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October 21, 2004

"Yankees suck!" naturalized

In a widely cited critical discussion Fafnir and Giblets aired naturalist and non-naturalist accounts of sucking:

"But Giblets how can the Yankees suck if they have beaten the Red Sox so many times?" says me.

"That is not what sucking means!" says Giblets. "Sucking is a moral property Fafnir! It does not reflect what the Yankees have done but what the Yankees intrinsically are. And they are intrinsically evil and suck!"

"I am not sure about your theory of sucking Giblets," says me. "I always believed sucking was reducible to natural properties such as double-parkin your car or stiffin your roommate on rent or leavin in Pedro Martinez for too long."

"No!" says Giblets. "Sucking is an objective irreducible moral property an we can intuit when sucking is present! It is an objective moral truth that the Yankees suck!"

"But Giblets why would so many sucky Yankees be beloved by so many New Yorkers?" says me. "An why would so many sucky Yankees be rewarded with so many pennants?"

"There is no such thing as suckical subjectivity!" says Giblets. "The Yankees suck no matter how much society has approved of and rewarded their sucking!" "Maybe objective sucking does not really exist," says me. "An we are makin false statements when we say that a team sucks or rules."

"How can you say sucking doesn't exist!" says Giblets. "That would mean George Steinbrenner could not suck!"

"It's true that we want to say that George Steinbrenner sucks," says me. "But maybe when we say he sucks we're just expressin our very strong emotional dislike of George Steinbrenner for bein a bastard an firin Billy Martin five times." "Well Giblets does not want to live in a world without laws of objective truth!" says Giblets. "A world where the Yankees don't suck is a world of celestial anarchy!"

Last night we learned that sucking is reducible to natural properties after all: Metaphysical suckage is reducible to LOSING TO THE RED SOX in four straight games.

ETHICAL suckage is exemplified by A-Rod swatting the ball out of Arroyo's glove, getting caught,faking indignation so poorly, and whining about it in the press: "It was a big momentum changer," Rodriguez said. "I don't want those umpires to meet anymore because every time they meet, it goes against the Yankees." [AP]

Steve Gilliard has more on the naturalistically respectable properties that underwrite the moral suckage of the Yankees.

By the same token we are making an objectively true statement when we say that Johnny Damon rules!


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"Metaphysical suckage is reducible to LOSING TO THE RED SOX in four straight games."

No it's not. Suckage is an emergent property of losing here, and non-suckage of winning in previous years. Ethical suckage is reducible to the super-team awfulness the Yankees have turned baseball into.

I disagree with Giblets that sucking is an intrinsic property of the Yankees.

Robin seems to be advocating some kind of relational account of suckage such that the Yankees suck because of the conjunction of their recent empirically dismal performance vs. the Boston Red Sox and their past history of ruling.

Yes, frankly my love/hate relationship with the yankees does lead me to insist that non-suckage is a reducible natural property of the yankees (look at the 1990s), but this suckage emerges (maybe supervenes) from that non-suckage and the loss here. But yes, the Yankees are ruining baseball. Kinda of reminds you of the German general staff from Bismark to 1945.

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