Mets vs. Yankees. The prevailing notion in this town is that you are either one or the other. Can't be both. You can't, like indecisive ice cream eaters, simply swirl both teams into the same cone and be on your way. Seemingly each side of our local baseball feud represents some opposing characteristic about the city, and the team you identify with can reveal a whole lot. We would be surprised if some psychotherapy student, somewhere, never wrote a thesis on this very topic.
So with this divisive New York spirit we approach the same question as the season opens -- which side are you on? Are you a scrappy runner-up? Or a corporate, perennial winner? Defending the Mets (sort of), we have Christopher Rosen, Entertainment Editor. For the Yanks, Executive Entertainment Editor Michael Hogan takes the plate. Gird your loins, fans of each -- harsh words lie ahead.
Tell us your opinion before the debate starts to set the starting line
The Yankees Are Evil One Percenters
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Who makes the better argument?
Let's begin with the end: I hate the Yankees.
I used to think I just hated Yankee fans -- y'know, those brotastic idiots who chant "Der-ek Je-ter" in the subway for no reason whatsoever. But, recently, I've begun to realize I hate the team itself, and everything it stands for.
The Yankees are the one percent. The Yankees are the Russian army. The Yankees are the Republican Party.
It's not just that they have the most money to spend, it's that they don't have any limits or self-realized regrets. Put another way: The Yankees have no face.
How else to explain a team that can spend million on a middle reliever like Rafael Soriano and then not even blink an eye when he's terrible and/or injured -- like everyone predicted? (Even general manager Brian Cashman.)
How else to explain how they could trade for Michael Pineda and then act surprised when he's hurt -- this despite many wondering if they got a gift horse from the Mariners, who traded a young starter under manageable club contractual obligations when there was no pressure to move him?
The Yankees have no shame, and that attitude extends to their arrogant and deluded fan base.
If you live in New York, you've probably heard Mike Francesa talk about the Yankees on more than one occasion. The WFAN radio host is the Grand Poobah of the Yankee faithful: a loud, obnoxious blowhard who never admits a mistake, even when faced with embarrassing proof. (He didn't know Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque was a real person, and then, when presented with evidence to the contrary, simply decided to make fun of his name; class act!)
Here's the thing about Francesa and Yankees fans in general: even when the Yankees lose, they don't accept that they lost. It's really a sickness -- a symptom of years of entitlement that has made generations of Yankees fans impervious to common human decency. Even when the Yankees get run out of the playoffs by an on-paper inferior team (see: Detroit last season), fans don't seem fazed; it's the Yankees after all, so losing must be someone else's problem.
As a proud Yankees hater, I can take solace in the fact that the team is a shell of its former glory-days self. Yes, this is a club three years removed from winning a World Series, but only an idiot -- or a Yankees fan -- could think the Yankees are championship club as currently constructed. They field a team of chokers and bullies, buoyed only by the clutchness of Derek Jeter, the one Yankee even Yankee haters can get behind. Jeter is a pro's pro; Alex Rodriguez slapped at Bronson Arroyo's glove. (Never forget.)
This is probably the part where I'm supposed to convince you to root for the Mets. Not that you couldn't figure it out, but I'm a Mets fan. I have been since 1986, when, as a wee eight-year-old, I watched them win the World Series. If I had known then what I know now, amirite? Since that high-water mark, the Mets have been the Mets at best, and the Mutts at worst. Right now, they're in a Mutts phase, thanks in part to terrible management, terrible ownership and Bernie Madoff.
Couldn't that one-percenter have cozied up to Hank Steinbrenner?
Still, here's the twist: The Mets aren't much better than the Yankees. At least as a franchise. They still spend money wildly and make huge mistakes. You'd like to think the Mets have a face, but really, they don't. At least not the Wilpons -- Fred and his son, Jeff -- who should have sold the team at some point in the last year rather than take an entire franchise and its fan base down the Madoff rabbit hole.
So, should you root for the Mets over the Yankees? Probably not. But you should never root for the Yankees. Ever. They are the worst. They are the Evil Empire. As a person with values, you realize that. Don't succumb to the dark side.
POST DEBATE POLL
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The Yankees Are Evil One Percenters
VIEW DEBATE ROUND 1 RESULTS
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Christopher Rosen"Disagree"Neither argumenthas changed the most minds