Subway Series: Part 2
In part 2 of our Q & A with Alex Belth of Bronx Banter, Alex gives us his view of the impatient fans of the northeast.
Alex, not sure if you’ve heard, but this year Shea Stadium has an unprecedented amount of boo-birds. We kid around here in the “Metsosphere” that the people booing are actually converted Yankee fans … but tell me, would Yankee fans boo Johan Santana on Opening Day? Would they be riding Aaron Heilman as hard as the Sheasters are lately?
I’ve noticed that Met fans get impatient and testy sooner than Yankee fans when I’ve been at the ballpark because there is a sense of the other shoe dropping with the Mets. It is as if some Met fans are just waiting for something bad to happen so they cut it off at the pass by cursing their team at the drop of a hat. It’s a by-product of many losing seasons and a handful of heartbreakers thrown too. On the other hand, so many Yankee fans, particularly younger ones, feel entitled and will accept nothing less than total and complete victory. Let’s face it, Yankee fans are spoiled, by the team’s success throughout MLB history, and by therecent championship run. And that sense of entitlement has long been fostered by George Steinbrenner. It’s understandable but unfortunate, particularly because I think those late 90s Yankees, almost to a man, appreciated how hard it is to win and how improbable what they accomplished actually was.
Would Yankee fans be booing Heilman right now? You bet they would. Would they have booed Santana on Opening Day? It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. You’d think a guy would get a little slack but if Hughes pitched a shut out on Opening Day for the Twins (had he been traded), and Santana got rocked, sure he’d likely hear some boos in the Bronx. Then again, Met fans are understandably sore over what happened last year, nevermind the heartbreak of Yadir Molina the year before.
The bottom line is that both Met fans and Yankee fans are New Yorkers, so they do share a lot in common. I’m sure that statement will offend a lot of people who are convinced that there are very specific and clear differences between the two fan bases, just like Red Sox fans take offense when I’ve suggested that the Sox and Yanks have more in common than not. Throw Philly fans in there too. Yes, there are differences between the fan bases, but they are all from the northeast, are all self-absorbed, are all impatient and not shy about expressing their feelings.
In the next installment, Alex tells us whether he’d do the Johan Santana trade today, and why he believes the last season in Yankee Stadium could be unpleasant for Yankee fans …