Boston Red Sox
AL East, 48-27
Pros: Fenway Park, heated rivalry with the Yankees, Carlton Fisk willing the ball to the fair side of the pole, “Manny being Manny”, David Ortiz as a clutch hitter, fond memories of the 2004 Playoffs (I still remember watching and listening to the ALCS in the car before our rehearsal dinner).
Cons: “Fever Pitch fans” AKA the people that jumped on the bandwagon in 2004 or later, the inferiority complex and negative disposition seemingly required to be a member of Red Sox Nation, the term Red Sox Nation, Curt Schilling, ESPN pimping the Yankees-Sox, The Sports Guy- I like the guy (I still read pretty much everything he writes and have the autographed book) but I just can’t go down that path.
Current jersey: Ortiz is the obvious choice but Beckett would be a little innovative.
Throwback jersey: No question: Ted Williams. I rocked The Spendid Splinter’s #9 in tribute after he passed for a softball game between USC and UCLA Orientation Advisors. I hit a towering home run to right field (at UCLA’s women’s softball stadium- so the right field porch was like 190 feet) and have felt a connection with Teddy Ballgame ever since.
Hat factor: -2 out of 10. This has become the trendiest cap in Southern California for people that know nothing about baseball. Comes in pink or camo just about everywhere hats are sold.
Fat Guy quotient: Ortiz, a fat guy that’s really good. Schilling is a little on the pudgy side but should just totally let himself go next year.
Summary: A franchise with great history, but it’s certainly a tortured and fatalistic one. An easy pick for people just getting into baseball or who were captivated by the 2004 miracle run. Admitedly, I was caught up too but it was clear to me that was a temporary thing. You know how in 3rd World Countries everyone cheers for the rebels to defeat the corrupt dictator but when they succeed the rebels wind up being just as bad, if not worse, than the original regime? That’s how I see the Yankees-Red Sox.
Overall likeability: No chance. We’ll always have late October 2004 though.