We can thank Daily News writer John Harper for staying in top of the Texas Ranger CEO’s comments on Yankees fans yesterday on ESPN radio – you know by now, Chuck Greenberg’s remarks that fans at Yankee Stadium were “violent, apathetic, and an embarrassment.”
“Let’s face it,” Harpers says, “there is a segment of Yankee fans that seems to think that being obnoxious is part of the job description.
“I can tick off a list of dozens of people I either know personally or have heard from via e-mail that have had awful experiences taking in a game at the Stadium because of some fans who are vulgar as well as loud-mouthed and usually lubricated.”
Of course, Harper is also correct when he writes, “It’s not just Yankee fans, though. You can have the same experience in Boston or Philadelphia or even Texas.” Or in, he might have added, virtually any professional sports stadium in the country, and, for that matter, just about any college football stadium as well.
But why exactly did Greenberg sound off? Barry Horn, of The Dallas Morning News, offered three possible explanations:
“I. Greenberg was tired of the Fox cameras focusing on Rangers president Nolan Ryan and was looking for a little national television face time.
II. Greenberg has begun a Machiavellian anti-New York campaign in hopes that Cliff Lee gets a not-so-subliminal message that New York is no place for him, his wife and their family.
III. Greenberg was speaking from his heart.
Chatter [i.e, Horn] chooses III.”
In truth, I would choose all three.
On WFAN this morning, fans were speculating on why the Rangers’ Cliff Lee hasn’t checked in on either Greenberg’s insults or comments that his wife was humiliated by fans at Yankee Stadium. I’d say the reason for that is fairy obvious: Lee would certainly prefer to keep negotiations with the Yankees open — even if he ends up staying in Texas, the Yankees are the one team in baseball capable of jacking up his asking price from Greenberg.
By the way, if you’re wondering what the primary differences between baseball in Dallas and baseball is New York is, consider Jeff Mosier and Erinn Connor’s column in today’s Morning News:0
“Before Monday’s first pitch, many Texas rangers fans heading into the Ballpark declared this season a success even if the World Series ended just as it began back in San Francisco last week … and that’s exactly what happened … In many ways, the concourse after the game seemed like a victory party as Rangers fans celebrated the team that brought them to the World Series — even if it ended without a championship.”
“Who would have thought we’d be watching baseball in November with the Rangers?” one fan asked. “I’m happy with the season,” said another fan. The mayor of Arlington, Robert Cluck, said, “It’s a historic season. We should not be disappointed …” Hard to imagine that kind of reaction in New York from either the fans or the press.
But maybe it’s because “It’s been nice not to take a back seat to the [Dallas] Cowboys.” Again, the euphoria here from a Yankees or Mets championship would far exceed any win by the Giants or Jets, or Knicks or Rangers, for that matter.