It was eleven years ago that Larry Lucchino nicknamed the New York Yankees the ‘Evil Empire’, after they signed Jose Contreras to a free-agent deal, outbidding the Red Sox. It was also rumored that Lucchnio threw a chair across the room when he first learned of the Contreras signing. Ever since then, while not publicly stating it, the Yanks have essentially embraced the moniker, originally made famous by George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise.
You probably aren’t aware of it, but the Yankees have been very protective of the phrase when it comes to its use in baseball. A private entrepreneur, Evil Enterprises, Inc., tried to trademark the name “Baseballs Evil Empire”, and the Yankees weren’t having it. The objected to the use, and now a judge agrees with them. Here is a judge’s ruling, according to a report in the WSJ:
“In short, the record shows that there is only one Evil Empire in baseball and it is the New York Yankees,” wrote the judges. “Accordingly, we find that [the Yankees] have a protectable trademark right in the term . . . as used in connection with baseball.”
How much have the Yankees embraced the term? Well, they have used the Imperial March within their own stadium, and cited several uses of the name in articles as proof that they are, indeed, the ‘Evil Empire.’ I doubt anyone else would disagree with that. Except maybe some Yankees fans that aren’t happy about the reduction in spending the last couple of years. Win at all costs!
As for the man that coined the name? He thinks it is wise that they have
“I give them credit. Their embracing it is clever indeed.”