When it comes to conspiracy theories, I prefer the Crash Davis approach - I'm a superstitious skeptic.
I, like Crash, believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Free Masons don't rig the Oscars or presidential elections. John Glenn actually walked on the surface of the moon, not some Hollywood sound stage. And as a general rule, Oliver Stone is full of it.
Call me a cynic. Two people can't seem to agree on suitable pizza toppings, so a group of conspirators plotting to eliminate a high-ranking official is a little far-fetched. Maybe they can do it, but I'll guarantee they can't decide whether they want pepperoni or mushrooms on their pie.
But recently, I've been thinking about the New York Yankees, which is no surprise considering malted beverages, the opposite sex and baseball occupy about 98 percent of my brain's activity.
Is anyone else suspicious of these guys? Am I the lone voice in the wilderness?
Submitted for your approval (imagine the Twilight Zone music - print media is so restrictive sometimes): The Yanks have won 26 World Championships, almost three times as many as the nearest team (St. Louis - 9) and more than five times as many as any other team. (The Giants, A's, Red Sox, Pirates, Dodgers and Reds all have five each.) Since 1973, when George Steinbrenner purchased the Yanks from CBS, New York has won six titles.
That's an average of one World Series every three years.
The Yanks are without a doubt the most successful franchise in the history of professional sports. But something is amiss. Baseball's oldest franchise, my beloved Chicago Cubs haven't won a title since 1908 and they've been playing in the Windy City since 1871. The Red Sox haven't won one since 1918.
How else do you explain the fact that in the 100 years the Yankees have been playing baseball, they've amassed two more titles than the other seven original American League franchises? Are they just better? Fuggedahboudit.
There's a reason for such dominance - the Yanks are made men. You know what I'm talking about. You've seen The Godfather; you've seen The Sopranos. They're connected.
All four defining Mafia characteristics are present - they wear pinstripes; they have a Don (two actually - Zimmer and Steinbrenner); they call the Bronx home. And they have a penchant for hired muscle.
In 1920, the Yankees bought Babe Ruth's contract from the Red Sox for $125,000 and the rest is history. The Sox haven't won a title since and Ruth became the greatest hitter of his generation not to mention one of the best of all time.
In 1934, they bought Joe DiMaggio for $50,000 from the San Francisco Seals. A brilliant career and one platinum blonde later, he's in Cooperstown.
In 1976, the Yanks signed Reggie Jackson to a five-year deal. The next year he's Mr. October after hitting three homers in Game Six of the World Series. Do I need to tell you he got a ring?
In 1980, they picked up free-agent and future Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield.
In 2001, the Yankees signed last year's AL MVP runner-up Jason Giambi.
But these guys don't break knees, only records.
Is there any other explanation for the Yanks success? I think not. They have a way of eliminating their competition in a Gambino-esque fashion. They hit the mattresses (and the ball) like nobody else. Maybe they've got a few umps in their pockets. They've certainly got the bankroll. Check the offshore accounts. They're a mob front. A money-laundering deal. Something. Anything.
Call out the trust-busters, get Eliot Ness on the phone. We need some old-fashioned justice. Shut down the baseball barons in the Bronx. No one can just be that good.
Yankees - too good to be true
Published: Tue Mar 05, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:09 p.m.