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Yanks can ease recession blues


Yanks can ease recession blues
BALTIMORE - The Yankees are the perfect antidote for the nation's economic woes, an emotional stimulus package for every city they visit.

Unemployed? Boo the Yankees. Deep in debt? Take it out on the Yankees. Depressed by your 401(k)? Commit fan interference against the Yankees.

Orioles fans had no rational reason to boo Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira on Monday, unless you believe that a free agent should give his hometown team a $30 million discount and ignore that team's 11 straight losing seasons.

Ah, but the fans did boo their native son, loudly and repeatedly. They howled with delight at left-hander CC Sabathia's equally brutal Yankees debut. One clever soul even staged a Jeffrey Maier-like intervention to coax that rarest of baseball occurrences, a home runby Orioles shortstop Cesar Izturis.

The Yankees, after spending a combined $423.5 million on Teixeira, Sabathia and right-hander A.J. Burnett in free agency, began yet another World Series-or-bust season with a sloppy 10-5 loss to the Orioles.

For one day, and probably only one day, Baltimore's Camden Yards was transformed from the funeral home of a bumbling franchise to the raucous center of a populist rebellion.

"I think it's great for baseball," Teixeira said. "These rivalries are great. The fan support is great. This country is in a tough time. But they're coming out, supporting their team."

If Monday was any indication, Yankee hating actually might reach new levels this season — and many fans already consider it the true national pastime.

The Yankees clearly do not view the recession as their problem. They acted even more obscenely than usual in free agency. They are moving into an obscenely lavish new stadium.

The rest of the country? Let them eat cake!

Fantasy Baseball

Teixeira, batting with men on base in all five of his plate appearances, went 0-for-4 with a walk. Cody Ransom, Alex Rodriguez's replacement at third base, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and looked shaky defensively. Xavier Nady made a base-running mistake, getting caught off third base by Izturis.

The Yankees sure didn't look like a club that went 24-10 in spring training, but the season opener is merely the first of 162 games. Sabathia was 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA after four starts last season. Teixeira is a .259 career hitter in April, his lowest average of anymonth. Both will rebound, and so will the team.

Of course, things could get more interesting if fans throughout the American League take a cue from the generally docile Orioles crowd and seek to overthrow the Yankees by whatever means necessary.

An Orioles fan sitting in the left-field seats actually had the audacity to interfere with Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon on Izturis' two-run homer in the eighth, which gave the Orioles an 8-5 lead.

The umpires ruled that the ball "clearly was in the stands," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, and opted not to use a replay. But Izturis needed all the help he could get to produce only his second homer since 2006. Damon thought the fan committed interference, saying that the ball would not have cleared the wall and that he felt "someone else's glove inside my mitt."

"I felt like I had the ball," Damon said. "Unfortunately, a fan came and felt like it was his ball. That's what home-field advantage is. The fan made a better play than I did."

The play, if marketed properly, could spark an anti-Yankees crusade, filling ballparks across America.

Economy got you down?

Take it out on the Yankees.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 7, 2009

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