Hate Is the New Love for MLB

November 19, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

I still remember the first day I became a Mets fan.

It was spring of 1990 and there I was, five years old and ready to face the world of tee-ball. Where I lived in California, the teams were not green or orange, but actual baseball teams like the Yankees and the Dodgers.

As it turned out, I was destined to be on the Mets with my dad as coach. From then on, I was a Mets fan. There really are not a lot of memories from that age I can recollect, but this always stuck out in my mind

When I moved to New York two years later, it was a dream come true. Even though my Mets were stinking up a storm, I was still a die-hard fan. During each game I sat nervously, inches from of the TV, writhing in emotional pain with every passing loss.

Consequently, I hated the Yankees for their free spending, competitive-balance-destroying ways. For years I spent my time convincing my Yankee-loving friends that they were pure evil, that the Yankees were going to ruin the game, etc.

My love of the Mets stayed true until one day when the Mets started trying to emulate the Yankees. They started to embody the very values that I so very much detested.

How could I root for a team that I had essentially been bad-mouthing for so many years?

For a while, I still said I was a Mets fan. But in my heart I knew it wasn’t true. One day I just stopped saying it. Soon our break-up was official.

I toyed with the idea of being an Oakland fan for a while. Despite my love of the Mets, Rickey Henderson was always my favorite player so it made sense to root for his long-time club, especially considering they had Billy Beane, the wonder kid who knew ways to win without spending $140 million.

For a few years, life was pretty good. The A’s didn’t make any real deep runs, but they made the playoffs and I enjoyed watching the young club play. Giambi, Hudson, Mulder, Zito and company were fun to watch.

And then it all went to crap again. Their stars wanted to be paid star money, so they traded them away for rebuilding chips and still haven’t seen the return.

Which brings me to this:

I don’t have a favorite baseball team anymore.

Every year now, I root for the underdog, the David, the Rudy.

Tampa Bay? Sign me up for the bandwagon.

San Francisco having a good year? I’m all over it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love baseball. It’s just that I love it as a hater, not as a fan. It’s just too demoralizing for me to root for a specific team every year when their payroll prohibits them from contending most years.

What I do love is watching the Yankees lose. Most years it seems that I come out ahead in that battle. This year would have been especially sweet since they paid an enormous fortune to get the two best free agents available. But if they didn’t win every once in a while, it wouldn’t be interesting. So I’m not too upset.

I even have a list of teams I hate:

1. Yankees.

2. Red Sox. (How can a fan base so accustomed to losing become such trash-talkers in just a few short years?)

3. Mets. (Because they broke my heart.)

In the NBA and NFL, I am a true fan. Sure, there are a few teams I hate (stupid Lakers), but overall I’m very content to love my teams and just root for them. Straight baseball loving just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I need to hate in order to love.


*Are you a hater or a fan? I think that many of us, upon internal review will come to the conclusion that at least part of our fandom in one sport or another is based on being a hater.

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