If you’re evil and you know it, call a lawyer. That’s what the New York Yankees did recently, dispatching their legal storm troopers to secure trademark protection for the term “evil empire.” From now on, the Yanks own not only their own logo, but also one of the choicest insults ever hurled at the franchise.
It was, after all, Red Sox executive Larry Lucchino who first applied the epithet to their Bronx rivals in 2002, after the Yankees outgunned the Sox in pursuit of a free agent. The term itself came from Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union, which in turn was apparently borrowed from “Star Wars.” Rather than take offense over Lucchino’s description, the Yankees have played along, and now impishly play Darth Vader’s theme music at their home games.
Indeed, the decision by the Yankees to seek trademark protection for the term shows they have a certain sense of humor. But it also shows the kind of ruthlessness that made the term so fitting in the first place.