Then they notice I also have a couple of Boston Red Sox trinkets adorning my geeky cubicle (geekible?), and more than once I’ve been schooled on this (apparently) unwritten rule:
“You can’t root for two teams in the same league!”
I’ve also seen this rule cited on many a baseball site, and I’ve never understood why it exists. I can only assume it is a result of narrow minded, absolute thinking, so I suppose I should explain my fandom rationale/methodology:
First of all, when push comes to shove, I am only a “fan” of one MLB team, and that team is the Texas Rangers. In other words, if someone has a gun to my head (this IS Texas) and tells me I have to choose one and only ONE team to root for, there is absolutely no hesitation in my response: “Whichever team Jessica Alba roots for…”. But seriously, I’m only a fan of the Rangers.
However, at a more meta-level, I’m a fan of baseball in general, so naturally, there’s a darn good chance that I’m going to follow and “support” other teams outside the realm of Rangerdom. The Astros are easily my NL team, because of proximity and my aforementioned tenures of residency in Houston. Do I follow them with the same fervor and attention I give the Rangers? No, but I always keep an eye on the goings-on down yonder. Sadly, those goings-on have not been pretty the last few years and I don’t see much hope on the horizon.
So how do I justify my support for the Red Sox? This just HAS to conflict with my Ranger fandom, right? Wrong, but I’ll get to the actual fandom rationale here in a sec. First, the obvious question: “Why the Red Sox?” Back in 2000, while on a bidness trip to Boston, I naturally took in a game at Fenway Park, and instantly fell in love with the place. The baseball atmosphere was incredible, so I’ve been a Red Sox supporter ever since. I even returned there back in October of 2009 (the atmosphere wasn’t near as exciting, but it was just a meaningless end-of-regular-season game against Cleveland).
Anyway, on to my fandom methodology, or how I avoid conflicting American League baseball loyalties:
1. Head-to-head. I always root for the Rangers when they play the Red Sox, unless the Rangers are so hopelessly out of the playoff picture and the head-to-head game is a “must win” for the Red Sox. Even then, I’m hesitant.
2. AL Wild Card Race. No brainer here. If the Rangers and Red Sox are neck-and-neck in the race for the AL Wild Card spot, then I’m full-throttle Rangers. No conflict here.
3. Someone in the AL East has to win the AL East. This is unavoidable. So I root for the Red Sox to win the AL East because I like ’em and they are not the MF Yankees. I see no harm in this.
4. Post-season Baseball. Until 2010, the words “Post-season” and “Rangers” hadn’t really been mentioned in the same sentence since the mid-to-late nineties, and I like to have someone to root for in the playoffs. The last ten years, the Red Sox have pretty much been there, so I’ve rooted for them.
So I guess you could say I’m a conditional supporter of the Red Sox, and while this still probably breaks the silly One Team Per League unwritten rule, ultimately, I don’t really give a shiite…I’ll root for whatever team I want to root for. :^P
I hope that clears things up.
Yesterday, the BAPL Uniform Aesthetics Council issued the 1st in a 5.94 part series(1) of 2010 MLB prognostications, beginning with an evaluation of the AL East that may very well lead to an armed conflict between the United States and Toronto.
Despite the impending Canuckageddon, the council pulled an all-nighter, bravely marching forward to bring you today’s NL East aesthetic forecast:
Warning: The BAPL UAC has declared the NL East an official Uniform Aesthetic Disaster Zone. All findings below were calculated using the EVE® (Eye Vomit Elimination) method developed by Dr. Dewey Summers of the BAPL Statistical Aesthetics & Neuroscience Institute. For more information on this groundbreaking method, please visit http://www.bapl.net/SANI/Summers-Eve
1. Florida Marlins
The fish nearly missed UADZ designation altogether due to the fact that their home and away unis only violate UAC Minor Infraction Code 9703 – Use of Teal. However, the major violation of UAC Section P, Article 303 – Mixing of Solids and Stripes in their alternates, coupled with the blinding orange and teal assault from the vast sea of empty seats at Scrabble Pro Stadium in 2009 has secured said fish federal aid funds under the Children’s UADZ Fund rider recently slipped in with President Obama’s health care reform bill.
All that to say, the Floridian unis were the least offensive in the aesthetically challenged NL East. The pinstriped home unis are kind of stylish and slick, while the road grays conform to UAC locale naming requirements with the black hat/belt/socks combo offering an appealing contrast to the gray.
Colors (Black, Teal, Silver, White): C+ (Though a minor infraction, the teal cost ’em here.)
Cap Insignia(s): C (Looks like a marlin getting squished by a giant “F”, no doubt the result of a crane accident during one of the numerous stadium renamings of Scrabble Pro Stadium. )
Team Logo: C (Meh, Again with the teal.)
Mascot: B (Regionally relevant, might roll off the tongue better when they’re renamed the “Miami Marlins”.)
2. Philadelphia Phillies
While the Marlins alternates assured them federal funding and a place in the disaster zone, the slick looking, cream colored alternates from the City of Brotherly Shove kept them from bottom-three relegation in the gangly NL East. The Philly alternates actually rate among the favorites of the UAC. The well apportioned red on cream, mixed with the splash of blue on the cap make for pure UAC aesthetic delight. The seizure-inducing home red pinstripes? Not so much. These red monstrosities actually drove one UAC member to watch hockey during the ’09 World Series…hockey, for God’s sake!
Colors (Red, White, Blue): B+ (Needless to say, too much of the red is utilized.)
Cap Insignia(s): C+
(Not terribly inspiring.)
Team Logo: B+ (We likee.)
Mascot: C (If it references a cheese steak sandwich, the council is prepared to reconsider this grade.)
3. New York Mets
The Blue/Orange color combination of New York’s “other” baseball team skates dangerously close to the prohibited and much UAC maligned combination of black and orange. The common denominator in each being, of course, the color orange. See, we here at the BAPL UAC see the color orange as the ugly, pasty skinned sister of the color red, so only in rare cases like the University of Texas Longhorns, is this gangly color even remotely accepted by the UAC. In fact, UT orange gets a pass only because it is actually “burnt” orange, which means red’s ugly sister in Austin spent some time at the tanning salon.
Until recently, the UAC had actually come to terms with the blue/orange, based solely on the nostalgia appeal of it’s origins, i.e. the merging of the Brooklyn Dodger Blue and New York Giant Orange.
Then one summer in the UAC lounge, Pervus Moth, octogenarian janitor at BAPL headquarters in Fort Worth, was heard yelling “I don’t like that black on the Mets!”. Several council members rushed into the lounge from the board room to discover a Mets/Phillies game playing on the HD 60 inch. To their horror, the Mets were sporting their hideous black alternates…the council, was mortified. An emergency UAC vote was held immediately, the Mets were deemed “aesthetically unfit”, and their nostalgia permit was revoked.
Ironically, it was later discovered that Pervus the janitor was actually referring to Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, not the black alternate uniforms. Mr. Moth was immediately ushered off by BAPL Security to UAC Area 42 for ethnic sensitivity training and subsequently transferred to a remote BAPL affiliate office in East Texas.
Colors (Blue, Orange, White & Black): D- (You give an inch, they take a mile.)
Cap Insignia(s): C
(Ugly New York step child.)
Team Logo: A (Not horrible. Old NY skyline silhouette on a baseball, beddy nice, save for the orange.)
Mascot: B– (I guess “Metropolitan” is the New York equivalent of a Canadien. )
4. Atlanta Braves
Remove the alternate red unis, and the Braves escape UAC condemnation. Their home whites and road grays meet all UAC requirements for acceptable sports team attire. The second alternates are tolerated, but the hideous reds induced too much eye-vomit during last night’s proceedings. Tragic, indeed.
Colors (Navy blue, scarlet, white): A (Looks great on the home unis)
Cap Insignia(s): A+
(Looks similar to the “Atheist Out” logo)
Team Logo: B (Politically incorrect, but that just earns it more praise from the council.)
Mascot: B (Same as above. )
5. Washington Nationals
Full disclosure: the UAC despises Washington D.C.. It represents the center of bloated overreaching government power that insults the council’s libertarian sensibilities. That being said, just about any sports team from D.C. is going to get trashed by the UAC, it doesn’t matter if their uniforms are plastered with naked pictures of Jessica Alba. THAT being said, the team from D.C. and their red leanings (irony alert) in the uniform department score no points with the UAC, except maybe, just maybe the road grays, whose use of blue socks & caps saves them from total condemnation.
Colors (Red, Navy Blue, Gold, White): A– (No problem with the colors, just the overuse of the red)
Cap Insignia(s): F
(Bland, like Victory Coffee)
Team Logo: C (Impotent, like Victory Gin)
Mascot: D- (Bland and politically correct)
Actual BAPL Predictions for the National League East as mandated by BAPL UAC32910:
1. Philadelphia Phillies (Bias alert: many Phillies scattered amongst UAC fantasy teams)
2. New York Mets (If healthy, otherwise 3rd or fourth)
3. Florida Marlins (Toss up between the Fish and the Injuns here)
4. Atlanta Braves (See above)
5. Washington Natinals (Might be some excitement if the Chosen One is called up)
Next up: the AL Central
(1) In the interest of bandwidth conservation, the UAC is still debating on whether or not to include the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals in it’s 2010 prognostications, seeing as how it’s almost a given that these two relegation-worthy teams will finish in the cellar no matter what the prognostication method may be.
Note: For those of you out there that share the BAPL Uniform Aesthetics Council’s weird obsession with uniform aesthetics, be sure to check out the Uni Watch site.
Images swiped from team pages on Wikipedia.