Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Which Baseball Team Are You Allowed To Root For?

A blue collar team with no Hollywood phoney fans...oh, er...
I'm reblogging this from two years ago because after a dreary and depressing off season we're just a few days away from Opening Day.. (And if I can just add that of the four teams I follow across a world of sports (Coventry City FC, Liverpool FC, St Kilda FC, and the New York Yankees I think its not unreasonable to suggest that because of poor long term management thinking the NYY are going to have the worst season of the 4 and their worst season in a long long time)...
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In a pretty silly article in The New York Times Joe Queenan said that the only people who are allowed to be Yankees fans are those who were born or live in the Bronx and Yonkers. Every other New Yorker apparently has to be a Mets fan if they are not to be derided as a phoney. When I emigrated to America I lived in Harlem for 7 years, a district of the city Queenan apparently forgot about; try wearing a Mets hat on 135th Street or in Washington Heights and see how far that gets you mate...But I take Queenan's point. The Yankees have a lot of money and many wanker types like to jump on a winning bandwagon although they know nothing about baseball. So which baseball team are you allowed to support without having to bear the taunts of bandwagonitis? I have devised a formula using Venn diagrams, the differential calculus and advanced mathematics which will reveal the answer...
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First of all let me explain that I'm only talking about Major League Baseball. All minor league teams are equally rootable, but my favourites are the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Albuquerque Isotopes and the excellent Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
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Ok onto the majors...The first big cut is any team that has won the World Series in the last 25 years. If you root for any of those teams you are a bandwagon jumping hoor and that is not cool. This eliminates: The Reds, The Twins, Toronto, Atlanta, the NYY, Miami, Arizona, Anaheim, Boston, Chicago WS, the Cardinals, the Phillies, Kansas City, the Mets, the Dodgers, the Giants and the A's. This leaves us with:
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Baltimore, Cleveland, the Cubs, Detroit, the Rockies, Houston, Milwaukee, Seattle, Tampa, the Pirates, the Rangers, the Padres and the Nationals. We can immediately eliminate both Texas teams because they are from Texas. We can kill Cleveland because the film Major League destroyed any chance of them ever being cool again and we can get rid of Seattle, San Diego and the Colorado Rockies because Seattle, SD and Denver are fey, white, and fairly boring places. (This pains me to say it because I've been to about 150 Rockies games and about a dozen Mariners games and they were all fun). I'd also like to get rid of both Florida teams (I've already eliminated Miami) because no one goes to the games or seems that enthusiastic about non spring training baseball and they just don't deserve it. (Miami should be the best supported team in baseball because of the million plus Cubans living there but somehow they just dont go.) What's left then? Baltimore, Washington, The Cubs, The Detroit Tigers, The Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ok I'm going to cut Baltimore because although they've got the whole Wire thing going on and Baltimore apparently can be a hellhole their logo is a cartoon bird and Camden Yards is a very nice place full of yuppies. I'm going to cut Milwaukee because they were a creation of Bud Selig and Milwaukee always makes me think of Joanie and Chachi. That only leaves four teams that it is acceptable to be a fan of:
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The Detroit Tigers, The Cubs, The Nationals and The Pirates. I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut the Tigers. They won the WS relatively recently (just outside my 25 year limit) and although Detroit is clearly fucked, the opening titles of Magnum P.I. kind of ruined the Tigers forever for me. Sorry Detroit - that one I feel bad about. I'll cut the Nationals too because although they've got an exciting young team its Washington DC for Chrissake. Who are we left with? The Cubs and The Pirates. Well you've got to like the Cubs because they havent won the WS since 1908 and they are cursed by the mighty jinx and all, but everybody roots for the Cubs especially toothy little suburban white kids in John Hughes movies, so I'm afraid the Cubs are going too. Which means that:
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are only team in Major League Baseball that you are allowed to root for. The Pirates have everything a baseball team should have: a proud history, an alliterative name, a cool logo, a blue collar city and a disastrous recent record. According to Wikipedia "On September 7, 2009, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Chicago Cubs 4-2. The loss was the Pirates' 82nd of the year, and it clinched for them the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in any North American professional sport." Last season they were riding high but we all knew that heartbreak was just around the corner. The Pirates always get your hopes up and crush them. Always. (Kinda like St Kilda FC here in Australia but thats another story) No, it really doesn't get any better than the Pirates for street cred fandom. See you at PNC Park buccos fans.