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Yankees officially 'The Evil Empire'

The New York Yankees can now take pride and officially embrace in something they have been called for decades.

A panel of trademark judges in Washington, D.C., denied a request earlier this month from a private entrepreneur, known as Evil Enterprises, Inc., to register the trademark for the phrase "Baseballs Evil Empire," reports the Wall Street Journal.

"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."

The Yankees claimed they had the rights to the phrase when it comes to baseball.  The team even showed a number of articles from the past decade using the term in connection with the Yankees, and said that the team has "implicitly embraced" the "Evil Empire" moniker.

Evil Enterprises wanted the exclusive right to market merchandise using that phrase, which was coined in regard to the Yankees by Larry Lucchino, the president and chief executive of the Boston Red Sox, back in 2002. Upon learning that the Yankees had signed sought-after Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras, Lucchino was widely reported as saying: "The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America." GALLERY: BEST GROUP NICKNAMES IN SPORTS