Monday, May 7, 2007

We're, Er, Outraged. Kinda.

After a respectful period during which they allowed emotions to soften and nerves to heal, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Times Leader sent a man to Columbus, Ohio recently in order to see how Central Ohioans are coping with the Yankees' cutting ties with the Clippers in favor of the Red Barons.

Apparently we're doing OK.

Oh sure, the reporter found some random claims adjuster who was angry, and he managed to get the mayor's spokesman to say that the move "didn't sit well" with some in Columbus, but that's about as far as it goes. Even the mayor's guy backtracked in the next paragraph, saying that "there wasn't an outcry." A Columbus Dispatch reporter was interviewed who claimed he was "shocked by the apparent apathy," and that he was "surprised that there wasn't more of a backlash."

Which is about right. I live in Columbus, and beyond the handful of Yankees fans, no one gives a tinker's damn that the Clippers are now affiliated with the Nats. There were no great players here before because the Yankees sold off all of their prospects. There are none now because the Nats never had any in the first place. Aside from some stunt roster moves -- we had a few Irabu sightings in the late 90s and Drew Henson manned third for what seemed like a decade -- it's been deadsville since Jeter got called up. Attendance: about the same. New stadium: still on track. It just isn't an issue in C-Bus, where the years may come and go, but ignoring the Clippers is a constant.

Which has me thinking about that reporter from Scranton. What do you suppose his assignment was? My guess is that he was tasked with coming back with a story of outraged Ohioans, bitter as hell at what Scranton gained at their expense. While on the surface such a story may cast Scranton in the horse thief role, you know they'd eat it up. People love to be outraged at the outrage of others. After some momentary guilt, Joe Scranton would think to himself "screw those Columbus mutts. We love us some Yankees here in eastern PA. They weren't worthy in the first place." Other Scrantonians would feel some silent glee at the fact that, for once in their lives, they had something to brag about besides the size of their culm dumps.

But aside from one deranged claims adjuster, they didn't get it. Columbusites (Columbusers? I've been here awhile and I really don't know) came through with our typical apathy.

I couldn't be more proud.