This is why people hate the Yankees

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This season has been a banner year for humility deficit disorder on the part of Phillies fans, but let us not forget who invented the idea that their team is entitled to everything. It’s the Yankees, folks, and it’s passages like these from the tabloid columnists — which, I might add, are reflective of a wide swath of Yankees fandom because the tabloids are nothing if not aware of their readership — that epitomize it:

So
the Yankees are sitting pretty, and the way their own pitching has
suddenly fallen into place, they may not care about which team they play
next. If Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes re going to continue to back up CC Sabathia with brilliance, maybe we can all start gearing up for a classic World Series matchup with Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

However, I have a feeling the Yankees will be watching Tuesday night
and quietly rooting for the Rangers to lose so the next time they see
Lee it will be in Tampa in February when he’s wearing their pinstripes.

In the space of two short paragraphs the Giants, Braves, Rangers and Rays are dismissed as an afterthought in this postseason, and 29 other teams are dismissed as an afterthought in the free agent market.

Is it likely that Phillies will face the Yankees in the World Series? Smart money says so.  Is there a good chance that Cliff Lee signs with the Yankees?  Of course.  But no matter what the odds are, it’s pretty damn gauche, in my mind, to assume it like that, and it’s why so many people can’t stand the Yankees and, increasingly, the Phillies.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”