediction for 2020

They’ll likely make the postseason again, and just as likely fall short of the World Series again. It is yet to be determined why Yankees fans will decide this is a monumental travesty, but they’re a clever bunch. I’m sure they’ll think of something.