When Yankee hats become outlawed, only outlaws wear Yankee hats

From the bench, pressing all the wrong buttons
Yanks to buy AAA affiliate, stay in Scranton

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the Times piece on Yankee hats. In what seems to be a semi-regular article, Manny Fernandez notes that descriptions of suspected perps often include one particular item: “dozens of men and women who have robbed, beaten, stabbed and shot at their fellow New Yorkers have done so while wearing Yankees caps or clothing.”

He notes that it is “not surprising that Yankees attire is worn by both those who abide by the law and those who break it. The Yankees are one of the most famous franchises in sports, and their merchandise is widely available and hugely popular.” But now criminologists, fans and sports marketers are trying to figure out why. He posits that “some attributing the trend to the popularity of the caps among gangsta rappers and others wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team’s aura of money, power and success.”

Me? I think Yankee hats are popular because, well, millions of New Yorkers wear them. With record-setting attendance figures, a string of winning seasons, a World Series championship and high TV ratings, the Yanks have never been as popular as they are today, and people in New York — both those who are law-abiding and those are not — support the team. The Yankees have made the Yankee hat as famous as they can, and The Times is searching for trends where there are none to be found.

From the bench, pressing all the wrong buttons
Yanks to buy AAA affiliate, stay in Scranton
  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    I am more disturbed that they all seem to be wearing jeans or some other form of “pants.”

    • Gary Sanchez

      Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin like a fool with your pants on the ground!

      • Ansky


    • Thomas

      Don’t you hate pants!

  • Jon

    So, does that mean if you wear Mets clothing you are more likely to be a loser rooting for a loosing team and therefore fail at most things you do?

    yea, yea, that makes sense!

    • http://www.creativejamie.com CreativeJamie.com

      “I had a 4.0 GPA until I put on this stupid hat!”

    • Scout

      No one wears Mets clothing in public. Too embarrassing: “The love that dares not speak its name.”

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        Dying of the lulz

    • Thomas

      I am pretty sure all Mets fans are masochists.

      • Guest

        Really, unless you are from Queens or a portion of LI that’s near Queens, it doesn’ really seem to make sense. If there is no direct territorial tie (i.e., being from Queens), why would you choose to root for the Keystone cops when you could root for the Terminator?

        • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

          Most people become fans of the team their parents are fans of. I’m not a Yankee fan cause I was seven and I was like “hey, the Yankees are better than the Mets!” People that are fans for that reason tend to be the fans I don’t like.

          • Guest

            It certainly shouldn’t be the only reason, agreed. And I did forget to note the importance of familial sports allegiance.

            But if you are essentially a “free agent” living in Manhattan or Brooklyn, the choice seems pretty clear.

        • RCK

          Ha! Fantastic metaphor!

    • Mike

      No if you wear a mets hat it means you’re more likely to assault your father in law…too soon?

  • http://www.creativejamie.com CreativeJamie.com

    I’m with Mike. I wear a form of pants every day! Is it only a matter of time before I snap?

    Manny Fernandez is nuts. How about a study on whether criminals prefer belts or suspenders? zip or button fly?

  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

    My sister works in a kennel, and most of the newspaper she uses to line the cages of the animals seems to pages out of the New York Times. Sure, the Times is one of the largest and most widely read newspapers in the world, but I wonder why dogs seemingly only shit on the Times?

  • Gary Sanchez

    It’s all just fashion and as long as it matches your Nikes, it doesn’t matter what teams logo is on the hat. I live in Danbury, CT which is like 45 minutes away from Manhattan and I’ve seen Royals hats, Angels, Marlins, Rockies etc.

    In conclusion this guy’s thesis or whatever is pointless.

    • Jerome S

      you live in Danbury? no way!

      • Jon

        I’m in Newtown, I see my fair share of Red Sox hats, and they all happen to be d-bags..does that make sox fans d-bags?

        • CBean


  • Andrew D

    Manny Fernandez is just writing one big fallacy here.

    “dozens of men and women who have robbed, beaten, stabbed and shot at their fellow New Yorkers have done so while wearing Yankees caps or clothing.”

    Good point. Not. His reasoning is completely irrelevant and is just generalizing Yankees fans as criminals. I guess I’m a criminal then, arrest me.

    • Vin

      My Congressman, Chris Murphy, tweeted today he was not surprised Yankee fans were getting arrested so often. It’s at @ChrisMurphyCT on Twitter. And the bozo represents the Danbury area. Disgusting

  • http://riveraveblues bob

    austin and lance should be put in jail for wearing that hat.

    • Guest

      You stopped paying attention to Berkman’s at bats after his first week as a Yank, didn’t you?

      Look it up. The Big Puma has definitely been a very good asset for the Yanks ever since.

      • http://bit.ly/cRUqLO GothamDaily

        Yeah, those 3 RBI’s have really turned the tide. Assets like will get you on welfare.

        • Guest

          RBIs are probably the worst indicator of someone’s offensive value.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          The RBI stat tells you as less about a player himself than it tells you about the rest of the offense that surrounds him.

  • steve (different one)

    The article also says that there have been dozens of crimes committed in Mets hats, it just that they can all be traced back to K-Rod. /shrugs

  • http://twitter.com/faketaleb Nom Chompsky

    Actually, the rise in prevalence of said piece of haberdashery is more attributable to the work of noted rap star “Jay-Z” than the team itself:

    “Shit, I made the Yankees hat more famous than a Yankee can.”

    –Shawn Carter, in his treatise on the particular mental attributes associated with dynastic rule.


    But Yankees caps and clothing have dominated the crime blotter for so long, in so many parts of the city and in so many types of offenses, that it defies an easy explanation.

    Here’s one possibility:


  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    It couldn’t be cause more people in New York wear Yankees caps than any other cap, so therefore more criminals… oh never mind.

  • Will

    9/15/2010: The day that will live in infamy as the day that the New York Times published their stupidest article ever, prompting the entire internet to rise up and shout, “Are you kidding me?”

  • Mister Delaware

    Do people still use the term “gangsta rap” or did Manny accidentally hit send on an article he wrote back in 1994?

  • Ben Affleck

    Bank Robbers are Red Sox fans.

    I even made a movie to prove it.


  • http://yanksgoyard.com Andy_C_23

    The writing is on the wall here people, it’s all A-Rod’s fault.

  • ESPN

    See, we told you Jeter was a criminal. Wearing a YAnkee hat only makes our case stronger.

  • Bronx Ralphie

    This is off topic but why does third base coach Robbie Thompson ALWAYS wear long sleeves? He wore them all summer (if anybody noticed). Why?

    • forensic

      He does that so that the baserunners he’s giving signals to won’t have any difficultly seeing his hands vs. the dark sleeves as opposed to his hands vs. the same color arms.

  • Baboo

    I think this is probably the dumbest article I’ve ever read. And that includes the ones I read in college.

  • Guest

    I must say, a bang up job by everyone on in this thread. Really. I see a lot of high quality snark.

    Related question: Should the new FJM (coming back next week) mock this article, or is it just too easy?

    • http://twitter.com/faketaleb Nom Chompsky

      Am I the only one that thinks FJM was way more hit or miss than people remembered?

      Also, read their archives: some of their snark reads quite ironically considering their fairly rudimentary understanding of sabermetric analysis (example: they, like most of us, had no idea of the value of defense and positional adjustments).

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I honestly cry laughing whenever I read their archives and I generally think their analysis was pretty good, so nah. They clearly had a hateboner for Jeter and they called Andy Pettitte something like a “sanctimonious hypocrite” but, you know, Red Sox fans.

        • Esteban

          Yea, and back when they were doing their thing, the most advanced mainstream stuff was all Baseball Prospectus stuff like VORP and people didn’t emphasize defense as much as they do now.

        • http://twitter.com/faketaleb Nom Chompsky

          Ken Tremendous admittedly was 80% hilarious, but I can definitely take or leave the rest. I just think FJM has been deified for going out in its prime, which was good but not as amazing as people say it was.


          • Esteban

            Bite your tongue on Biggie.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      FJM coming back? Or are you talking about the yearly guest piece they do for deadspin?

      • Esteban

        yea that’s it.

  • larryf

    Higher incidence of criminal behavior has been associated with the Joba flat lid…

  • Zooboy

    “But Yankees caps and clothing have dominated the crime blotter for so long, in so many parts of the city and in so many types of offenses, that it defies an easy explanation.”

    Um. No. The preceeding paragraphs provided just such an easy explaination.

    And although I do suspect it might have something to do with the wind currents created by the ghosts of the old stadium, I blame Girardi.

  • John R.

    No, it’s George Bush’s fault.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      It’s the abortion laws!

      /that guy’d

  • Ansky

    Of course I’m Jamaican, why else would I wear dis hat? LordaMercy!


  • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

    I seriously can’t believe someone actually wrote an article like this.

  • Frigidevil

    You’re all missing the real point. Notice the sketch below the first picture, of an all black Yankees hat, including the logo. that’s the REAL crime here.

  • Woodward and Bernstein

    We’ve uncovered the smoking gun.

    This photo confirms the Times report.


  • Esteban

    Kinda O/T but I like that Yankees /Jay-Z BP3 hat. O

  • Sean C

    I don’t remember learning this particular theory of criminology in graduate school. Dr. McCamey, you let me down!

  • Eirias

    I guarantee that there were a similar number of criminal offenses being committed against people wearing Yankees hats.

    Where is the outcry against this rising tide of violence against innocent Yankee fans?

  • Mickey Scheister formerly Badabling

    I’ve known some pretty bad folks who rock the NYY fitted and also some honest hardworking Americans who allow the hat to grace their head as well. I guess just like this last episode of Dr. Phil I was forced to watch, some people will grab on to any excuse to write an article to solidify their stance on genuine malarky. I love the title of this article btw.

    On the subway home from a Yanks vs Sox in 2007 early in the year I saw a dude wearing a NYY hat get pummeled by a group of Red Sox fans, I slowly made my way to the back of the cart. When your girlfiend runs her mouth to 7-8 fans of another team your asking for it.

    I talk to hundreds of people in the general public each week in Atlanta for business purposes and I see more people wearing NYY hats than Braves caps. I personally blame Jay-Z, he made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.

  • http://riveraveblues.com massapequa parking

    The article by Manny Fernandez recalls the similar problem recently documented with the same degree of scientific evidence in Boston: A spate of drunken bullying by gangs of slovenly frat boys wearing Red Sox caps! If we ban baseball caps we might also remedy the problem of old fogeys waxing poetic about the early part of the 20th century while wearing Dodger caps.

  • MikeD

    It’s quite clear that Yankee caps are the choice of criminals everywhere. Even Derek Jeter was wearing a Yankee hat last night when he committed the criminal act of pretending to be hit.

  • Poopy Pants

    With all of the sensitivity on this site regarding pretty much every group of people, why is it ok for Ben Kabak to use the tag ‘horrendously retarded’? I’m sure it is offensive to someone (perhaps a brother, sister or parent). ‘Retarded’ is absolutely being used with a negative connotation in this case (He’s not saying that Cano is having a retardedly good season). Would he use a ‘horrendously jewish’ tag? Would ‘horrendously gay’ or ‘horrendously black’ ever be used? Just curious. I am not personally offended, but there seems to be a lack of consistency from a person who is usually hypersensitive about words.

    • Jersey Joe

      I guess Kabak needs to grow up a bit, and show some more “sensitivity”. If he had a family member with this affliction, odds are this would be the last phrase he would use.

      I think an apology is in order.

    • http://riveraveblues.com massapequa parking

      Palin said it’s okay to use “retarded” in parody or satire.

      • Jersey Joe

        Oh, OK, that makes everything all right

  • Vinny from Bklyn

    From what I have heard Jay Z made the cap more famous than the Yankees can and he has more hits than Derek Jeter. Clearly it’s associated with the hip hop fashion aesthetic and, not to be bias, they really don’t have the best image for the most part. But I think we can all agree that they don the Yankee cap as a fashion statement and to show their New York representation, where they live; not necessarily their fandom to the Yankees.

    I’m more concerned with the growing popularity of the Cincinnati Reds in New York. Their “Fans” tend to hang out in large groups wearing all red clothing in street corners being obnoxious. Or maybe their cap is associated with Blood gangs; who knows