HOUSTON — Proper off the airplane, there’s a man who appears terribly confused. His identify is Darren Frank, and he lives in Bellaire, Texas, about quarter-hour west of downtown. He’s sporting a Yankees cap. He’s additionally sporting a No. 60 Dallas Keuchel jersey. He admits to being torn.
“My entire life, I hated every little thing concerning the Yankees,” says Frank, who runs a landscaping firm. “I imply it was all I had when the Astros have been terrible. I figured so long as the Yankees have been dropping — or weren’t profitable as a lot as they used to — then all was OK with the world.”
“What can I inform you, I actually like this workforce,” he says. “They got here in right here this yr and performed the Astros and I got here on the lookout for blood and … I discovered that they’re straightforward to love. The Yankees.
“I imply, I’m rooting for the Astros. For the primary time I truly want we have been nonetheless within the Nationwide League so we might play within the World Collection. Perhaps in the event that they beat us, I’ll really feel the identical means I used to.”
This isn’t a singular case, and you realize it, you possibly can really feel it. The Yankees are in certainly one of their periodic reboots, and what’s occurred, as a lot as something, is the revealing of a really feel-good workforce that’s … properly, it’s onerous to hate.
Let’s begin with Yankees followers themselves, who by no means absolutely fall out of affection with their staff however … OK, let’s be trustworthy: The Yankees had grow to be a set of dullards the previous few years. They nonetheless gained (although not as typically). They nonetheless drew lots of people to the ballpark (although not as many) and to TV screens (although not as ceaselessly).
What was the phrase Jimmy Carter used as soon as? Malaise. That’s what the Yankees have been prior to now few years. A malaise.
“I nonetheless watched,” says Ray Ferrante, a Yankees fan since 1951 who used to reside on Staten Island and now enjoys the sunshine of Boca Raton. “However it was … I don’t know. I’ve all the time hated these whiney Yankees followers who complain about each loss, so it wasn’t that. It was simply … boring. My Yankees have been boring.”
And, in fact, being a Yankees fan lets you retailer the sort of reservoirs of hope that elude some groups.
“Going again to George Steinbrenner, win or lose, they all the time put a refund into the staff to win, it’s all the time concerning the World Collection, it’s by no means established order,” says Tim Ritter, who’s adopted the staff for greater than forty years and lives in Washington Township, N.J.
“There have been some tough years — hey Stump Merrill — however for probably the most half I all the time…