To fans of other teams, it probably doesn’t sound so bad.

Sure, the New York Yankees look to be on the verge of blowing the ALCS.  Down 3 games to 1 with two remaining games on the road, a Cliff Lee start to look forward to and Mark Teixeira’s bad hammie to overcome, one could even call the Yankees’ 2010 chances “bleak” as of Wednesday afternoon.  But they’re still in their second straight ALCS after winning the World Series last year, and they’ve still got a shot to make their fourth Series in the last ten years.

To fans of the Kansas City Royals, that sounds like Nirvana.  Fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates would sell Mean Joe Greene’s spot in Canton for that kind of success.  I can personally attest that a Mets fan would swap destinies in about 0.5 seconds.

But you know, it’s not always easy being the Yankees.  Big stars and big payrolls bring big expectations.  When you’re perpetually cast in the role of Goliath, even against teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers who are not exactly bringing slingshots to the big fight, everybody’s rooting for you to go down.  And when you inevitably do– because it happens to every team, sooner to later– nobody lets you forget it.

It’s not even a little bit fair.  On the other hand, like I said, I’m a Mets fan.  So let’s rub it in, shall we?  I suggest you find your favorite Yankees fan, buy him or her a drink to drown the sorrows, and try to suppress the gleeful chortle that will threaten to emerge as you scan this list of the New York Yankees’ ten greatest choke jobs of all time…

Remember, we kid Yankees fans because we love them.  And because they root for a malevolent force of evil.  Mostly the love.

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