You Can’t Be a Baseball “Purist” and Call Yourself a Yankee Fan

Yankee fans bemoaning proposed rule changes to the game this year, and potential future rule changes, need to seriously question their status as Yankee Fans.

Jack Suhadolnik
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 21: (L-R) Jorge Posada #20, Mariano Rivera #42, Derek Jeter #2 and Andy Pettitte #46 pose for a photograph after defeating the Baltimore Orioles of the New York Yankees during the last regular season game at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees are playing their final season in the 85 year old ball park and plan on moving into the new Yankee Stadium across the street to start the 09 season. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

There’s been a lot of talk from baseball fans, New York Yankees fans are not exempt from this, over the proposed rule changes that would have gone into effect this season surrounding use of the bullpen, number of roster spots on the bench during the regular season, and the proposed expansion of the playoff format suggested by Manfred that wouldn’t go into effect until 2022, after the current CBA expires.

Many people who chastise Commissioner Manfred are arguing “There’s no reason to change the rules of baseball. Baseball is perfect as is!” To which I counter “If you’re a left-handed relief pitcher on a major league roster, and you can’t get out a right-handed batter (and they make up the VAST majority of major league hitters), go back to the minor leagues and figure it out or retire.” But for all you “Old person yell’s at cloud” Yankee “fans” saying you shouldn’t change the rules of baseball, here are key moments in Yankee history you’re saying the Yankees should give back. Because these Yankees success stories hinged on baseball CHANGING THE RULES!

You Want to Give Back the 2017 Playoff Run?

The Yankees weren’t the division winner in 2017, they had to battle it out in the Wild Card game (I use battle loosely as it was over after inning 1) to get to the ALCS, after almost getting swept by the Indians in the Divisional round. The Wild Card play-in game didn’t exist until 2012. I hated it, but it was the only way the Yankees made the playoffs between 2013 and 2018.

You Want to Give Back the 90’s Dynasty?

The Yankees weren’t the division winners in 1996. They were the Wild Card team. The Wild Card wasn’t introduced until 1994, and not properly implemented until 1995/1996 because of the strike in 1994. If you hate baseball rule changes, the Yankees don’t win 4 titles in 5 years. Hell, they may not even win in 1998.

You Want to Give Up the Designated Hitter?

So many Yankee fans don’t want to see Giancarlo Stanton play left field, they just want him to hit DH. The DH wasn’t introduced until 1973. Which would mean that if you don’t want to “change baseball”, you actually want to see Stanton be the everyday left fielder?

You Want to Give Up the ALCS and Divisions?

For the longest time, baseball playoffs were a simple postseason format. The team with the best record in the AL played the team with the best record in the NL. Divisions didn’t exist until 1969. That same year, they introduced the Championship Series in the playoffs.

You Want to Give Up the 162 Game Season?

Some Yankee fans are clamoring for the full 162 game season to be played in 2020. That didn’t exist until 1961, the year Marris hit 61. The baseball season ended around Labor Day. That’s pretty much what we can expect this season.

You Want to Go Back to the Dead Ball Era?

Live ball baseball came about because of a RULE CHANGE! It’s also largely around this time that Babe Ruth became a Yankee, and moved from being predominantly a pitcher to becoming predominantly a hitter.

You Want to Raise the Mound Again?

The current height of the pitching mound came about because Bob Gibson was UNTOUCHABLE in 1968. To ensure no one had that impressive of a season again, the current baseball mound came to be.

So, when guys like Goose Gossage bemoan all the rule changes, and people start parroting what he’s saying, it sickens me. It sickens me because he knows better, and you all know better. But you want something to be mad at, so you decide to listen to him. If it weren’t for all the rule changes baseball has made throughout the years, who knows if the Yankees even became the perennial team in baseball? Who knows if the Mets ever come into existence?

Baseball will be back, but they are first and foremost, a business. Like the NFL. The NFL changes rules almost every season to try and keep people entertained and engaged. Why shouldn’t baseball take similar actions?