Right Field

Yankee Fans Have Few Illusions for 2013

After Monday afternoon’s 8–2 loss to the Red Sox, the Yankees find themselves one full game out of first place with only 161 games left to go.

All kidding aside, it is clear that the mood among many sportswriters and the team’s fans is anything but optimistic. Feel free to check out my recent interview with diehard supporters Guy Benson of Townhall, Robert George of the New York Post, and Rick Klein of ABC News to learn their thoughts on the state of the Bronx Bombers in 2013.

Here’s a snippet:

EPSTEIN: The Yankees haven’t experienced a losing season since 1992. How should fans too young to remember names like Mel Hall, Eddie Whitson, Andy Hawkins, and Brien Taylor prepare for the possibility that the bottom drops out in 2013?

GEORGE: After seeing those names listed, I’m rapidly thinking that this entire exercise is a sadistic venture on the part of Met fan Epstein to take joy in suffering of Yankees fans pondering the aimless late ’80s to early ’90s era. One interesting point about that period, though, is the year 1993 — the last time the Yankees and the Red Sox missed the playoffs. Considering how good Toronto and Tampa look in the East, that could possibly happen again in 2013.

BENSON: Whoa, I don’t remember any of those names. I came of age as a baseball fan in the waning years of the Mattingly era, so a losing Yankees season has literally never been on my radar. The question is, will fans fork over top dollars to see a lousy team in a nice new (and expensive) stadium? I think Mets fans have answered that question resoundingly over the last few seasons.

KLEIN: We didn’t know we were bad back then, or at least we tried to forget. This will sting more if they’re sub-par — probably like the post-Mantle, Shea years. Hurting more because we had so much plenty so recently.

GEORGE: Guy brings up a great point: There’s a whole generation of Yankee fans who’ve only known playoffs every single year and a World Series appearance every three years (on average). The team has only missed the playoffs once since 1995 — and they won it all the year afterwards. We could be heading into alien territory for many in Guy’s generation.

BENSON: And the 2008 playoff miss was sort of appropriate. A somber benediction for the old stadium. They certainly christened the new stadium appropriately the next year, though.

More here.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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