Fron The Stands
Watching the Yankee games in Japan these last few days, it seems that the Yes Network has ceased to be objective. After last Tuesday morning’s "devastating" defeat, Yes Network commentator Suzyn Waldman blamed the Yankees’ poor performance on "jetlag." She neglected to mention that the Devil Rays also flew to Japan.
The commentators also appear to be hesitant to criticize the Yankees. While Joe Girardi gave an objective analysis of the games, the rest of the Yes team, (including Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, Charlie Steiner and Waldman,) to make the trip to Japan did not make one disparaging remark about the Yankees. Big George must dock their pay and threaten to take away their dental plans for every criticism of the team.
Commercials on the Yes Network continue to refer to the Yankees as the "most famous team in the world," and the team with the most championships in the world. Wrong. Sorry Yankee fans – they are not the most famous team in the world85.nor do they have the most championships. While soccer has yet to take off in the United States, teams like Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United are exponentially more famous, sell more merchandise and have won more titles, respectively than the Yankees. With so much propaganda on the Yes Network, it’s hard to take them seriously anymore.
One of the most beautiful aspects of baseball is the history and tradition of the sport. Two things are currently threatening that:
During the Yankees/Devil Rays series in Japan, both teams wore advertisements for Ricoh on their shoulders and helmets. While MLB has flirted with putting sponsors on uniforms before, the sight of a McDonald’s ad on a Red Sox or Cubs jersey is nauseating. It’s important to preserve tradition and not use uniform advertisements as another source of revenue. Look at and old picture of Yankee Stadium from the 1990 season and notice how few commercial displays there are in the stands. Now, compare that with a picture of today’s Yankee Stadium. You’ll be shocked.
Secondly, steroids are threatening to bring the game of baseball into disrepute.
With Barry Bonds on pace to break Hank Aaron’s home run record in less than two seasons, it’s important that fans know he didn’t take steroids. While accusations against Bonds, Giambi, Sheffield and Luis Gonzalez are simply allegations, if the Balco case and random testing proved otherwise, it would leave a deep stain on the game. Revelations from Ken Caminiti made last year in Sports Illustrated are also disheartening. The former Astro alleges that players called Tijuana, "the drug store," where they would stock up on "medicine" from Mexico.
Barry Bonds is an incredible baseball talent and his name will soon be ranked among the best to ever play the game. Bonds will soon be synonymous with Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Williams. And in baseball, the names of former heroes have more resonance than the names of past football, hockey or basketball greats. Needless to say, however, some of game’s best players have not been the best of people. When we hear Ty Cobb, we recognize him as a bigot and racist. Pete Rose has more hits than anyone in the history of the game, but fans will remember him more for his gambling. When Barry Bonds breaks the career home run record, will we have to put an asterisk next to his name for steroid use?