Those Damned Yankees

The triumphs of the New York Yankees are well known, but baseball’s Evil Empire has a dark side that is rarely recounted. Thanks to the release of the book Those Damned Yankees much of the team’s shoddy past is finally (and fully) exposed.

Those Damned Yankees Author Clarke Canfield has compiled a series of short stories and facts that detail the Yankees’ downtrodden years, and within the 173 pages of his book readers will revel in the countless examples of misfortune that has been heaped upon the seemingly almighty Yankees.

Yes, the Yankees have won 26 championships, but this is also a franchise that has suffered through 24 losing seasons.

Yes, the Yankees made pinstripes famous, but in the year they started wearing them (1912) they finished with the worst record in franchise history (50-102).

The fact of the matter is the Yankees only rose to great heights by raiding the Red Sox of their top players, starting in 1919 with pitcher Carl Mays.

Of course, the fates of the two franchises were sealed when Babe Ruth was bought in 1920, and the revenue that Ruth generated began the Yankee era of greed that continues to this day.

The fire sale of star Red Sox players to New York by infamous owner Harry Frazee led directly to the Yankees first championship in 1923, as eight of the 14 primary players and pitchers had been bought or traded from Boston.

The Yankees even hired away Red Sox manager Ed Barrow after the 1920 season and named him general manager. Barrow is often cited as the man most responsible for creating the Yankees’ dynasty.

Thankfully, Those Damned Yankees goes well beyond tracing the path of the Yankees’ success through talent acquisition from Boston.

The book uncovers the true personalities and sordid traits of Yankee heroes Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. George Steinbrenner is given his due, as are the other shady owners the team has had in its history.

Canfield recaps plenty of embarrassing and outlandish moments in Yankees history, such as:

  • Don Mattingly was benched and fined for refusing to cut his hair.
  • Manager Billy Martin was once fired for punching a marshmallow salesman at a hotel bar in Minnesota.
  • Yankee Stadium ushers once fractured the skull of a teenage boy trying to retrieve a foul ball.

    The book, written in a fan’s view by a professed Yankee Hater, is full of comical anecdotes and mocks the Yankees from start to finish.

    Broken down into nine chapters, Those Damned Yankees was written to be a quick read - most of the short stories fill up one page or less - and also includes short essays written by New England media personalities. There is even a timeline of dubious Yankee “achievements.”

    Most history accounts fail to paint a complete history of the Yankees. They gloss over facts to help perpetuate the myth that the Yankees have always been baseball’s golden team.

    Not this book. It’s perfect to use as ammunition against all of the annoying Yankee fans in your life, whether you’re a Red Sox, Mets, or general baseball fan.

    - Boston's Pastime

    Publisher's Press Release

    The Not-So-Great History of Baseball's Evil Empire by Clarke Canfield

    No team in professional sports is more hated than the New York Yankees. From the arrogance of their fans to the team's massive wealth and privilege to the very pinstripes that adorn the home whites, it is a team that people simply love to hate.

    Meanwhile, much of the New York media has propagated a mythology about the Yankee way - as if something other than cold hard cash has accounted for the team's success, as if the team always wins simply because, well, they are the Yankees.

    Finally, here is an account of sports history that counters the myth and relates the trials and tribulations of baseball's Evil Empire. Every rich and juicy detail is here: the disastrous seasons, the blowout losses, the infantile behavior of players, the horrible trades and all of the crushing playoff and World Series defeats.

    “I’ve been writing this book since I was born,” says author Clarke Canfield. “I wanted to sort through the mounds of Yankee hype and get to the truth about why any intelligent baseball fan—in or out of Red Sox Nation—must hate the Yankees.”

    Those Damned Yankees is a book to warm the hearts of Yankee haters and true baseball fans everywhere. In addition, the book features a foreword by Bill Lee and essays by media personalities such as Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, Kevin Thomas, John Holyoke and Kevin Witt.

    177 pages, Islandport Press (June 2005)
    Available for purchase at Islandport Press

    Those Damned Yankees
    “They are the 'Dark Side.' They represent all that is evil about baseball, and about our society in general." - Bill Lee

    "Hating the Yankees is as American as pizza pie, unwed mothers, and cheating on your income tax." - Mike Royko

    About the Author
    Clarke Canfield
    comes from a long line of Yankee haters. Born in Boston, he has a master's degree in journalism from Boston University. He has worked at daily newspapers in Arkansas, Nashville, and Maine. He now works for The Associated Press and lives in South Portland, ME with his wife and son.