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It Will Never Be 1996 Again in the Bronx



By Mike Silva ~ February 7th, 2012. Filed under: New York Yankees.

These aren’t your father’s Yankees. They aren’t your 1996 Yankees, either.

Only the Yankees could be self-important enough to launch a non-baseball related product with a cocktail party.

According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY, the Yankees will launch two official fragrances called ”New York Yankees” and “New York Yankees for Her” at a cocktail reception in Manhattan on Tuesday, February 21.

Yes, every team has non-baseball related products. You have checkers, chess, teddy bears, etc. with the team logo. None of the 29 other teams believe they are bigger than the game where they create a fragrance and have a bourgeois party to announce it. This is the same organization that puts out press releases to let everyone know what Hal Steinbrenner thinks regarding world events. What’s next? Randy Levine on the catwalk modeling underwear? Don’t discount it, since the modern Yankees brand caters to the Wall Street crowd with the new Stadium, luxury advertisements, and the moat near the luxury seats to keep the lower class of fans away.

The Giants recent run to the Super Bowl made me think of the great Yankees run to the World Series in 1996. The Yankees were a likeable bunch that season, as they were easy for the city to get behind and root for. Even with the powerful big money brand they were a baseball team. Today, they more resemble the Kremlin.

Before you accuse me of anti-Yankees bias, there are many fans of the pinstripes that feel the same. J.R. O’ Grady had a great column at River Avenue Blues where he discussed the internal debate over what it means to be a  modern day Yankees fan:

“The organization’s pinstriped-mantra decries anything short of a championship as an abject failure. It is a proclamation that stirs emotions and sells ticket-packages based on the Steinbrenners’ commitment to perennially field a competitive stacked product. But the edict also breeds an atmosphere where cash is king, and the opportunity to be a Yankee fan has become more privilege than right.”

O’ Grady even pointed out that he was told to “sit down” with two strikes on an opposing hitter during Game 5 of the ALDS against Detroit. The storm troopers are muting the crowd during an elimination game!

This is not about me criticizing their desire to cash in on sports most famous brand; it’s more about the way they conduct themselves in the process. You can be rich and be liked. It’s the process they go about doing business that is a turn-off. It sounds like it’s also starting to stink to their longtime fans.

If there is one thing that we learned watching the Giants run to the Super Bowl, it’s that a team in this city can win and still remain pure to the grassroots principles of what sports is supposed to be about. I doubt the Yankees can ever win a title again in the manner they did during that ’96 campaign. They are too political, corporate, and out of touch with the masses to ever be New York City’s team. Maybe Wall Street’s team, but not a team of the people – like the Giants.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to It Will Never Be 1996 Again in the Bronx

  1. Brien Jackson

    “Yes, every team has non-baseball related products. You have checkers, chess, teddy bears, etc. with the team logo. None of the 29 other teams believe they are bigger than the game where they create a fragrance and have a bourgeois party to announce it.”

    You’re really going all in on this nonsense, aren’t you?

  2. Mike Silva

    Big picture Brien, did you read J.R.’s piece? I think that is the real story, the disconnect with the fans. The perfume is just another example.

  3. Stu B

    The Yankees (and their fans) have given the impression that they think they’re bigger than the game for generations, at least since the 1950s.

  4. Marit

    So, what exactly are these “grassroots principles of what sports is supposed to be about”?

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