I gotta hand it to Hank, he is really filling George’s crazy statement void in a big way. He seems just as out of touch with reality as his old man, and that is terrific because it is going to make for a ton of great blog post opportunities, including this one here (though this probably doesn't rise to the level of "great).
So Hank thinks that the increased popularity in the Red Sox is akin to the Yeti or the Global Warming. Just a figment of our imagination and those who keep fostering the idea have some sordid anti-Yankee agenda. Amittedly I’m putting an awful lot of spin on the below quote but the greater point is that to even suggest that ESPN, or any sports media outlet, is somehow "biased" AGAINST the Yankees is not simply wrong--though it is unquestionably a false statement–but completely insane:
"Red Sox Nation?" Hank says. "What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."So ESPN gives more love to the Sox than the Yanks? They sent Chris Connelly to do a tear-jerker piece about a Yankees MIDDLE RELIEVER’s dad last year. The only time the Sox and their fans were in the news more often than the Yanks over the last couple of years was when they Won the F'n series... and even then they were upstaged by A-Rod's contract fiasco. That was followed closely by the Joe Torre situation (DOZENS of hours of airtime) and then Clemens and Pettitte. If there is a bias against the Yankees, how are the Royals supposed to feel?
Now, I would agree that the Sox have WAY outmarketed the Yanks in terms of creating a brand for their fan-base (for better or worse) and ESPN is certainly complicit in that growth, but who are the Yanks to complain about the overexposure of another team? There is not a day that goes by that we don’t hear about the Yankees. It made news when we learned that Joba would be limited to 150 innings and likely start in the bullpen! Can you even name a middle reliever on another team? I don’t think there are a whole lot of tears being shed for the lack of exposure for the Yanks.
What I also enjoyed about this quote was Hank coming off as that guy who walks into a grocery store and can’t find the blackjack gum or RC Cola and gets pissed when he can’t find the showtimes for the Drive-in or can’t understand why the picture on his wall is moving around and talking to him. I know this new world with all its gizmos and gadgets must be awfully confusing, but we’ve come a long way since 1955. The first thing that Hank needs to realize is that the Yankees teams that "ruled the universe" are no longer. The league is much more competitive and even though the Yankees are STILL the most popular team, they won’t get back to their glory days of the 30's, 60's and 90's until they get some pitching. They may have the worst starting pitching staff in their division and possibly the third worst in the American League. But more importantly, who the fuck wears a Yankees or Red Sox jacket? Are we talking High School Letterman Jackets or windbreakers or something? I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the fans across the country are walking around in Red Sox leather jackets. I’m pretty sure the Starter Jacket fad went the way of "French-rolled" pants and the NHL. I can just picture Hank talking with his head of marketing about the new products for the 2008 season and suggesting a line of Yankees parachute pants or perhaps a felt Boller or Derby.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Hank Steinbrenner era is going to be a friggin treat.