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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Tuesday Discussion: Has the 2023 Season Changed Your Fandom?

August 22, 2023

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This week we asked our writers a difficult question:


Has the 2023 season changed your feelings about the Yankees as a franchise and a team you root for?


Here are their replies:

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James Vlietstra - They have become tone deaf to what their fans want which is frustrating


I had long supported the “direction” they were going.


My opinion has definitely changed.

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Lincoln Mitchell - This is an important and complex question. There is no right or wrong answer because each fan has to work this through for himself or herself.


My view is that I have been a Yankees fan for close to half a century and that’s not going to change. I am not going to start rooting against the Yankees or for another AL East team. However, as many of you know, I have also been a Giants fan for the same period of time. This is the result of growing up in San Francisco but being born into a family of Yankees fans.


While I will remain a fan of the Yankees, as long as this ownership and management team in place I will give the team less of my time and money. I will attend fewer games and spend less time watching on television, listening to the radio, studying box score and the farm system, etc.


I also will find other ways to enjoy baseball. For me this includes my deep interest in baseball history and my ongoing interest in the Giants, but also finding other teams to root or in the postseason. For example, this year my AL team in the postseason will be the Rangers. I am not about to become a Rangers fan in any serious way, but would love to see Bruce Bochy get one more ring.

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Cary Greene - In addition to being a Yankees fan, I'm also a lifelong Pirates fan and A's fan and this season is truly a lost one to me. Not only did the Yankees tank, but the Pirates, who were sitting pretty at 20-9 at the end of April, have gone 35-60 since and are presently 9 1/2 games out of the Wild Card race. If someone would have asked me, "Do the Pirates have any chance at all of being positioned where the Yankees will be in the playoff picture, say in late August?" -- I would have laughed very loudly. But here we are, the Yankees truly stink!

Meanwhile, the A's are as bad as they were supposed to be and are as of this morning, a whopping 35 games behind a postseason berth. All A's fans knew this season would be a laugher and the team finally gave up on Oakland and are now engaged in the process of moving to Las Vegas, so there is hope for the future for the franchise - though if they change their uniforms drastically, I'll be disappointed.

I'm a baseball fan before I'm a fan of any given team, so this season has merely spiked my interest in teams I don't normally follow all that closely. I'm actually rooting for the Orioles at this point and I tune in often to watch their ball games. I've also kept an eye on the teams I regularly follow, but just not nearly as closely as I would normally do.

The Braves are very exciting this season, as are the Rays and the Rangers are actually pretty fun to watch as well. I'll also be pulling for the Phillies down the stretch so honestly, I'm still having plenty of fun despite Hal Steinbrenner's milquetoast approach to running a baseball team. Said pointing at Steinbrenner with my arms folded on my chest - "I'm not buying Hal. I'm not buying all the streaming services and I'm not going to games either! The product you're putting on the field is neither compelling nor exciting."

Am I rooting for the Yankees at this point in the season? I can't say as I am. I'd have a wee-bit more interest if some of the rookies would have been called up months ago, but watching a roster comprised with about 50% stop gap type players has just grown too dull and boring.

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Andy Singer - This is a tough one for me to answer. I've maintained my Yankee fandom for years while doing my best to ignore the team's management above baseball operations, because from that perspective, ownership and their minions have made it very difficult to be a Yankee fan for a very long time (and yes, that goes back to when George Steinbrenner was an active owner).

This season has been incredibly frustrating because not only has ownership ramped up their schemes to bilk more money from fans while finding every avenue to save nickels and dimes, but now baseball operations are the most dysfunctional they've been since George had the Tampa Mafia interfering 20 years ago. Frankly, there's not much here that makes me want to proudly display my Yankee hat.

...and yet, I'm a realist. I know what the Yankees are as a corporate entity. I also recognize that the Yankees have had a stunning run of competent baseball operations, likely a better run than we've seen in recent memory even despite the fact that there aren't enough championship flags to prove it.


I still think there are things to look forward to in the near future, and on some level, a bad season will make the off-season far more interesting than any in recent memory for the Yankees. I'm no less a fan today than I was in March, despite the fact that I have to hold my nose and cover my ears to ignore the corporate end of Yankee fandom.

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Derek McAdam - Even amid the worst stretch of baseball this team has played this season, I’m still a fan of this team and will continue to watch the games.

However, this stretch has really solidified the fact that the players and coaching staff have given up. Aaron Boone seemed absolutely defeated after Sunday’s game, and the team did not respond to Aaron Judge’s comments about some guys simply not trying hard enough.

There is no question that many changes will have to be made. The real question is how many of them we will actually see.

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Ethan Semendinger - I'm happy to see that my sentiment is shared with our writers here, though it should come as no surprise. We are all dedicated Yankees fans who enjoy writing and contributing to a discourse about the Yankees for ourselves and other fans, for free. We do it out of love for the sport, the team, and to give us each an outlet for our joys and (mostly, lately) frustrations.


I will never not be a Yankees fan. However, I will not directly support them financially until there is major change- or there is a a momentous occasion that I can't miss (i.e. Hideki Matsui number retirement). I don't see myself spending money to buy tickets to attend a game this year or next. There are many many other stadiums in baseball I've yet to visit and I'd gladly save my money and make excuses to visit them. A trip to Chicago and Milwaukee could be a good way to cross three more off my list next year.


This is the only way for Yankees fans to make themselves known. Stop going to games.

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Tamar Chalker - Not really. I had my first Yankee hat before I could walk. I am a Yankees fan and can’t imagine ever not being one. That being said - if they don’t make some big changes before next season - I won’t be happy.

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Mike Whiteman - The 2023 season, however it ends, does not change my fandom at all. If at worst, the team finishes out of the playoffs, it's been a bad, bad year. We haven't seen anything like this since 1992. There are many fans alive today who don't know what a Yankee losing season is! I calculated that the Yankees have played a grand total of 21 games in which they were mathematically out of playoff consideration since 1993. So, a bad season on the heels of such a great run will not change my fandom.

What a run to it has been! Had you told me this was coming, back in the depths 1989 and 1990, I would have laughed. I'm disappointed that the Yankees struggled with injuries to key players. I'm disappointed that they didn't upgrade left field or catcher before the season started. I'm disappointed that they didn't add another starting pitcher this spring. I'm disappointed that they were idle at the trade deadline. I have plenty of disappointment. But I'm not offended. I’m not angry. I'm not bitter. It's baseball. I'll be rooting for the Yankees to win the rest of this season, and will be rooting for them when the season starts next year.

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Paul Semendinger - Yes. 100%. Absolutely. Let me begin, though, with this. I love the Yankees. I have been a fan for so long, really almost as long as I can remember, that I'll never stop rooting for them. 1977, when I first became a fan, was a long time ago, but...


The 2023 season has been a disaster. I feel that the decision makers have been dishonest with the fans. We saw clearly, before the season, that they did not built a full Major League roster. All of the comments from the Yankees such as "we have a great process" and "we're going to turn it around" and more have become insulting.


At this point, I'd like to see the decision makers say, clearly, "We blew it," and then tell us why. Why didn't the Yankees get a left fielder? Why have the Yankees neglected to build a balanced lineup? Why haven't they gone after the elite talent that was available? Why didn't the either go for it, or sell, at the deadline?


I will always be a fan, but this has not been an enjoyable season. I watch fewer and fewer games. I have no interest in going to a Yankees game this year. Unless things change drastically, I doubt I'll attend a game next year.

I'd like to ask the Yankees a serious question - what are they going to do to win back the trust of their fans? The franchise, as an entity, took a huge hit this year (and over the last several years) for many reasons. The Yankees need to take a step back, realize they have gone in the wrong direction, they have turned their back on so much of what made the Yankees so fun, and find ways to fix the problems. They need to be honest with the fans to win back their trust and loyalty.

13 comments

13 Comments


Andy Polizzi
Andy Polizzi
Aug 22, 2023

Yankee fan, yes. The Steinbrenners, Cashman, Boone, and the rest of the management, no. Topping and Webb had to go when they let the franchise wither away in the early '60s. CBS had to go from the moment they bought the team. Now it's the Steinbrenners turn to ride off into the sunset. It's been great, we had a wonderful time, thanks!

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sbarbeau
Aug 22, 2023

I was born with pinstripe diapers on in 1958, the only item my father did not leave up to us to choose- first game live in 1969 hoping to see the Mick (alas, he retired in spring training that year)- Since then, have been to many games- However, from playing the woke card and dumping Kate Smith, to the new insurance patch, to a less than friendly fan experience going to Bronx, I have become much less passionate, especially this year- I will need a whole new hierarchy to get psyched for 24!

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lenjack
Aug 22, 2023

I'm a life long fan, and will continue to be, but I'm so distressed by this season, that I am currently rooting for them to keep losing, so that front office changes will be made. I'd like to see the team sold to an owner who really wants to win, not just make a profit, as well as dumping mgr and GM.

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cpogo0502
Aug 22, 2023

I've been a Yankee fan since 1960, growing up on Jerome Avenue and 170th St. in the Bronx, ten blocks from the old ballpark. I will never change but mentally I have checked out starting in the winter when the current management (if you can call it that) refused to improve and diversify the lineup after signing Judge. What idiots continue to field a predominantly right-handed lineup in a ball park made for left-handed hitters? They signed Rodon but I strongly disagreed with spending that kind of money on a 30 year old pitcher with an injury history and only one or two good seasons as a track record. Cashman really lost me when he stood pat at the trade…

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sfs1944
Aug 22, 2023

Cary keep the faith. Sooner or later if things don’ improve, fans will get tired of the BS and stay home

Like
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