Posted on: July 16, 2008 6:04 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2008 12:07 am

Yankees fans are ALL class

But they could use some work on their reading comprehension.

Yes, before the All-Star Game, Jonathan Papelbon said he would like to pitch the ninth, saying he had earned it with his postseason performance last year and his career record so far. And if you are the New York Daily News, that is all you focus on, you write a huge headline calling him 'Papelbum!' and the Yankees' sheep-like fan base falls for it.

Is George crying because it's the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, or because he forgot his tapioca pudding? The paper neglected to highlight the rest of his comments, which included this statement:

"This is Jonathan Papelbon, closer of the Boston Red Sox. Mariano Rivera will be closing the 2008 All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium.

"I'm making a statement right now, saying I don't want it, I want him to have it. I said all that earlier, but that's the way I feel about it."

But instead of getting all the facts, Yankees fans -- at the Daily News' direction -- spent All-Star Tuesday making Papelbon's life miserable. Throwing stuff at him and his wife during the pregame parade. Threatening his pregnant wife. Saving their most boisterous boos during pregame introductions for the Red Sox closer. Booing, chanting and making complete asses of themselves when Papelbon came into the game in the eighth inning.

Let me ask the Neanderthals occupying seats in Yankee Stadium last night -- on the far-outside chance the Yanks make the World Series, would you rather they have home-field advantage (not that it helped them the last time they were in the Fall Classic, in 2003 vs. the Marlins)? So, instead of rooting for Papelbon to keep the game tied -- or, failing that, staying silent, which I know is a nearly impossible task for New Yorkers -- they rained boos.

I understand letting Red Sox players have it during the game. It's a fair trade for Yankees players getting similar treatment when the All-Star Game was held at Fenway Park in 1999. But the vitriol directed at Papelbon went above and beyond, even for the Bronx Zoo.

The All-Star display reminded me of the 2004 ALCS (shouldn't we all look back on that event every day?). In Game 6, after the umpires correctly reversed two calls -- Mark Bellhorn's home run and A-Rod's wrist slap -- the fans went ballistic, throwing garbage onto the field ... when the Yankees' players were on the field! Police in riot gear had to line the field. Just another day in the Bronx, I guess.

What a way to honor the last big event at Yankee Stadium, since there will be no postseason play in the old ballpark this fall.

Maybe the worst part about it is the fans were doing this in "support" of a guy who would have disavowed any connection to such behavior. Mariano Rivera is among the coolest, classiest customers to ever put on a baseball uniform.

He is light years ahead of Yankees fans in both categories.

Be proud, New Yawkas, you have once again embarrassed yourselves in front of a national audience.

Category: MLB
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