Saturday, June 11, 2005

Cardinals In: "Naivete Seen?"

CardNilly responded to lots of things I brought up about the Cards-Sox thing. Good stuff. The only thing I have left to sort out is this comment:

" think that the team you beat in the World Series last year wouldn’t want the chance to dish out some payback in interleague play the next year is either incredibly naive or stupefyingly self-centered."

Ah, naivete. Kurt Cobain once sang, "I'm too busy acting like I'm not naive," while the more arrogant Axl Rose crooned "I may be a little young but honey I ain't naive." That has nothing to do with this. But I always wanted to make that comparison in some place where people might see it. (Also, note how I used "sang," and then changed it up with "crooned," to avoid repeating a word, just like a real journalist would.)

My thoughts on whether or not I am incredibly naive are not fully in bloom, but I'd say I'm on a plane somewhere between the jungle of naivete and the paradisical city that is stupefying self-centeredness.

But basically, I feel like I'm neither I.N. nor S.S.-C. to think that there was really no reason for a specific payback. But that's just me. Here's my comparison: Let's say that the Red Sox won the World Series in '86. And then last year, the Red Sox lost to the Cubs in the World Series in four games. I'd be in the situation the Card fans were in last week. Having won a World Series within the last 25 years, and then getting swept by a team who hadn't won in over 80. I would've said, "Cool, the Cubs finally won. Too bad we couldn't win, but at least it was them that we lost to." The following season (this weekend), we'd be playing the Cubs, and it would be cool, and I'd want to win just like in any series, but I would feel no need for payback per se. Unless there had been some kind of bad blood from the previous post-season, which there wasn't in the Sox-Cards current situation.

And when CardNilly says that they weren't buying the feel-good story of the '04 Sox, well, is that because his team was the one that was basically ignored while ours had movies and books and everything else made about them? I kinda thought it "felt good" for real, without the media's help, for any baseball fan who isn't a yankee fan, although plenty of them were actually happy for us, too.

When I say that, you might say I'm naive. Like when my friends and I went to Chicago in '98, and my one friend was made fun of for his yankee shirt. He was like, "Why do they care about the yanks? There's no rivalry there." And I said, "Dude, don't you know that every other team's fans HATE the yankees?" That was naive of him. But am I naive to think that basically everybody was rooting for (at least the fans of) the "cursed" team, or "lovable losers," or "underdog," or whatever you wanted to call us? Maybe. But I figured all the weird hair and wacky personalities were enough to clinch it for us, in the way the Phat Phillies and Superbowl Shufflin' Bears captured the aortas of the nation. But I guess some people don't buy into it.

When I told my dad about how once, at Camden Yards, the scoreboard operator deceived the fans on the yankees score update, seemingly to piss off the thousands of Sox fans in attendance, he said, "They have a right to be pissed, with us buying up all of their seats." So that makes me think that it's the way we take over other teams' stadiums that make some fans hate Red Sox fans. To that I say, "When your team's tickets go on sale, buy them. We've all got the same internet capabilities, only you have the advantage of having the ticket office in your own area. Terrible job."

Then there's the whole "big payroll" thing. Which I also have an answer for, and that is, A. Don't compare us to the yanks, because they can spend at will, while we're pretty much maxed out, and B. Our team has dough because we care about them enough to pay basically whatever price they ask for a chance to see them, and they did all they could with a tiny ballpark, and we fill the place every night, giving the team enough money to produce a winning team every year, despite the fact that they don't have 55,000 seats to work with.

So, self-centered, naive, maybe I'm both, who knows. But I'm a pretty good guy. And I was born into it, so I'll defend it til the end. Because if I am one thing, it's stubborn. Which I could call loyalty, but that would be self-centered and naive.

Like I said before: bitter.
Unfortunately, I can report - at least in terms of fans - Sox fans are nearly as universally hated as Yankee fans. Basically, othe people pre-04 saw us as whiny and self-centered, and post-04 have seen us as self-centered and overly-celebratory. The orgasmic and ridiculous media response to the Sox in the offseason (I swear to god, there were more ESPN stories about Johnny Damon's hair than about any other single team) didn't help.

Personally, I think the guy at CardsNilly was a little over the top in his targeting; he didn't exactly do comprehensive reading of Sox blogs, and reached some conclusions aparently in order to assuage Cards fans' souls; Sox fans aren't "real" fans, they just want to beat the Yankees, they don't give respect to other teams (especially the Cards who won a whole buncha games last year 'n stuff)... There was a touch of inferiority complex there, as though ty were hurt that we didn't bnd over to complement the Cards while they bent us over backwards. So, who knows, but those were my thougts reading all of that.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States