Much can be made of the New York Yankees 2019 playoff run, ending ultimately with another premature exit from the hunt for a title. While there are plenty of issues that can be discussed about the team’s performance, it’s the behavior of the “fans” in New York that is what I’m talking about today.
Throwing trash is something that bush league team fans do when they’re feeling rambunctious, and Yankees fans did that in Game 3 of the ALCS. This isn’t the Staten Island Yankees, this is October baseball in the Bronx. You. Don’t. DO! THAT! It got to the point where the Yankees played a message from Aaron Boone encouraging fans to STOP THROWING TRASH ON THE FIELD! You realize you’re hurting the Yankees as much as you’re trying to hurt the Astros, right? Guess who has to navigate the garbage you’re throwing onto the field as well? Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner.
But the worst came in Game 4.
There’s a Difference Between Taunting and Being a Jerk
Prior to Game 4, Yankees fans were “taunting” Zack Greinke, the Astros starting pitcher, by mocking his social anxiety disorder and diagnosed depression. This isn’t the stuff you use to taunt other athletes. This is the stuff you do when you’re engaging in cyberbullying/harassment.
Speaking as someone suffering from social anxiety disorder and depression, some may view me as being “overly sensitive” on the subject matter. Well, as a Yankee fan who wanted to see the team win in 2019, it feels like a slap to my face as well when my fellow fans are mocking diseases I’ve been battling for 20 years now.
Like everyone, I taunt players from my couch. I taunted Zack Greinke from my couch with something playful and unique. Go back and watch The Simpson’s episode titled “Moneybart”. In the episode, Professor Frink mentions that Zack Greinke is decidedly ineffective when he’s suffering from a bunion. I’m not blind, Zack Greinke was decidedly ineffective throughout the entire postseason. So… I called him a “bunion boy”.
If the New York Yankees organization holds the players to such a high standard (facial hair restrictions, hair restrictions), why do Yankees fans get the idea that they are allowed to act in a way unbecoming to the team? Who wants fans who throw trash at their opponents? Who wants fans who mock other players for their mental illnesses? The short and long answer is no one. It’s like finding a way to justify Myles Garrett’s on field freak out. There is no defense for being a jerk. And the Yankees fan who was kicked out for mocking Greinke’s mental illness should be banned for the foreseeable future.