Maybe it’s sad. But since, I've been playing Scoresheet, I have found myself rooting
for my Scoresheet players rather than a particular team. That is why it is a good thing Scoresheet doesn’t use post-season
stats in their post-season games. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the real playoffs or World Series, either.
However, that is slowly changing back. I find myself starting to root again. There is
a strong pull to root for a particular team.. Living in a one team town (Toronto), it is very difficult to not care how the
local team is doing. I do find myself hoping they succeed. Although, that might be partially due to my wife knowing the president
of the Blue Jays (Paul Godfrey) through business dealings and one on one lunches and considers him to be a good man. It might,
also, have something to do with their general manager (J.P. Ricciardi) being like-minded in taking a more sabrmathamatic approach
than most GMs. He, also, hasn’t thrown money at dislikable stars. (There is no point in having players you can’t
enjoy rooting for.)
I took in a game at the Skydome recently against the Yankees. The Yankees, of course,
are a much better team. I grew up in the New York area. My wife’s boss was with us and he is a New Yorker and a Yankees
fan. Plus, I had a couple of Yankees on my Scoresheet team, but only one Blue Jay who was playing. However, I couldn’t
help myself from rooting for the Blue Jays. I stopped even thinking about who was on my team and who wasn’t. (The Yankees
whopped the Jays 18-6.)
As for my feelings toward the Yankees: they have passionately ebbed and flowed for more
than 40 years. Growing up in a Connecticut suburb of “the city”,
the Yankees were idolized when I first became a baseball fan, and won the first World Series I watched in '62.
My grandparents and most of my cousins, though, lived in Detroit. They were far more
avid baseball fans than anyone I knew at home, so I became a Tigers fan. New York, also, had the comical Mets. They were lovable
losers, so they became my National League favorites. Just like now, the Yankees of that time were perennial winners who most
baseball fans either loved or hated. It was now time for me to hate them (in a fun way - not serious loathing). The Yankees
fell to the Dodgers and Cardinals in the next two World Series. That was fun to watch.
While the Tigers and Mets had their day, the Yankees were a forgettable bunch for the
next 10 years. They were fairly competitive, but suddenly rose to the top of the league in ’76 – under Steinbrenner’s
early years. At that time I was in university in Boston, where the lovable Red Sox (Tiant, Lee) were the defending champs
of the AL. 1976 was too soon to appreciate the Yankees. They lost mercilessly to the Red Machine.
However, in ’77 with Reggie and Gossage, etc., the Yankees were an interesting
team. Besides, the company my dad worked for had excellent tickets, which I fortunate enough to enjoy a few times. The Yankees
won the next two championships against the Dodgers – and that was a blast!
By the return match in 1981, I had moved to L.A. and enjoyed the Dodgers’ revenge.
In 1983, I moved to Toronto, where my Tigers rivaled the Jays, Yankees, and Orioles for
the next half a dozen years. Naturally, it was most fun for me to have the Tigers claw the most success then, followed by
the Blue Jays. After the Tigers collapsed, the Jays won back-to-back championships. It was all a hoot!
One year after the strike, it was deemed that baseball needed a bad guy – a dominant
team that was every other teams’ holly quest to beat. I don’t remember where exactly I read this, but I distinctly
remember one or two baseball writers (and possibly a broadcaster) complaining that too many different teams were ending up
in the World Series. It was monotony of variety. Well, those writers got just what they asked for.
At first it was fun having such a team. The Yankee cast of talented stars was awesome
compared to all the other teams. It was fun to see how often in a row they could come back and win it all. (No team has been
able to win more than three WS in a row since the Yankees of the early 50s.) Besides, I just so happened to have Bernie Williams,
Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens, Alfonso Soriano, and, eventually, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera on my Scoresheet teams.
Enough is enough, however. Gary Sheffield is a loud example the type of personality I
cannot cheer. (I officially stopped being a Tigers fan when they traded for Juan Gonzalez.) Then, when the Yankees decided
the best shortstop in the league would have to play third base to accommodate the precious atmosphere generated by having
the worse shortstop in the league continue playing shortstop, I, once again, officially became a Yankees hater. This was robbing
baseball of allowing the best be the best. If a team values keeping up their club atmosphere and not put the best players
at their best positions possible, then they aren’t trying hard enough to win. That’s when I felt in my gut that
the Yankees would find a way to lose.
In the meantime, I had coincidently unloaded Williams, Giambi, Jeter, and Clemens (oops).
The Yankees traded Soriano. Although, I did pick up Kevin Brown on both of my teams (oops).
So, yeah. Boo Yankees. See Kevin Brown smash up his hand. How cowardly and insensitive of them to ask
for a forfeit from Tampa Bay for being prudent about the hurricane. Now, they’ll do anything for a win, although, it
is too late in the season to switch Jeter and ARod. It will be fun rooting against them this fall.