Most of you know that I don’t care for NYY. There are several posts in the B.A.B.E.S.’s archives evidencing this fact (for example: http://babesbaseball.com/2012/10/22/leaves-of-grass/; ). However, in keeping with my Advent pledge of last December, ( http://babesbaseball.com/2012/12/01/love-your-enemies-part-1-the-yankees/ I have refrained from referring to baseball’s winningest organization in pejorative terms. I now strive to let the facts speak for themselves and let lesser bloggers resort to insults. Well, apparently one man’s insult is another man’s intellectual property – and don’t you dare try to steal it.
In a recent proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, a merchandising company called Evil Enterprises sought to register the name “Baseball’s Evil Empire” for exclusive use on t-shirts, hats, jackets and related sports apparel. MLB filed an objection on behalf of NYY (Bud knows what they are!), and the TTAB agreed. In a holding that I, as B.A.B.E.S. Commissioner, agree with completely, the board ruled:
“The record shows that there is only one EVIL EMPIRE in baseball and it is the New York Yankees….”
So from now on I am free to reference NYY as Baseball’s Evil Empire (or BEE) so long as I don’t try to use the name for monetary gain. That is now officially the legal property of Messrs. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, and rightly so. Their Dad would be so proud.
Unfortunately for the Steinbrenner Bros. and the entire NYY organization, this court ruling is about the only thing they have won lately, and may be the last thing they win for a while. One championship in the last 13 years is not the kind of legacy the Boss had in mind, and even title #27 might require an asterisk since we now suspect it was obtained through the PED-assisted performance of Alex Rodriguez. But even without PED suspicions, it is hard to win title #28 when all your stars appear on the DL rather than the daily line-up card. Last year it was Rivera, Pettite and Jeter all going down with major injuries. A-Rod was lost again in the off-season due to hip surgery and now barely 2 weeks into Spring Training Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira have sustained serious injuries that will cause each of them to miss several weeks of the season. Even GM Brian Cashman was injured in a charity sky-diving routine.
What exactly is going on here? Are the forces of good somehow striking a blow against evil? Or is this just the inevitable breaking down of an Empire that has become more Aged that Evil? Whatever the cause, I know the result: no striking back for this Evil Empire and no October baseball in the Bronx this year. That is as much of a triumph as the forces of good can ask for. (That characterization does not violate my Advent pledge because NYY voluntarily adopted the name BEE, therefor juxtaposing themselves against the forces of good, whoever them may be.)
Note: The World Baseball Classic completed first round play in Pools A & B at about 7 am this morning, EDT, when Cuba smacked Japan for its third straight win in Pool A to clinch a top seed in Round 2. Japan, not surprisingly, also advanced even with this loss. They will be joined by two mild surprises, Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. Either one of them might have been picked to advance but most observers expected 2009 finalist Korea to be the other second round qualifier from Pool B. Not this year.
Several B.A.B.E.S. members picked 3 of the 4 qualifiers from these pools, but no one started with a perfect score. See the results at the WBC page: www.babesbaseball.com/world-baseball-classic-2013. Pools C and D start play tomorrow night with a great match-up between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, two teams that have been picked to win the competition. Venezuelan players today dedicated their efforts to the memory of controversial president Hugo Chavez who died yesterday from cancer at age 54. Every sports team needs motivation and every country wants international respect. It will be interesting to see once again how sports and international politics mix. I’m especially interested since I picked Venezuela to win it all.