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March 26, 2009 at 6:23 am ET
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Your Team Ain’t S#!t 2009: #23 The Yankees

Until February 2008, there was a vacuous void when it came to objective MLB team season previews and Devil Rays information on the internets. And then there wasn’t….

There was Your Team Ain’t S#!t Compared To The Devil Rays. The 2009 Edition of Your Team Ain’t S#!t continues our proud tradition of truth and awesomeness as over six weeks we prove concisely and conclusively why each of the other 29 teams remain vastly inferior to our beloved Devil Rays.

Working backwards through the final Bugs & Cranks Top 30 rankings, we continue with The New York Yankees….

Argument #1. The Ed “Lover” Valentine Special.

B&C’s last great Yankees writer wrote this in his March 20, 2008 Eulogy For George Steinbrenner:

I mean, seriously, who hates the Devil Rays? …. No one, because it’s not worth the effort.

By October 1, 2008 Ed Lover was singing a far different tune as he explained why he he was hoping the Red Sox would win the 2008 World Series instead of the 2008 American League East Champion Tampa Bay Devil Rays:

I absolutely can’t stomach the thought of a Devil Rays World Series title. …. The thought of having to put up with the pompous gloating of the Devil Rays and their 12 fans if they do happen to win makes me ill.

Argument #2. It’s that time again….

In what’s fast becoming one of my favorite traditions here at Bugs & Cranks, every six months or so, during spring training and then when the Yankees are eliminated, I revisit the cold, hard fact that the New York Yankees are the absolute worst team of this or any other millennium.

Usually I just start in with a disclaimer about the strictest journalistic objectivity and impartiality, then roll into the whys and wherefores of why I’ve begun my study of the Yankees epic futility with the year 2001, and then I launch right into a review of how every Yankee season of this millennium has charted new ground in the field of epic failure.

This year, I might change things up and begin by mentioning that this year, on this very website, I recently had Yankees fans try to make me — a lifelong diehard fan of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who will be going to the playoffs this year while the Yankees go golfing — feel bad for making fun of the starting rotation the Yankees AAA farm club threw out in the International League Championship Series. That is how far the once-proud New York Yankees have fallen in the past eight years — the only thing their fans have to be happy about is that their AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees won the IL Governor’s Cup with the help of four pitchers who have been part of the Yankees big league rotation during parts of the past two seasons.

That’s pretty fun. But now let’s get right to the classic, irrefutable argument:

The Disclaimer: Writers will occasionally use misleading “teasers,” something in the headline, lead paragraph or photo caption to grab the reader’s attention. That’s not what I am doing here. I also want it to be perfectly clear straight off — this is not an “opinion” piece. The following is based purely on facts and neutral, unbiased, impartial and totally objective interpretation of those facts. Who: The New York Baseball Yankees. When: This millenium (2001-the present). Where: North America. What: An unparalleled record of failure. Why: Cosmic justice?

In the interest of full disclosure, however, I will note that this argument originally was made in part as a response to Steve Hulkower’s 2007 retrospective on the Devil Rays and their expansion brethren Arizona Diamondbacks. Hulkower ended his wrap-up of nine seasons of Tampa Bay Devil Ray baseball by concluding the D-Rays “have yet to show that they belong in the show.”

A comment on one of my own posts also kindly reminded me (erroneously) that the Devil Rays had never finished out of last place.

Which brings me to the parameters of this little baseball history lesson. Granted the Devil Rays had never won more than 70 games in a season prior to 2008, or finished closer than 18 games out. But…

What is the point of baseball? What is every major league team trying to accomplish? (Try to follow here, to some degree this reasoning draws on the Chuck Klosterman theory of probability, recently cited in a different post by Hulkower: something either happens or it doesn’t.)

The point is to win rings, a big gold trophy with pointy poles and flags, the World Series.

No team has ever accomplished this in its first three years, hence my focus on the current millenium (2001-the present). Over those six years, the Devil Rays have the exact same record of failure as 23 other Major League teams.

Of course, though, the Yankees’ record of failure over the past six years is clearly the most spectacular of all, one perhaps unmatched by any team in any sport ever.

2001: With a one-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series and Mariano Rivera on the mound, the Yankees find a way to lose to the expansion Diamonbacks, who had only existed for four years. No expansion team had ever won the World Series that quickly. This was a bigger choke job than even the 2008 Patriots.

2002: The Yankees lose in the first round, 3 games to 1, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the State of Californication. The Angels came into existence in 1961 — this was the first time they had ever won a postseason series.

2003: After an epic Cubs-Red Sox World Series was narrowly averted, the Yankees are manhandled in the World Series by another expansion team, the Florida Marlins of Blockbuster.

2004: The coup de grace. No team in the over 100 year history of Major League Baseball had ever failed to get to the World Series after being as close as the 2004 Yankees. Leading the ALCS 3 games to none, the Yankees had a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning and again had Mariano Rivera on the hill. Lead-off walk, stolen base, base hit, blown save. The Red Sox won in the 12th on David Ortiz’s 2-run walk-off homer. Game 5: Yankees lead 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th, but let the Sox back in it again. David Ortiz led off with a solo homer off Tom Gordon. After two more runners reached, Rivera came in and gave up a game-tying sac fly. Ortiz again came through with the game-winning hit, this time in the bottom of the 14th. Then there were the last two games: the Yankees played both at home, but never managed a lead in either contest.

2005: At the end of the regular season, Joe Torre decided resting his team was more important than playing for home-field advantage. In another first-round loss to the Angels, the Yanks lose a decisive game five on the road in the monkey-friendly confines of Angel Stadium at Anaheim.

2006: The Yankees win the first game of their first round series against the very inexperienced Detroit Tigers, but then lose three straight to end their most recent chapter of ignominity. (That’s right, I’ve had to make up a new word in order to give full expression to how bad the Yankees have been this millenium, in order to pack in an extra syllable of shame and patheticalness.) Interesting side note: after sweeping Oakland, those same Tigers become the first team ever to commit an error in every inning of a World Series.

2007: They only manage a wild card spot, and for the third straight year a first round exit to a team that would not go on to win the World Series. This time they add the flair of trailing the series continuously from Game One on.

2008: No playoffs. Despite having every possible advantage in terms of revenue, payroll, and tradition, they are mathematically eliminated with a week left in the season. They are surpassed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, a team with a payroll lower than the left side of the Yankees infield. They fade from the playoff race right after the All-Star Game and are never even close to a second-straight wild card.

So what does it all mean?

Well, first 29 other teams should be very happy they aren’t the Yankees. So chin up, Pittsburg Pirates and your 16 straight losing seasons.

And we end with a super fun trivia question:

Q. Devil Rays Manager “Coach Joe” Maddon has three things that new Yankees manager Joe Girl-ardi doesn’t?

A. World Series ring from this millenium. (He was the Angels’ bench coach.)

And testicles.

****

I will keep saying it every six months until they prove otherwise: the Yankees are undeniably the Worst Team Of The Millennium. Unequivocally, incontrovertibly, irrefutably. The Worst.

Argument #3. 11 Years, Bitches.

The Devil Rays made their first World Series appearance in their 11th season. The Yankees didn’t make a World Series until their 21st season.

Now and always, the Yankees ain’t shit compared to our beloved Devil Rays.

We’ll prove it head-to-head at historic Tropicana Field for the home opener Monday April 13-Wednesday April 15, and then Monday July 27-Wednesday July 29, and to end the regular season Friday October 2-Sunday October 4; at The New Replica Old Dump In The Bronx, Wednesday May 6-Thursday May 7, Friday June 5-Monday June 8, and Monday September 7 to Wednesday September 9.

Coming soon to Your Team Ain’t S#!t Compared To The Devil Rays….

On Deck: #24 The Minnesota Twins

In The Hole: #25 The Chicago White Sox

Previously on Your Team Ain’t S#!t Compared To The Devil Rays….

#1 The San Diego Padres
#2 The Washington Nationals
#3 The Seattle Mariners
#4 The Colorado Rockies
#5 The San Francisco Giants
#6 The Pittsburgh Pirates (w/ Special Guest S#!tter Tampa Bay Sports Blog’s Scott Brannelly)
#7 The Atlanta Braves
BONUS Puerto Rico
#8 The Baltimore Orioles
#9 The Cincinnati Reds
#10 The Arizona Diamondbacks
#11 The Detroit Tigers
#12 The Kansas City Royals
#13 The Oakland Athletics
#14 The Texas Rangers
#15 The St. Louis Cardinals
#16 The Cleveland AL Franchise
#17 The Florida Marlins
#18 The Los Angeles Dodgers
#19 The Houston Astros
#20 The New York Mets
#21 The Milwaukee Brewers
#22 The Toronto Blue Jays

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9 Responses to “Your Team Ain’t S#!t 2009: #23 The Yankees”
  1. frits says:

    Wow…yikes. That was a weak one. I figured it would be weak but this was…bad.

  2. frits says:

    It wasn’t even funny. disappointing.

  3. Josh says:

    That’s it? Really? So because:

    1) it took the Yankees longer than it took the Rays to get to a World Series

    and

    2) a writer was wrong about the 2008 Rays (who was right?)

    the Yankees aren’t shit?

    That’s your argument?

  4. gary busey says:

    Reading this column, where a Rays fan pretends like the Yankees and the Rays actually have a rivalry, like its even close, was cute. Cute like a dog wearing human clothes.

  5. dude abides says:

    It’s kind of amusing when the writer tries to claim his team, one with a lifetime winning record of only .417 and .200 in the World Series, is better than all the others. When in fact they are the worst team in MLB history. Amusing or pathetic, you decide.

  6. gary busey says:

    I think we should all stop and congratulate the Rays…I mean, their manager has a ring after all. He was the BENCH COACH FOR ANOTHER TEAM!!!

    This shit is garbage. I can’t wait for Kazmir to hit the DL this year.

  7. dude abides says:

    I guess when one is a fan of the worst team in MLB history, one can get giddy and delusional over the one winning season they had. After all, it must be tough to be a Rays fan and know that your team is second rate among MLB teams in Florida (after the superior franchise, the Marlins), much less in baseball.

  8. jsess says:

    Damn Yankee fans are touchy, lighten up you pansies

  9. Cnute says:

    Chalk, you are the worst writer on this site. Yet you crap out a poorly thought-out pile of excrement like this 2-3 times a day, rendering what was once a regularly visited site an unreadable mound of fan boy sycophantism. Hopefully, Rays management knows you sneak into their clubhouse after games to sniff jocks and lick the ball-sweat from Evan Longoria’s protective cup. To have avoided detection thus far is truly commendable, considering it must take all the self control you can muster to not moan in ecstasy whilst hiding in the team laundry hamper and furiously masturbating to the sounds of your beloved Rays showering. In closing, please stop writing so many posts. The sheer volume is straining your already negligible talent and thinning your reserves of creativity. In trying to come up with something on every team in each league, you have really come away with nothing. Go ahead, re-read this excrement you wrote. It is simply awful and it does the regular readers of Bugs & Cranks like me a disservice. Slow down; craft a good post, maybe just one a day, or even every other day. Your readers will thank me for it.

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