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Evil Empire moniker never looked so good for Yankees

Leslie Monteiro



There was this myth that the Yankees were so loveable this past season by overachieving and winning with homegrown players. Baseball writers, the parochial local media, Yankees fans, Joe Buck and any Yankee bobo were preaching this to the point it got annoying.

I never brought it, and neither did baseball fans. The Yankees have been a team that has been hated by baseball fans since the time they won their first championship, and nothing has changed since. Either Yankees fans love them or baseball fans hate them. That will never change despite the propaganda we have been fed this postseason.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman erased all doubt when he acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins for bag of used balls (actually it’s some unnamed prospects named Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers and a major league player that is likely going to be traded in Starlin Castro) with an assist by their former shortstop turned Marlins owner Derek Jeter. Here’s the kicker: The Yankees will get $30 million from the Marlins just to get him.


The Yankees were going to be a target of fan vitriol across the country in 2018 as they are primed to be favorites to win the World Series with or without Stanton. This is an organization that is hard to root for because of their insufferable fanbase, not to mention the media gives them way too much attention unlike other deserving baseball teams such as the Astros, Indians or Cardinals.

Yankees fans are relishing this. To them, it’s a badge of honor to be hated. It means the Yankees are back. If anyone thought they were going to stop spending or stop acquiring other team’s talent, it was delusional thinking at best. The Yankees are always going to do whatever it takes to buy a championship. They have certain advantages that the rest of the 29 teams don’t have, which is the ability to inherit another team’s unaffordable contract, which was the case here and in 2004 when they acquired Alex Rodriguez.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred should have voided this deal for two reasons. One, the Marlins got nothing in return. Two, it seemed Jeter was more than willing to help the Yankees by not asking for anything. But don’t bet on that happening. Manfred and the suits at MLB want to make sure Stanton is marketed, and being a Yankee provides that. It’s not going to happen if he played anywhere else. So the commissioner has a motivation to approve this deal. Besides what does he care about the Marlins and the South Florida market.

It’s interesting Jeter decided to help his old team out by giving Stanton and not asking anything in return while he demanded teams like the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers to give up a king’s ransom.

Also, one can’t help but think the former Yankee is the Marlins version of Rachel Phelps from Major League, which he has fired fan favorites such as Jack McKeon, Andre Dawson and Jeff Conine along with firing the Marlins popular play-by-play guy Rich Waltz. This is a guy who fired longtime well-respected scout Marty Scott, who is recovering from colon cancer surgery, not to mention he needs a kidney transplant.

If Jeter had intentions to cut payroll, he should have never been approved as an owner. There were reports circulating he never had the money to buy the Marlins, but baseball let him in. Also, it could be Jeter and Manfred could be paving the way for the Marlins to relocate from South Florida to Las Vegas one day.

The Yankees are certainly doing their part to kill baseball in South Florida, and that’s good enough to hate them. This is the same franchise that played a role in destroying baseball in Montreal.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The Evil Empire is back. It never went away. They were going to be hard to root for no matter what because they are the Yankees. Besides it was hard to find any homegrown player of theirs to be likeable. They are all arrogant, and they will continue to be arrogant as they taste success. The Yankees were never fooling anyone.

It was a great thing when the Houston Astros eliminated the Yankees in the American League Championship Series after falling behind 3-2 in that series. It was great for baseball. Last thing we needed to hear was the Yankees building a team the right way, which is a myth because they made trades to get Sonny Gray, Dave Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle and giving up (you guessed it) nothing in return. The Yankees were more than happy to take the salaries out of the other team’s hands, and they are the only team in baseball that can do that, so stop saying they are this feel-good story.

Thankfully, we were not subjected to any more Yankees propaganda in the World Series since they were not playing in it. That itself made the World Series watchable.

Here’s hoping we see this a lot more for the next few years.

Acquiring Stanton should erase no doubt now the Yankees are a team we should root against.

It was okay to call them the Evil Empire last year, and now it’s more than okay to call them that.

Deep down, the Yankees are happy to wear the black hat. They couldn’t help themselves.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.