Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

The Fandom Menace

with 4 comments

Fans of small-market baseball teams have an advantage over the rest of humanity: they save countless valuable hours by not having to agonize over how far their team will advance in the postseason.

Philadelphia and Yankees fans, understandably frustrated with their teams’ high-priced talent coming to League Championship Series naught in six games, must now cope with a fall season bereft of local baseball hype. By contrast, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee seldom confront such a challenge (we shall omit, at least for the moment, the challenges they face in fine ethnic dining, not to mention a shortage of Elvis impersonators).

The New York generation that came of age in the nineties differs markedly from the one that preceded it (mine, in case you were keeping track), and I don’t mean even crappier taste in music (as if that were even possible after the seventies and eighties). No, the sole bright spot in New York baseball between 1979 and 1996 was the 1986 Mets. Oh sure, the Yankees made things exciting for a couple of years after Bucky Dent and Reggie Jackson and Thurmon Munson worked their October magic, but the decline was swift and bitter. Those 1986 Amazin’s constituted the only hope in a massive baseball championship drought that lasted, according to diehard fans, approximately three centuries. We feel for you, Cubs and Indians fans. Just not when our teams play against yours.

It must be even more difficult for fans of the Twins, whose small-market status means their streak of postseason appearances grows ever more precarious as their homegrown stars near free agency. All eight of Tampa Bay’s fans (it turns out one guy was mistakenly counted twice) have been shaking their heads for a couple of weeks now, wondering how long Carl Crawford will stick around before the Mets, Yankees or other moneyed franchise snatches him away.

Some measure of comfort exists in the Schadenfreude of the ousted Goliaths, of course, not to mention the tragically, comically inept bumblings of the Mets, on and off the field. And those plucky Giants and Rangers, who will play to a massive World Series audience of at least seventy-five people outside Texas and northern California.

So I’m undecided, all things being equal, whether I’d choose to become a fan of a small-market team. I might eventually reach a decision, though. Just wait till next year.


Written by Thag

October 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Carl Crawford is soooooooo gone…but I do hear rumor that the Miami Heat are close to striking a deal with him to keep him in the state.


    October 25, 2010 at 12:09 am

    • A lucrative political office might also do it. But since sports have given him a sense of fair play, he’d stay out of politics.


      October 25, 2010 at 7:33 am

  2. This was lost on me. All I know about baseball is that Yankees Suck.
    The real reason I’m commenting is to try to resubscribe to the blog. I’ve tried subscribing, but WordPress seems to want to have nothing to do with me. I was receiving email notifications until I sent in a comment that was not approved. I fear that that rejection got me blocked from the subscribers’ list. (That rejection didn’t bother me personally, as all I wanted was to send you a message, Thag: it was not meant for the world to see.)
    So, kindly approve this message – and perhaps I shall be reinstated as a subscriber.
    (I assure you, this is not intended as an homage to the people who managed to get letters to the editor published in MAD Magazine.)

    David Shaffer

    October 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

    • If it were up to me, you’d be subscribed many many times over. Alas, I know less about WordPress than Sun Tzu knew of feminism. Or you of baseball.

      You might try subscribing to the RSS feed, which would make new posts visible in Google Reader (a link at the top of your gmail page) each time a new post appears.


      October 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

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