Every fanbase has a way of getting under the skin of baseball fans not from that particular area.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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 fanbaseÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â are probably hated for some fairly interesting reasons — some of them legitimate, and some less so.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Having lived in multiple baseball cities,Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I’ve been able toÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â compile the things most hated about each and every team’s fanbaseÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â with some sense of objectivity.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â These are the teams, in order of best current record, and what the rest of the country thinks about their fans.*
Los AngelesÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Angels of AnaheimÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â – Yes, your team isÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â very good, but that’s not why we hate you.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â No, the problem the rest of us haveÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â is thatÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â you seem not to care about your team’sÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â success.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â If your teamÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â wins, you have a reason to goÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â drink vodka martini’s with celebrities; if you lose, perhaps you’ll make it gin.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â As a fanbase, you’re far too coiffed and concerned with how others view you.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Just so you know, we view you asÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â metrosexuals with blackberry earpiecesÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â who insisted on the “of Anaheim” being added to your ridiculous team name.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â We are not amused.
Boston Red Sox – This one is both easy and difficult.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â How to fit so much disdain into a single entry?Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â In a word, we hate everything about you.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Your winning, your ESPN connections, your self-importance.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But perhaps the single most annoying thing about your fanbase is its pseudo-intellectualism.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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;Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â this includes your hero, Curt Schilling.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Allow me to let you in on aÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â little secret: you’re not smart, you’re just rich and well-connected.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â They’re a young team with lots of talent.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But it’s not so hard to hate their fans.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Especially their fans on the internets.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For a team that I couldn’t care less about, I’ve seenÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â more Tampa Bay blogs than I ever care to.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Your tech-savvy fan base is too young and hip for the rest of us:Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â we imagine you all huddled around a central command supercomputer, sipping iced lattes and waiting to take over the sportÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â we love like some sort of dorky Vladimir Putin in tapered jeans banning barbeques.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And just to appear less threatening, you took the “Devil” out of your name.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â We’re not fooled.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Finally, you still haven’t thanked any of us for that expansion draft.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Once we learn how these internets work, we’re going to get you for that.
Oakland Athletics – Wow.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Billy Beane really ruined this one for you guys.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Back when you produced talented star after star, we were in awe of your system, even jealous at times.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But we respected your ability to create from within, and consistently compete with the big spenders.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â When our team wasn’t in the playoffs, we rooted for you.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Then that arrogant blowhard started telling the rest of the country how to run their teams, and you immediately became unbearable.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Then someone else’s dog comes along, well-behaved, poops into a plastic bag without prompting, and speaks fluent Arabic.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â “Wow.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â That’s great,” you say.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Then the owner goes on to tell you how amazing he it at training dogs and breeding “winners.”Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Sic balls, chopper.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Sic balls.
Chicago White Sox – At first glance, we hate you far less than your Northside counterparts.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But that’s like saying, “Sure, I hate Liza Minelli more than the Devil.”Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â That still makes you the Devil in this scenario.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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, misogynisticÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â homophope.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Furthermore, thoseÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â In addition to that, you still believe that the 2005 World Series was interesting.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And you still think it was a big deal.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It wasn’t, we don’t care, and your existence remains bothersome at best.
Minnesota Twins – You appear to be aÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â hard-working, honestÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â fanbase shaped by traditional MidwesternÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â values.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Profanity and overindulgence are typically frowned upon, opting instead for temperance andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â moderationÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â in all things.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Even though it’s been awhileÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â since your team hasÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â 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.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â You seem to be an eternal optimist, finding beauty and value in all things, even struggle.
You remind us of Ned Flanders.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And as a reminder to you, no one likes him.
New York Yankees – We don’t hate you for the reasons you’d expect.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â We don’t hate you for your monosyllabic vocabularies or yourÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â 26 World Series Titles or your payroll that dwarfs the GDP of the Netherlands.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â We don’t hate you for your love of Jeter or your hate for Farnsworth or your ambivalence toward A-Rod.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â No, we hate you because you ask the rest of us to care about these things.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And then we turn around and hate ourselves for occasionally capitulating.
Next Week on “Things We Hate About You,” The NL Version Part I.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â (This will include the Chicago Cubs; I’m excited already)
* These are, of course, attempts at humor.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I promise to go after my own teams with the same degree of bile; please take only limited offense to what’s written.