NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yankee fever is spreading across the city, but apparently, Mayor Bill de Blasio is immune.
New Yorkers are fired up and feeling optimistic after the Yankees beat the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, bringing them one game away from the World Series.
“I’ve been watching all the games and they’re coming through. So hopefully they bring it to Houston and bring it back home with the championship,” said Yankee fan Charles Morales.
But while locals are celebrating the Yankees’ success, de Blasio made it clear he won’t root, root, root for the home team.
At a news conference Thursday, the mayor said it would be disingenuous if he rooted for the Yankees.
“I’m not going to fake anything. I have my own allegiance. I have my own history. I’m going to be myself,” de Blasio said. “If they win the World Series we’re going to throw them a great parade, we’re gonna roll out the red carpet, we’re going to do everything to celebrate them.”
At the news conference, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez said to the mayor: “”People, whether they’re a Mets fan or a Yankees fan, consider the New York Yankees a representative of the city; ambassadors of the city. Don’t you think you should be there just to show your support for New York City?”
“I really don’t think it matters,” de Blasio replied. “I think New Yorkers who love the Yankees really don’t care if elected officials show up.”
New Yorkers who talked to CBS2 on Thursday strongly disagreed.
“Just like everything else he’s doing with the city, he’s not really for us,” one man said.
“He should represent New York. If the Yankees go to the World Series and he’s not at Yankee Stadium? I’ll be so ashamed of him and everybody that votes for him,” said Yankees fan Jerry Urciuoli.
“It’s showing support for the city, you know, a team is in that generates a lot of money for this city and brings in a lot of revenue every baseball season,” said Yankees fan James D’Amelio.
“You’re a New Yorker, you run the city of New York, this is the home team. And look at what they’ve accomplished. I think there’s a lot to say about loyalty but there’s a lot to say about respect,” said Upper West Side resident Vincent Gross.
Opposing mayoral candidates also blasted de Blasio.
Independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl was at Yankee Stadium for Wednesday night’s game and called attention to de Blasio’s absence.
“Mayor de Blasio, go back to Boston, This is New York City. We love the Yankees,” Dietl said. “The mayor should be here. Me as the next mayor will be here when we’re in next year. When we win the World Series this year we’re gonna have a big parade and he ain’t gonna be there. Bo’s gonna be the mayor and I’m very proud of my Yankees and he should be proud of them.”
Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis also commented on the issue saying, “I just can’t understand how the mayor cannot root for the home team even if you’re a Boston Red Sox fan you gotta say ‘This is good for New York City, it’s good for our economy.'”
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, born and raised a Red Sox fan, traded in his sox for pinstripes during his three terms in office. De Blasio did put on a Mets uniform at Citi Field on opening day this year, and supported them during the 2015 World Series.
But the Yankees are another matter.
Some New Yorkers fully support the mayor’s decision.
“I think I actually have more respect for him because he does do that. Because if you’re a fan you’re a fan. You’re not a fair weather fan,” said Upper West Side resident Mike Kaler. “If you’re going to move those alliances around based on politics or where you happen to live well I think that’s a little bit cheap.”
De Blasio has never been to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium since becoming mayor. He also said if the Yankees play in the World Series, he will not attend any of the games.
And should the Yankees clinch the ALCS and win the World Series, New Yorkers would have to wait and see if the parade Mayor de Blasio plans to throw for them in the Canyon of Heroes would include him in it.