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Judges agree that, yes, the Yankees are the “Evil Empire”

Feb 23, 2013, 11:14 AM EDT

Star Wars AP AP

Here’s the weirdest story you’ll read today. And I promise you it’s not from the Onion.

According to Ashby Jones and Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, a panel of trademark judges denied a request for a private entrepreneur, Evil Enterprises, Inc., to register the phrase “Baseballs Evil Empire” after the Yankees objected.

The phrase, at least in the baseball world, was coined by Red Sox president Larry Lucchino in 2002 after the Yankees signed Cuban right-hander Jose Contreras. The Yankees have come to embrace the identity of being the “Evil Empire” over the years, even playing the Imperial March from “Star Wars” during their home games. This was actually part of the Yankees’ argument in the case, as well as numerous articles mentioning them in connection with the phrase.

The best part of this whole thing might be the judges’ explanation of their ruling.

“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.”

Classic stuff. Of course, in the opinion of some Yankees fans, they haven’t been nearly evil enough recently.

  1. Kevin S. - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I love how it was Jose effing Contreras that started this whole thing off.

    • vallewho - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      yeah. I immediately thought of the signing of CC/AJ/Tex. Jose Contreras was more in the realm of Space Balls or Dr. Evil (Austin Powers).

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      cha ching……………….

      wait til Randy Levine finds out my alias.

      oh boy.

      I ain’t saying nothing until I see my Lawyer.

  2. vallewho - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    does that mean that they will stop worrying about the L-Tax???

  3. historiophiliac - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    But, as always, the evil henchmen must be clean-shaven. This is a respectable dark side, dontcha know. It isn’t enough to have evil in your heart — you must banish whiskers from your face. When doing evil unto others, they must SEE YOUR CHIN.

  4. mississippimusicman - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I was expecting this to be a case about the Yankees trying to deny doing something evil, but NO, they were actually claiming ownership of their own evilness.

    Classic heel turn.

    • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Turn to the Dark Side. We have beer.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        Yankees = Evil Empire and Yankees ≠ beard and Brian Wilson = beard → Brian Wilson = Jedi Knight

      • bigharold - Feb 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        “We have beer.”

        nuff said!

      • cackalackyank - Feb 23, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        We have beer but it’s like $11 bucks and up….now that’s EVIL.

  5. riverace19 - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    The Evil (harmless) Empire… Anyone that watches Star Wars knows that good triumphs over evil most the time

  6. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    In case y’all haven’t seen it yet:

  7. joshftw - Feb 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Point of Order: They only play The Imperial March for the visiting team.

  8. randygnyc - Feb 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Spring training games start airing today on MLB.TV today!!!!!!!!!! Nothing else matters. It’s on, like donkey kong.

    • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Thank you for pointing out that which is truly important.

      I can’t believe I’m actually about to turn on 790 The Ticket to listen to a bunch of scrubs, rejects, discount shelf models and the Iron Giant as if this were a season of promise. Ah well, good habits die hard.

      • randygnyc - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Gator- doesn’t really matter who, what, where or why. I’m watching the mets and nats for Christ sakes. Got to to see strasburg, Harper and wheeler. The six months of shakes stopped, so the fix worked. Tomorrow at 1pm the evil empire debuts. Finally!!!

      • historiophiliac - Feb 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Mopping up on the Cards!

    • historiophiliac - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Go Tigers! Grrrrrr!

      • cur68 - Feb 23, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        Heh, heh, heh….

      • historiophiliac - Feb 23, 2013 at 10:14 PM


        Some little punk pitcher we got from — ahem — the Jays gave up 3 runs on his own. The fix was in!

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2013 at 12:57 AM

        Your tears…they nourish me…

      • historiophiliac - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        I was crying today…after the first 9 went out, I mean.

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2013 at 2:23 AM

        /throws tissues

      • historiophiliac - Feb 24, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        /gives finger

  9. pooinyourface - Feb 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Jose Contreras? The World Series Champion Phillie?

    • chaseutley - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      World Series Champion White Sock.

  10. ironman721 - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Salary cap!

    • Old Gator - Feb 24, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      Propeller beanie!

  11. jwbiii - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I expect to see T-shirts with “(NYY logo) We are the Evil Empire®” on them.

    • jwbiii - Feb 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      I also expect to see a photo of fanofevilempire or some other Yankee fan commenter wearing said garment either in Yankee Stadium or on a subway en route.

  12. onbucky96 - Feb 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Commence the Rebellion against the Empire! Actually, I thought the Empire died when Palpatine/Steinbrener died…

    • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      It writhes on, like a decapitated python.

  13. buffalomafia - Feb 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM


  14. cackalackyank - Feb 23, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I get it now..every time Cashman tried to call about getting a real catcher this off season it was the the old Jedi mind trick all over again.. “These are not the Free Agents you are looking for.”

  15. giantssb42champs - Feb 23, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Thank you Larry Lucchino.

    Signed, the Yankees front office.

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