Evil Yankees, Awful Mets: A Cubs Fan Vents about New York, Its Inhabitants-And a Lifetime of Rooting for the Losers

Newsweek, October 30, 2000 | Go to article overview

Evil Yankees, Awful Mets: A Cubs Fan Vents about New York, Its Inhabitants-And a Lifetime of Rooting for the Losers


I will confess at the outset that I am petty and provincial about baseball. I've never recovered from the wounds inflicted by the Wakarusa School when I played second base for Kaw Valley in our rural league near Kansas City in 1960. Nor the helpless agony of watching the Yankees come into town and pulp the A's as if--well, as if they were Kaw Valley. The Yankees and their fans may have many wonderful qualities, but good sportsmanship and humility are not among them.

The A's moved on to Oakland and in 1966 I moved on to Chicago and the Cubs, which will make Mets fans instantly--and gloatingly--understand why I'm not crazy about them, either. I fell in love with the ardor of men like Ron Santo and Bill Buckner--who is remembered for one blunder and not for a decade of brilliant fielding, where he made one extraordinary catch after another on ankles so damaged he had to soak them in hot salt for two hours before taking the field.

So this year's World Series has me in a dilemma. Usually, if the team from Queens or the one from the Bronx is in the series, I root for whoever is playing against them. Now I don't know what to do. Basically I'm suspending my subscription to The New York Times so I won't have the self-anointed paper of record screaming the story at me every morning--I can get Mideast coverage from NPR.

Don't get me wrong. I like a lot of things about New York--I don't share the national prejudice that the city is strictly flyover country between Chicago and Paris or London. But it's the attitude, the "if it's happening here it's of paramount importance to everyone else" mentality that gets me down.

A couple of years ago I went into New York to see my publisher, who kindly gave a dinner party for me. While I was flying in the Knicks beat the Bulls, and my lovely, ultrasophisticated editor greeted me at the door by saying, "We beat you! …

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