Coming on the heels of an ethical lapse on the part of the most prominent contemporary Bronx Bomber, can anyone be surprised by what the New York Times’ Manny Fernandez describes as “a curious phenomenon has at the intersection of fashion, sports and crime.”   To wit, a large number of violent crimes are committed by persons wearing Yankee caps (Times link courtesy Paul Lukas)

Since 2000, 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. The tally is based on a 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. No other sports team comes close.

The Mets, forever in the shadow of their Bronx rivals, are perhaps grateful to be losing this one: only about a dozen people in the same review were found to be wearing Mets gear.

œIt™s a shame, said Chuck Frantz, 57, the president of the 430-member Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club in Pennsylvania. œIt makes us Yankees fans look like criminals, because of a few unfortunate people who probably don™t know the first thing about the Yankees.

In April 2008, on the day after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Yankees in the Bronx, a man in a Yankees cap robbed a bank about a mile from Yankee Stadium. The woman who robbed a Manhattan bank on July 7 was diplomatic in her clothing choices: she wore an orange Mets cap and a gray Yankees T-shirt.

Three gunmen burst into an apartment in Washington Heights on July 23, bound the hands and feet of the tenants and left with cash. A surveillance video released by the police and broadcast on television showed one of the suspects in a Yankees cap ” one of the most iconic brands in sports represented, however briefly, by someone accused of helping tie up a 9-year-old girl.

Fernandez goes on to cite one criminologist’s theory that the proliferation of Yankee swag amongst thieves, rapists and killers is the result of “The Jay-Z effect” (“the rapper Jay-Z has worn a Yankees cap for years ” on his album covers and in his videos ” and has helped turn the cap into a ubiquitous fashion accessory for urban youths”).   Which sounds more convenient (if not downright Mushnickian) than blaming it on Chris Spencer of The Unsane.