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It was a question I had never been asked.
Before I gave a recent talk at Boston College, my introduction ended with "Matthew's publicly talked about how much he hates the Yankees, so he expects a warm Boston welcome. " I am nothing if not a panderer to my audience (by the way, you look great today!), and the response was enthusiastic if not expected.
After I gave my talk, during the Q-and-A session a young man asked me, very simply, why I hated the Yankees.
It occurred to me that I had never been asked that question before. Yankees hatred is so commonplace that it is taken for granted. If they are not your beloved team, chances are you hate them.
But why, specifically, do I?
I gave a quick answer about their arrogance and how, unlike most major league teams, they have an unlimited payroll and can afford to make mistakes. Contracts such as those given to Kei Igawa, Jaret Wright, Jason Giambi and Carl Pavano (not to mention renting Roger Clemens for half a season) would cripple most other teams, not allow them to shrug it off and sign CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira to a team already paying crazy money to Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Although I acknowledge it's not the Yankees' fault that baseball refuses to have a salary cap, they are an example of all the things that are wrong with baseball.
But the real reason I hate the Yankees is a long story, I continued.