Thursday, June 2, 2011
Are the Yankees Over rated or Just Hated?
Here at PTU, we know a thing or two about hating. The most common word in the titles of our posts is "hate" second only to "best" or "worst" and "LeBron" (who we always hate on). Hater J is a PTU founder and "things J hates" in the banner is about as broad a term as you can find. Suffice to say, we're no stranger to hatred. To call someone a hater, though, usually implies that they do so indiscriminately and often times out of jealousy (Hater J excluded, he usually has reason for his hatred outside of jealousy). And that's the definition that's usually applied to critics of the Yankees, most recently regarding another one of those anonymous Sports Illustrated Player polls.
The SI player poll is probably my favorite part of the magazine, since it's basically an open forum for the usually boring, don't offend anyone, players to shit on their colleagues (to an even greater degree is ESPN's Player X articles, where some nameless active player hates the hell out of his fellow players). Last week's issue posed the question "Who is the Most Over rated player in baseball?" and to no one's surprise almost everyone mentioned was in pinstripes (the only non Yank in the top 5 played for the Red Sox, naturally). Yankee hating is America's real national pastime (after Nascar) but there is also, of course, the frontrunner who's die-hard Yankee thru and thru despite never stepping foot in New York. And it must be particularly tough on other MLB teams to deal with the attention that even mediocre Yankee players receive from the entire country. Say you're a solid outfielder for the Pirates or some other team nobody cares about. Sweating your way through another long, awful summer catching fly balls in front of half empty stadiums and considering perking up your soul deadening boring existence by cheating on your wife if only any groupies recognized you. Meanwhile, Nick Swisher guest stars on How I Met your Mother and marries a chick from Gossip Girl while getting a hit every 4 days. Ouch. Are these guys really over rated or is this just jealousy from the huddled masses of Yankee haters on the other teams?
I'd say it's everyone's favorite cop-out answer (but true this time): a little bit of both. A Rod was already seen as one of the greatest players before coming here (and one of the most hated due to his douchiness) but what about the rest of the over-rated list? Jeter is a terrific player, a winner for his whole career, and a guy who always plays his hardest and has a reputation for being clutch. But,he is also without a doubt over-rated because he plays for the Yankees and they win all the time. If he played for the Florida Marlins, Minka Kelly would be dating Colin Farrell or someone. That doesn't take away from Jeter, just that he's benefited from being on the big stage, and part of that is a tendency to over rate him. Same goes for Joba and Swisher to an even greater extent. Two marginally talented players who've parlayed their status as Yankees into minor celebrities. And I'm sure nothing irks these other players who were polled more. This doesn't mean that the rest of baseball isn't hating on the Yankees, just that they may be justified in doing so.