I grew up like any other Northern California baseball fan: LOVED the A’s, wanted the Giants to do well, pretended to dislike the Dodgers but still respected them, didn’t care about the Angels because they’re irrelevant, and HATED the Yankees. Even during my baseball hiatus in the mid to late 90s, I still rooted against the Yankees any chance I got. This continued into my baseball fandom resurgance in the 2000s. See, as the A’s were returning to postseason glory, it was the Yankees (well, largely themselves as well) who sent them home packing two years in a row. With their much-maligne payroll heavy approach, the Yankees destroyed the competitive spirit by paying for wins. They would load up their roster with whoever was good that was available. Ironically, this was the same approach that would also pave the way for my jumping ship from the 49ers bandwagon back over to the Raiders. But that’s another story for another time.
Somewhere between the Yankees last World Series win and the Red Sox first (in any of our lifetimes), I did a 180. I have an extreme propensity to root for the underdog, and so in the Yankees case, it often was the Red Sox. However, one thing changed all that: Red Sox fans. Years and years of losing kept them quiet, but all of a sudden, one World Championship and they became the most obnoxious fans in all of sports. Despite my NorCal ties, I always respected the Lakers, despite the bandwagon fans. The fact is, they’re still good fans and they have plenty of reason to be proud. Boston FANS, however, are the first fanbase that I can think of that have caused me to completely turn my back on a team itself. Despite the higher payroll, the better ballpark, and larger fanbase, I now find myself rooting for the Yankees to reclaim AL supremacy. There’s a comfort in the Bronx Bombers being the team to beat. It’s as American as steroids and strip club shootouts. When the Red Sox hold the top spot, it’s pretty depressing. That is why, I take great comfort in looking at the standings each day, where the Yankees continue to distance themselves from the Sawx, and currently stand with a 7.5 game lead in the division. Boston does lead for the wild card, but the cinderella story that is the Texas Rangers is keeping the pressure on, only 1 game back at time of posting. I have doubts that their pitching will be able to keep them in it, but one can still hope. Hope that we can be fortunate enough to watch a postseason without the Red Sox. I’ll be rooting for the Rangers, Yankees, and Rays. It probably won’t come to fruition though, leaving me with a Red Sox – Angels matchup. THEN who do I root for?