I'll take some liberties with this...
People Michael Likes: Jeter, Mo, Posada, Melky, Cano, Joba, Wang, Hughes, Kennedy, Matsui
People Michael Does Not Like: A-Rod, Giambi, Abreu, Pettitte*, Farnsworth
Not Sure About: Damon, Mussina
Common thread: If you were fortunate enough to be drafted by the Yankees, or perhaps sign with them as a penniless teenager from a Latin American country, then you are a Real Yankee and Michael will root for you.
If on the other hand you had the audacity to play for another MLB team, and at some point -- whether it was your choice or that of your former team, you despicably found yourself sullying the vaunted pinstripes, then Michael will rue the day you became a baseball player and root for the day when you are replaced by a Clipper.
So I guess the question is -- what makes Bobby Abreu a "hired gun" and not Hideki Matsui? Really, what makes ANY player on the team that has passed their arbitration years NOT a hired gun? Think Jeter would have re-signed with the team for $50mm if the Mets offered $100mm? No way, nor would anyone expect him to. But they are all hired guns if you think about it.
My point is this...we root for the uniform, which means we root for the players wearing them. Now that is obviously not unconditional. You've made it a point not to support players connected to the steroid scandal, and while I don't agree, I totally understand it. What I don't understand is not supporting players that give it their all on and off the field. That's all I ask. If they are really good at what they do, I'll like them even more. If they are the best player of all time (A-Rod), I'll get ticked off when people fail to appreciate their contributions.
Now of course its more fun if a player comes up through the farm system -- but they don't all pan out the way you want. And if a team like the Yankees wants to compete for championships every year, they need to supplement that internal talent base from time to time with smart trades and strategic free-agent acquisitions.
Look at Boston. How many World Series would they have won without David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, Johnny Damon, Josh Beckett, Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts (cringe), Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, etc. etc. etc.? Answer: None. And you know what? Without exception, Boston fans grew to appreciate those players for their contributions to the success of the team -- regardless of how they made it to Boston.
Even the Yankees of old...David Cone, Jimmy Key, David Wells, Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius, Tino Martinez, Joe Girardi, Chuck Knoblauch -- not one of them came up through the farm system, but no one refers to them as "hired guns."
So if someone is adament that they want to root for a team made up entirely of home-grown players, none of which are tainted by the steroid scandal, then I propose they shift their allegience to the Staten Island Yankees.
If said person decides they need to root for a Major League team, then I would suggest they become a fan of the Marlins, a fun team that mostly builds from within. Just don't root for that "hired gun" Hanley Ramirez since he wasn't actually drafted by the Fish.
In summation -- I'm a Yankee fan, which means I'm a fan of Yankees. So unless they are total a-holes on and off the field, as long as someone CHOOSES to put those pinstripes on and gives it their all, the least they deserve is our support.