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Do Yankees fans have criminal tendencies?

Posted by Jesse Singal  September 16, 2010 10:27 AM

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Far be it from me to deny a link between being a Yankees fan and being a criminal, but this New York Times article arguing that criminals in New York City have taken a liking to Yankees hats doesn't quite make sense to me.

"Since 2000," the paper explains, "more than 100 people who have been suspects or persons of interest in connection with serious crimes in New York City wore Yankees apparel at the time of the crimes or at the time of their arrest or arraignment."

Out of how many? The paper doesn't say, even though it must know since it did a comprehensive "review of New York Police Department news releases, surveillance video and images of robberies and other crimes, as well as police sketches and newspaper articles that described suspects’ clothing." Whatever the denominator is here, I'd imagine it makes for a pretty low percentage. This smells like a bogus trend story (dont' worry, Jack Shafer has been duly alerted).

I couldn't help but wonder whether a similar link had been written about with regard to Sox caps. Sure enough, a Google search for "crime red sox caps" brought up this August 2009 gem from New York Magazine's Daily Intel blog:

Any New Yorker worth his or her salt knows to look at a person wearing a Red Sox hat on our subways or buses askance. If the person is a tourist, they'll probably do that thing where they peer bewildered at the subway map just over your shoulder as you're sitting down, invading your personal space and smelling like a well-lubricated foot. If the person is a New Yorker, what are they doing, trying to start a fight? And the Post this morning has proof that should solidify your prejudices: A man wearing a crisp, new Sox hat had been implicated in a series of thirteen robberies in four boroughs, mostly clustered in the Bronx and northern Manhattan. Usually the dude flashes a knife and asks for money and ATM cards.

Go Sox!

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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