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June 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm ET
Things We Hate About You: The A.L. Version Part I

Every fanbase has a way of getting under the skin of baseball fans not from that particular area.  Whether it’s a sense of entitlement, a love for a horrible announcer, or just flat-out arrogance, it’s important to remember that you and your fanbase are probably hated for some fairly interesting reasons — some of them legitimate, and some less so.  Having lived in multiple baseball cities, I’ve been able to compile the things most hated about each and every team’s fanbase with some sense of objectivity.  And by objectivity, I mean that this is completely subjective and largely the product of my own imagination.

Today, you have the top half of the AL.  These are the teams, in order of best current record, and what the rest of the country thinks about their fans.*

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Yes, your team is very good, but that’s not why we hate you.  No, the problem the rest of us have is that you seem not to care about your team’s success.  We get the sense that you’re sort of caught off guard by this baseball thing; that you’d rather be windsurfing or catching yourselves on shows like The Hills.  If your team wins, you have a reason to go drink vodka martini’s with celebrities; if you lose, perhaps you’ll make it gin.  As a fanbase, you’re far too coiffed and concerned with how others view you.  Just so you know, we view you as metrosexuals with blackberry earpieces who insisted on the “of Anaheim” being added to your ridiculous team name.  We are not amused.

Boston Red Sox – This one is both easy and difficult.  How to fit so much disdain into a single entry?  In aMatt Damon, planning his next brilliant Red Sox-related comment word, we hate everything about you.  Your winning, your ESPN connections, your self-importance.  But perhaps the single most annoying thing about your fanbase is its pseudo-intellectualism.  Ever since you bastards saw “Good Will Hunting” you decided that you’re all under-appreciated geniuses who should blog constantly and shape the world with your brilliant ideas; this includes your hero, Curt Schilling.  Whether you write about “David Ortiz’s human connection” or the “poetry that is Manny Ramirez’ swing,” you’re constantly trying to aestheticize and intellectualize the game: this is something pedants do, and the rest of us got over it when we were about 19.  Allow me to let you in on a little secret: you’re not smart, you’re just rich and well-connected.  The George W. Bush of baseball, you are an easy one to hate.

Tamba Bay Rays – I’ll admit, it’s hard to flat out hate the Rays.  They’re a young team with lots of talent.  But it’s not so hard to hate their fans.  Especially their fans on the internets.  For a team that I couldn’t care less about, I’ve seen more Tampa Bay blogs than I ever care to.  Your tech-savvy fan base is too young and hip for the rest of us: we imagine you all huddled around a central command supercomputer, sipping iced lattes and waiting to take over the sport we love like some sort of dorky Vladimir Putin in tapered jeans banning barbeques.  And just to appear less threatening, you took the “Devil” out of your name.  We’re not fooled.  Finally, you still haven’t thanked any of us for that expansion draft.  Once we learn how these internets work, we’re going to get you for that.

Oakland Athletics – Wow.  Billy Beane really ruined this one for you guys.  Back when you produced talented star after star, we were in awe of your system, even jealous at times.  But we respected your ability to create from within, and consistently compete with the big spenders.  When our team wasn’t in the playoffs, we rooted for you.  Then that arrogant blowhard started telling the rest of the country how to run their teams, and you immediately became unbearable.  Forgive the analogy, but it’s like when you take your dog to the park, and he misbehaves, shitting all over the place and mounting everything in sight.  Then someone else’s dog comes along, well-behaved, poops into a plastic bag without prompting, and speaks fluent Arabic.  “Wow.  That’s great,” you say.  Then the owner goes on to tell you how amazing he it at training Our sentiments exacltydogs and breeding “winners.”  Sic balls, chopper.  Sic balls.

Chicago White Sox – At first glance, we hate you far less than your Northside counterparts.  But that’s like saying, “Sure, I hate Liza Minelli more than the Devil.”  That still makes you the Devil in this scenario.  Just so you know, the rest of us have conflated you with Ozzie Guillen, so if you’re a White Sox fan, you’re automatically a drunken, belligerent, misogynistic homophope.  Furthermore, those guys on WGN are the WORST announcers ever born — and for some reason, your baseball is nationally televised, meaning wherever I go in the country, I can’t escape the “It’s Gone” tagline.  In addition to that, you still believe that the 2005 World Series was interesting.  And despite what one of my colleagues argues, the Astros-White Sox series was by far the least interesting sporting championship since the 1983 Manitoba Curling Finals.  And you still think it was a big deal.  It wasn’t, we don’t care, and your existence remains bothersome at best.

Minnesota Twins – You appear to be a hard-working, honest fanbase shaped by traditional Midwestern values.  Profanity and overindulgence are typically frowned upon, opting instead for temperance and moderation in all things.  Even though it’s been awhile since your team has won the whole thing, you keep a level head about it all, realizing that putting together a season of which you can be proud is what it’s really all about — even if things don’t always go your way.  You seem to be an eternal optimist, finding beauty and value in all things, even struggle.

You're not the boss of my feelings!You remind us of Ned Flanders.  And as a reminder to you, no one likes him.

New York Yankees – We don’t hate you for the reasons you’d expect.  We don’t hate you for your monosyllabic vocabularies or your 26 World Series Titles or your payroll that dwarfs the GDP of the Netherlands.  We don’t hate you for your love of Jeter or your hate for Farnsworth or your ambivalence toward A-Rod.  No, we hate you because you ask the rest of us to care about these things.  And then we turn around and hate ourselves for occasionally capitulating.

Next Week on “Things We Hate About You,” The NL Version Part I.  (This will include the Chicago Cubs; I’m excited already)

* These are, of course, attempts at humor.  I promise to go after my own teams with the same degree of bile; please take only limited offense to what’s written.

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12 Responses to “Things We Hate About You: The A.L. Version Part I”
  1. Brandon C says:

    Just a comment on the Angels portion……….
    Who the fuck is ‘we’ in this!….oh you mean ‘you’ Jon. What compels a dipshit to write this crap. Is it arrogance or stupidity?

    We know it’s stupidity

  2. Adam F. says:

    Just a comment on Brandon C’s contribution…….
    Who the fuck are ‘you’ on here!(?)….oh you mean ‘chump’ Brandon. What compels a dipshit to write this crap(?…it’s required when asking a question, even rhetorical ones). Is it arrogance or stupidity?

    We know it’s stupidity. This is evidenced by the fact that you ACTUAL:LY got butt-hurt by a harmless article, meant to reflect the competitive spirit of sports fans in general, but not all of them specifically.

    Go suck on your “binky” and take your afternoon nap. You’re getting cranky.

  3. J Rose says:

    Great stuff, Jon.

    self-indulgent Red Sox fan/blogger

  4. Duder says:

    I think this neccessarily generalized article more accurately describes the bandwagon fans of these teams, as opposed to the more die-hard variety…

  5. Jason says:

    I spit out my triple foamed latte when reading your part about the TamBa Bay Rays. Gotta get back to Dungeons and Dragons now.

  6. Mark says:

    The Rays entry is so true. We may not have many older fans, actually can I change that to many fans period. The fans we do have are young and enthusiastic and very well informed about the organization.

  7. Brandon C says:

    Mmmm…that nap was nice. What is a binky? Who uses the word ‘chump’ anymore? Wrap this one around that pea brain of yours Adam…if my ‘butt hurt’ comment was so silly what kind of douchebag gets ‘butt hurt’ about the guy who made the butt hurt comment…..oh my god…have you guys seen Scanners…and please can we not use the term ‘butt hurt’…it’s so sophmoric…try ‘upset’ or ‘emotionally distressed’ something more becoming. Oh shit gotta go, I’m getting some Halo updates on my Blackberry……..

  8. Cork says:

    o c’mon.

    according to StrikeTwo.net there are 16 teams with more blogs than the Rays and of the blogs you listed, one is just a bulletin board site (RaysBB) and one is from a local newspaper (The Heater via St. Pete Times) and one is just a writer (Chalk) from this site which covers EVERY team.

  9. Dirty Water says:

    Yeah, but Chalk is especially irratating. His posts are like other bloggers posts x infinity.

  10. Adam F. says:

    So your whole argument is based on my word choice? Talk about sophomoric. Interesting coming from a child who uses words such as douchebag (sp), dipshit, crap and the ever so popular, and oh so becoming, “fuck.”

    It would also be wise to learn some grammar and sentence structure before criticizing my word choice. Just a thought.

    And it’s pure speculation that your Halo/Blackberry statement was some exhibit of machismo. If that’s the case, I will continue laughing at you. Grow up.

    Have a better day tomorrow.

  11. Adam F. says:

    Oh, and I thought this was a pretty clever article. Although, I wish you would have touched on the whole “Rally Monkey” phenomenon with the Angels.

    Recently transplanted from NorCal, I now live 1 mile from Angels Stadium and live with a diehard “Halo” fan. As a whole I would definitely classify Angels’ fans as luke-warm. The atmosphere at the stadium is a little eerie at times. But I will admit that I am still bitter about the 2002 World Series.

    And I trust your NL version will feature the Giants. As a Giants fan, I welcome the due criticism and will have a laugh.

  12. Joe says:

    Thankily dankily for all the kind words about us Twinkarino fans. In fact, here’s an open invitation to my rumpus room for some nachos, Flanders-style. That’s cucumbers and cottage cheese.

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