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Tampa Yankees 59

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Posted 2014 April 7

My parents have gone snowbird on me. After decades of living roughly an hour from me, they've decided that the barren, wintry landscape of eastern North Carolina is too cold to bear, and have made their way down to Florida. I can understand, in a way. I used to live in eastern North Carolina, and I got out at the earliest opportunity. But I didn't go to Florida, mostly because I am not retired yet.

The city my parents moved to has a median age of 61. It goes without saying that the vast majority of people living there moved from up north because a) the only way for a town to have a median age of 61 without a major influx of old people is if a tragic epidemic had killed all the children but spared the adults some time in the disco era, and b) the only way all these people could have moved there from from any other direction is if they were mermaids and mermen. So you might think I'm about to say that the name "Tampa Yankees" actually makes sense on some level.

I am not.

First of all, I have been talking about the city my parents moved to, and they didn't move to Tampa. They're an hour or two south. And while Tampa has its share of snowbirds, it actually has young people, too. The median age in Tampa is only 35. That's actually lower than the median age for America as a whole (37). That means there are probably very few retirees in Tampa. Few retirees = few yankees. There are several cities with teams in the Florida State League with enough snowbirds that the name "Yankees" would make sense, but Tampa is not one of them. Furthermore, the Tampa Yankees are in the same metropolitan area as one of the New York Yankees' division rivals, which means that the town is full of people who despise the Yankees (because the Sacred Unwritten Laws of Baseball state that any baseball fan who cheers for any team other than the Yankees must despise the Yankees with an unholy passion). Put these two things together, and calling the team the Tampa Yankees is a terrible idea. That may explain why the Tampa Yankees' attendance is under 2,000. What self-respecting Rays fan is going to cheer for a team that proudly names itself after the Evil Empire?

Or maybe it's just the league. In fact, the Tampa Yankees' attendance is actually fourth out of the twelve teams in the league. Only two of the league's twelve teams had more than 2,000 last year, and three couldn't even break 1,000. By comparison, fifteen of the eighteen teams in the other two High-A leagues break 2,000. For that matter, twenty-five of the thirty teams in the two Low-A leagues break that mark. What I'm saying here is, the Florida State League probably doesn't deserve to be High-A if it can't draw bigger crowds than this. Let the Midwest League move up (the South Atlantic is too close to the Carolina League) and drop the Florida State League to Low-A status. And when that's done, someone call those yo-yos in New York (the New York Yankees own the Tampa Yankees) and tell them to pick a name that's less likely to piss off the locals. At the very least, have them call themselves the Tampa Snowbirds. It's not really accurate, but it's kinda funny (especially for a summer sport), and at least it's a subtle way of saying "Yankees in Florida". Because trust me on this one, no one in the South likes the Yankees. People in the South generally don't like that sort of unbridled arrogance. And all the ones who do like that sort of unbridled arrogance are all cheering for the Atlanta Braves anyway.

Final Score: 59 points.
Penalties: Offspring, 12 pts; Equipment, 13 pts; Letter, 24 pts; Name, 10 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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