Now you can pay for the right to call yourself a Yankee fan. I know what you're saying, "Hasn't that always been the case?" In many ways it has, but now you get a membership card!
The Yankeeslaunched Yankees Universe on Monday, an official fan club that Yankee fans can join for $19.95 a year. What do you get for that money? A free subscription to MLB.com's Gameday Audio to listen to baseball games online, discounts on merchandise and the chance to get preferred entry to Gate 2 of Yankee Stadium. And a Yankees sticker, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the sticker.
That doesn't really seem worthwhile. Getting into the stadium quickly hasn't been a big problem this season, particularly not if you're willing to walk all the way to Gate 2 which is in left field and accessed via Jerome Avenue. Since most people enter through Gate 6 into the Great Hall because it is right next to the subway, that's a limited value.
The whole thing seems like a pretty limited value, and a pretty cynical attempt by the Yankees to reach even deeper into the pockets of their fans. "Are you a Yankees fan? Prove it! With money!"
They say a portion of the proceeds go to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which is a great and worthy cause, but don't define how much and you can be sure the Yankees wouldn't be bothering with this if there wasn't a decent return for themselves.
Not to be overlooked is the existence of Boston's version of this kind of fan club. Red Sox Nation has become a thorn in the side of the Yankees in more ways than one, so what better way to battle them than by staking claim to the entire universe. A universe, after all, is much bigger than a nation! Nyah, nyah!