Scott Ian’s obsession with the New York Yankees began during the late ’70s, when stars like Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson and Catfish Hunter won back-to-back titles in the Bronx. Like most fans, he endured plenty in the decades that followed – “The Mattingly Era was basically 14 years of nothing,” he says – before witnessing the team’s dynastic run from 1996-2003, when the Yankees appeared in six World Series, and won four of them.
But since then, things have changed. When the Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez in 2004, it signaled a shift away from player development (exemplified by homegrown talents like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, the so-called “Core Four,”) and ushered in a new era of high-priced free agent signings. For Ian, that was the beginning of the end – he calls the team’s 2009 World Series win “a fluke” – but the drama surrounding Rodriguez’s use of PEDs, and the subsequent suspension that followed, was the final straw. He hasn’t watched a game in two years, and says he won’t until Rodriguez is off the team.
Yet for a guy who’s sworn off the Bombers, he still has plenty of opinions about their current state – and, of course, A-Rod. Here’s the Anthrax mainstay’s take on the 2015 Yankees.
Here’s my question: Is A-Rod playing? Because I have not watched or followed the Yankees for two seasons now, since his suspension was announced and all that. As long as he’s on the roster, I’m on strike as a fan. I won’t have anything to do with them. If A-Rod is playing this season, I won’t be watching, I won’t be following. Rodriguez is everything that is wrong with baseball on every level. You talk about a guy who doesn’t give a shit about anything but himself; the fact that guys like him are still in the game, that’s what’s wrong with baseball. I can’t be bothered to watch.
I never wanted that guy on the team! I hated him in Texas, I hated him in Seattle. And their fans hated them too. And then the Yankees bought him to get a ring, he cheated to get it and now they’re stuck with his salary. And the fans are stuck with insane ticket prices because no one is going to take him off our hands. It’s another reason why I just completely lost my interest in baseball. Rodriguez and the philosophy of just spending money to bring in big names; maybe some new kid will rise up and pique my interest again, but right now, I just don’t care. Professional sports, pretty much as a whole, I don’t care anymore. Anthrax keeps me pretty busy, as well as my family. It’s not like there’s a void that needs to be filled, I just haven’t even thought about it.
He served his suspension, wrote that letter to fans saying he was sorry…bullshit, I don’t care. You know what would make me think he actually gave a shit? Refund the money he made in those years he was using drugs. Give it back to the fans, lower the ticket prices until they’re equal to all the money he got paid and admit that the ring in 2009 was a fluke – because he was taking drugs. I swear, when Derek Jeter retired, the only thing that would have made me like him any more would have been if he gave back his ’09 ring, because it’s not real. They cheated. They allowed a cheater on their team, and as a guy who’s been a Yankees fan since the ’70s, I just think it’s bullshit.
More fans need to feel the same way I do; they should stop buying tickets and stop financing this and let it collapse, because it has to collapse before they can rebuild it. I don’t understand how anyone can spend that much money to go see a game at Yankee Stadium, and the product they’re putting on the field – it’s pathetic.
They’re going to suck this year; they’re entering the Mattingly Era again, only they’ll be worse because they don’t even have anybody to give you hope. Now that Jeter’s gone, there’s nobody to even root for, really. They’re about to enter a really long drought, and you can only hope management has learned from past mistakes, and not try to buy a team. Maybe they’ll try to develop some players, and by 2020 they’ll have a great team of young players, but I seriously doubt that will happen.
Famous Fan Fearless Forecast: They’ll be lucky if they’re a .500 team. No playoffs, no nothing. Who’s pitching? What’s their rotation? I don’t even know their names. How old is CC Sabathia? 50? 60? Let’s see how many of those $1,500 seats are filled this season. I’m being a realist about it.