When the Baseball Team You Hate the Most Wins and You Live in Their City

You know you’re taking baseball too seriously when you see another team’s logo and have a physical reaction. I’m a New York sports fan and this is my first time living in Boston when a New England team has won something. And of course, it had to be the Red Sox.

This is a team whose players last season were so selfish and hardened that they turned on their manager, turned on each other, turned on management and ate chicken wings and drank beer in the bullpen during games. This is a team that had Josh Beckett who missed a start due to an “injury” and went golfing instead.  He defended himself by saying something to the effect of, “We get so few personal days a year that if I want to play some golf, I shouldn’t have to explain myself.” Among my few consolations is that Becket was not in this World Series parade.

Then there are all these brand new hats and jackets and stickers and banners and billboards popping up just about everywhere. People are obsessed with these shaggy beards and countless bandwagon jumpers have have decided to start growing them – and some of them are women.

Just a few weeks ago I heard a couple Red Sox fans literally say, “Here comes the skid.” Another agreed and hung his head. This was a common sentiment around here. Now I know they had the epic collapse of 2011 and “The Curse of the Bambino” but please, show some enthusiasm for your team.

If I may, consider taking a page from the Yankees fans – though we are currently missing every player in our infield, our pitching has been decimated by injury, retirements and Joba, we’re still poised to win it all next year. MLB beat reporter Buster Olney could say that Ron Guidry and Mike Pagliarulo are doing conditioning training in Florida right now and many of us would be optimistic that these two could contribute after nearly a two decade absence from the game. Further, if Don Mattingly’s contract negotiations break down to keep managing the Dodgers, I think we still have #23 available. Just sayin’. But regardless, I was fortunate to attend the Yankees WS parade in 2009 and feel very confident of winning our 28th championship next season.

Again this is very different from the attitude up here. Despite having the best record in the American League, one of the local sports radio jockeys literally picked every team the Red Sox faced to beat them and then said afterwards, “I can’t believe I was wrong.” Frankly that type of cynicism should not be rewarded and I’m not saying he should be fired but perhaps he could relocate to a different sports team’s network.

But the real truth is that it’s a luxury to hate a baseball team. And in the world of sports free agency it hardly makes sense to hate any player. That’s what I learned when Johnny Damon left the Red Sox to be a Yankee. I first thought, “I can’t stand this idiot. I have to like this guy now?” Then he started hitting doubles, stealing bases and scoring runs and I started cheering for the idiot. Again, hating players hardly makes sense and hating a baseball team is a luxury.

But baseball (and often sports in general) serves as a great microcosm of life. When the marathon bombings happened, this city did three things. One it grieved for the loss of life and the many injured. Second, it celebrated as many great moments of heroism and perseverance it could find and said, You may have attacked us but this city is strong – Look. And third, the city of Boston kept on hustling, as evidenced by these loud, shaggy-bearded, some terribly over-paid, low expectations Red Sox team.

As I said on my Facebook page:

Congats RedSox FB Status




Though they talk funny up here and their arguments for the Red Sox being the best team ever are absurd, truth be told, it’s a great place to live. As some of you know, I’m a pastor and some of you are thinking it’s just a matter of time before I turn this into something spiritual. I”ll refrain this time. The best I can do is admit that I love hating this team but they should enjoy their well-deserved World Series win and I’m happy for my city.

98 days until pitchers and catchers report.


  1. eric cesarski says:

    Speaking as an avid New York Sports fan myself, there is a tremendous amount of mixed emotions as yet another New England team celebrates winning a title. I can only attest that there have just been two championships won for my teams in my lifetime. 1986′ need I say more and 1994′ New York Rangers. Since my move in 2009 from Jersey to Stoughton, My dislike for my rival New England teams have greatly increased. Let’s just say when my Jets beat the beloved Pats in playoffs, it was a tremendous feeling. Also, I use to have strong dislike for the New York Yankees, since I am a Metropolitians Fan, (reference to Steve Somers, wfan) that came with territory, but since my move I have found myself rooting for any team to beat the core 4 of Pro sports teams here in New England. That especially refers to the most storied rivalry in sports, Yankees and Red Sox. I do find myself boldly rooting for Yanks to beat the Sox, all the time I would have to say. There is a bitter pill when I have to watch such joy and celebration when the sox won, but if you ask people around me, I knew for quite sometime, they would win. Team chemistry, always having someone to come through with clutch hits, pitching. These bunch of shaggy beards were easy to root for, but difficult to be excited for.
    For Tim, I understand the motto, Next Year looks good for Yankees, but I will have to disagree. My Mets don’t look good either, though at times this year we showed some ‘Mojo as it use to be called. I will boast on our sweep over yankees, but understand where we fall in line. It wouldve been interesting if Yankees were healthy at all this year, maybe things wouldve been different. For now, most of my teams will have to wait to next year.
    New York Rangers- Been pretty good for about 7 years, but just one long run in playoffs.
    New York Knicks- Pretty impressive year last year, but have holes in defense that elimenated them last year.
    New York Mets- Had several great years under Willie, but eventually didnt make it to ’06 Series.
    New York Jets- Years of suffering have been replaced with being good enough to make afc title games, but seem to always come up short- 3 Afc Title Games in my lfie, but disappoint in long run.
    In conclusion, if I have to make a statement to New Engalnd- GOT RINGS!

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