Okay, so you guys rooting for the Red Sox or the Rays?
Fort Wayne, IN
Sometimes I wonder if people even read this blog. I know that Jeff and I take a look from time and there are occasional comments but do people really read it? In general, I believe there’s a through-line to what we write and a lot of that relates to being fans of Midwestern teams, teams that are, by definition, underdogs. Sure, the Tigers and Cardinals may have a great tradition but they are not from either of the two coasts and that leads to certain amount of neglect.
We’ve had to root for our teams when they were at their worst. I’ve been a Tigers’ fan since I can remember knowing about baseball and that meant I saw successful seasons followed by seasons of utter and total failure. That didn’t change anything, though. I was still fan. Whether it’s a 119 loss campaign or the heartbreak of losing in the World Series or a playoff, Tigers fans remain a grounded lot. Part of that is related to Detroit itself and part of it is the realization that baseball has its ups and downs and you have to roll with both extremes.
I used to think that Boston fans felt the same way. They suffered through the years without a championship despite coming agonizingly close on multiple occasions. And when they finally broke through against the Yankees and went on to trounce the Cardinals, I think quite a few people were happy for them. Even I have to admit that it felt good to see them beat the Yankees and end such a long drought.
But then something happened. The Red Sox and their fans went from being a Mitch Albom wet dream to Yankees-lite. By the time they won again in 2007, both the team and the fans had gone from long-suffering to insufferable. There’s nothing wrong with confidence but what Boston had evolved from confidence into arrogance. All the talk of Theo Epstein, Big Papi and Manny being Manny began to inspire a gag reflex.
Manny is no longer in Boston or baseball. Pedro Martinez has disappeared, too. Sure, there are still gutsy, admirable players like Pedroia and Ellsbury. But I no longer have any warm feelings toward the Red Sox. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just the Yankees with a Boston accent. That’s why I’m cheering for the Rays.
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