FanDuel - WFBC

March 05, 2011

What Baseball Team Should I Root For?: Looking for a Major League Baseball team to root for this coming season? An InspirationByDesign flowchart will help you pick the team. Criteria include "Do I care if my team wins another game?" and "Look at me like that again and I will punch you."

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:53 AM - 48 comments

"I have a soul" --> No --> Yankees

Most excellent.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:01 AM on March 05

Good stuff. Eerily accurate in many cases.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:32 AM on March 05

I was curious enough to try it but I got stuck at ,"this country is being ruined by...". There's no branch for "both". I guess I'm just not meant to be a MLB fan.

posted by MrFrisby at 12:48 PM on March 05

Wow, it got me straight to the Twins!

scary

posted by dviking at 01:17 PM on March 05

I got stuck with the Yankees.

posted by Aardhart at 01:49 PM on March 05

Is it cheating if I start at the team and work backwards?

posted by graymatters at 02:09 PM on March 05

"I use sports to distract myself from the drudgery of my horrible life" -> Mets.

That's just cruel.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:37 PM on March 05

Got me right to the Cardinals, with the exception of me possibly being a Jays fan in the end.

posted by boredom_08 at 07:06 PM on March 05

Excellent! I'm a Tigers fan!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:28 PM on March 05

Tigers. But if I punch somebody in the face, does my soul take a hit? Purgatory probably.

posted by roberts at 07:51 PM on March 05

Another reason on a seemingly endless list of reasons to feel pain in my heart for Astros fans.

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:28 PM on March 05

Rcade made a wrong turn somewhere.

posted by tselson at 11:25 PM on March 05

What do you know, it works.

Blue Jays in the A.L. & Cardinals in the N.L.

(Every 5th start, Philadelphia)

posted by tommytrump at 12:06 AM on March 06

Rcade made a wrong turn somewhere.

No kidding. The sight of George W. Bush on the Jumbotron got a rousing ovation during one of the home playoff games last year.

posted by rcade at 09:31 AM on March 06

Do I really need to cheer for the Braves? The vuvuzellas, sorry I mean tomahawk chop gets annoying....

posted by Demophon at 09:40 AM on March 07

and shouldn't both the Red Sox & Yankees have been on the no side of "I have a soul?"

posted by Demophon at 09:54 AM on March 07

and shouldn't both the Red Sox & Yankees have been on the no side of "I have a soul?"

Following a team that goes 86 years without a world series victory?

You are confused.

posted by justgary at 12:17 PM on March 07

Following a team that goes 86 years without a world series victory?

I don't think that the fans of a lot of current and long-standing MLB underdog teams are going to have much sympathy with you, justgary. I know you were there for a respectable chunk of those 86 years, but "Red Sox Nation" as it now exists wasn't.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:35 PM on March 07

Sorry Gary, but other than the 86 year wait, the Red Sox and Yankees have become interchangeable to many other than their own fans.

posted by Demophon at 04:07 PM on March 07

I don't think that the fans of a lot of current and long-standing MLB underdog teams are going to have much sympathy with you

Don't care about sympathy. If we're talking about the past 10 years, great. If we're talking about a teams complete history being a fan of the yankees and the red sox over that time couldn't be a more different experience.

the Red Sox and Yankees have become interchangeable to many other than their own fans.

But this is not what other fans think of a team. Don't care. It's a chart to see who YOU should root for, right? Again, unless you're a fan over the past 10 years rooting for the Red Sox and rooting for the Yankees has not been a similar experience by any measure.

but other than the 86 year wait

Ha. That's like saying 'other than cannibalism Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 went off without a hitch'.

posted by justgary at 06:30 PM on March 07

Besides, "Chowda" is as bad as "no soul."

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:08 PM on March 07

I know you were there for a respectable chunk of those 86 years, but "Red Sox Nation" as it now exists wasn't.

There's an impossible-to-argue-with assertion. I can't stand the Pink Hat Brigade/ bandwagon jumpers, but the idea the Red Sox developed a large following after their success is laughable. The whole lovable losers thing came from the giant cross-section of New England devotees who showed up every year. While they didn't exactly sell the place out during the '80s and early '90s like they do now, I never remember a summer without everyone discussing the Sox.

I would suggest to you, given demographic trends in New England states, that the vast majority of Red Sox fans did exist previous to 2004. What's the population growth rate over the last 10-15 years? Looks like it's hovered between 1 and 1.5%. It's been too long a day for me to bust out the math, but that suggests something less than 6% of current Red Sox fans would be kids who have just gotten old enough to follow them since 2004. Tack on another 10% for bandwagon jumpers and you're still not within shouting distance of your claim. So there. Nyah.

EDIT: Upon review, I forgot to follow up on my original thought, New England growth rates, which should be lower given our overly white population and relatively high tax rates. Looking at the bottom of this table, I see 5 of the 6 states (if you pretend Connecticut is part of New England) with growth rates of 0.4 or less, including 2 negative growth rates.

/does a little dance

posted by yerfatma at 07:51 PM on March 07

There's an impossible-to-argue-with assertion. I can't stand the Pink Hat Brigade/ bandwagon jumpers, but the idea the Red Sox developed a large following after their success is laughable.

Do you really think so? I don't have numbers, but it sure seems to me that they've surged. I lived in that neighborhood in the '90s, and it was quite different than it is today.

I would suggest to you, given demographic trends in New England states, that the vast majority of Red Sox fans did exist previous to 2004. What's the population growth rate over the last 10-15 years? Looks like it's hovered between 1 and 1.5%. It's been too long a day for me to bust out the math, but that suggests something less than 6% of current Red Sox fans would be kids who have just gotten old enough to follow them since 2004.

I was thinking less of young kids who have come into fan-maturity since 2004, and more of the people who have decided that the Red Sox are cool since 2004.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:35 PM on March 07

But this is not what other fans think of a team. Don't care. It's a chart to see who YOU should root for, right?

Uh, well, no, it really isn't. It's a joke, and it's absolutely about what other fans think of your team -- or do you really, seriously believe that us Yankee fans say, "Yup, soulless -- that's me!"?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:36 PM on March 07

do you really, seriously believe that us Yankee fans say, "Yup, soulless -- that's me!"?

I think that each and every one of you wakes up each and every morning and looks in the mirror while reciting those very words. Then you do mean things to small animals.

posted by tahoemoj at 09:49 PM on March 07

Goddammit, tahoemoj! You weren't supposed to tell!!!!!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:54 PM on March 07

You mean a Yankee fan can actually see his/her own reflection?

/Late to the hate, but

//Still can't find a team to root for.

posted by owlhouse at 10:40 PM on March 07

Hey, I do it, too. But that's due more to my chosen profession than any sort of baseball allegiance. And then, as a Reds fan, I wait for the scoreboard to tell me to cheer. I'd be offended by that one if it wasn't spot-on.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:33 PM on March 07

I don't have numbers, but it sure seems to me that they've surged. I lived in that neighborhood in the '90s, and it was quite different than it is today.

The plural of "anecdote" ain't "data". I am a shut-in and I can tell you I have not met a single new Red Sox fan in the past few years.

posted by yerfatma at 08:26 AM on March 08

So, I've got anecdotes while you seem to have neither anecdotes nor data? Ok, you win.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:41 AM on March 08

I am a shut-in and I can tell you I have not met a single new Red Sox fan in the past few years.

Ma, here is some advice on how to identify them. It can be tricky because if you ask them they will always say they were a fan since 19(fill in number usually around 98-99) but when you ask them to name two players from that year's team they will probably say Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens or Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz and they certainly wouldn't have ever heard of Troy O'Leary or John Wasdin.

You will frequently find them wearing a Red Sox uniform T-shirt and the name on the back will almost always be Ellsbury or Pedroia or Youkilis. If one is really trying to be tricky you might find a Millar or a Nixon or even a Varitek, although this one will always have the C on the shoulder.

Another give away will be their hat, the brim will still be flat and the size tag will probably still be there. In many cases if you can snatch the hat off their heads in time you will find that there is still a $36.99 price tag under the brim since they just bought it from the fan store outside Fenway.

posted by Demophon at 08:55 AM on March 08

So, I've got anecdotes while you seem to have neither anecdotes nor data? Ok, you win.

Ah, sorry, I was confused and thought you'd read my comment that provided you know, like, links and stuff. And was entirely goofing around. I do so often forget you have a singular genius for taking things too seriously.

posted by yerfatma at 10:51 AM on March 08

Out here in the west, there is certainly a thing called "Red Sox Nation" that is a creature of the last ten years. Of course there are those who were there all along, and you can spot them through their unintelligible dialect. Otherwise, the majority is of the pink hat, bandwagon jumping variety. I fail to see why that is so objectionable to homegrown fans of the Sox. Last year, I saw a bunch of Reds hats popping up. I wish I'd see a whole lot more because of a series win. I can still sleep soundly in the knowledge that I have been a fan since the mid-70's, and can enjoy the fact that people outside the home market have embraced the team.

I'm not sure that pointing out population statistics for New England can fully explain the nationwide resurgence in fanhood that the Sox have enjoyed since they ended their series drought. And yerfatma, I'm not sure that the fan trends in the Boston metro area fully explain the rest of the nation.

I dunno, being from Cincinnati, I guess I've never cheered for a winning team, so I honestly don't understand the objection of lifelong fans to the observation that the fan base swelled in response to recent success.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:05 AM on March 08

I dunno, being from Cincinnati, I guess I've never cheered for a winning team, so I honestly don't understand the objection of lifelong fans to the observation that the fan base swelled in response to recent success.

I'm with you, tahoe. I'm thrilled when I see someone with a Tampa Bay Rays or Bucs hat. I don't care if they are even fans. If they are just wearing it for style, that's okay, too. I wish Jay-Z would throw over the Yankees and start wearing a Rays hat in his videos to make that cool. I'll gladly take any show of support no matter how small.

posted by bperk at 11:35 AM on March 08

Ah, sorry, I was confused and thought you'd read my comment that provided you know, like, links and stuff. And was entirely goofing around. I do so often forget you have a singular genius for taking things too seriously.

And I sometimes forget that you'll almost always go out of your way to be nasty to me, and extend myself to give you the benefit of the doubt and be civil in the face of your nastiness. Maybe I should stop doing that.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:52 AM on March 08

I hate you all.

posted by rcade at 12:35 PM on March 08

I honestly don't understand the objection of lifelong fans to the observation that the fan base swelled in response to recent success.

There's a reason the term "bandwagon jumper" exists. People around here object for a couple of reasons:

1. It's annoying to have someone try to start a conversation with you about the team and then find out they don't know of any players from before a few years ago and can't even pronounce some of the names or don't know any relievers other than the closer.

2. Ticket prices. 10 years ago we got good seats for the Sox for $15. That won't even cover two beers now and the one ticket it would pay for is already sold out for this year. And then the clowns spend the whole time on their cellphone trying to find out if they're on TV. I wish they'd get rid of the foul ball nets.

From a tribal perspective, I have no problem with people jumping on board whenever they feel like it. Most of my resentment is that they then present an easy target for people to bitch about how all Red Sox fans are idiots and bandwagon jumpers. It made deadspin.com unreadable for me.

posted by yerfatma at 12:38 PM on March 08

tl;dr: Think of a band you liked before anyone had heard of them. Then think how you felt once they got popular.

posted by yerfatma at 12:40 PM on March 08

Most of my resentment is that they then present an easy target for people to bitch about how all Red Sox fans are idiots and bandwagon jumpers. It made deadspin.com unreadable for me.

A fair point. I suppose it's just a matter of perspective. I think of myself (and other fans of small market baseball) as the man hanging in the dungeon in The Life of Brian lamenting "Oh what I wouldn't give to be spat at in the face. Bloody favoritism, it is."

think how you felt once they got popular.

Q: How many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: It's an obscure number. You probably wouldn't know it.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:33 PM on March 08

2. Ticket prices. 10 years ago we got good seats for the Sox for $15. That won't even cover two beers now and the one ticket it would pay for is already sold out for this year. And then the clowns spend the whole time on their cellphone trying to find out if they're on TV. I wish they'd get rid of the foul ball nets.

For an anecdotal fallow up (sorry no real links to data to go with it). I brought my wife to her first baseball game in 2001. It was one of Cal Ripken's final games at Fenway and the announced crowd was in excess of 31,000 yet our section along the first base line was about 50% full due to the Sox being 13.5 games behind the Yanks for the East and 17 games behind the A's for the wild card. The next year we moved to the Boston area and attended 10-15 games a year for the next couple of years until we moved back to Western Mass. But every year since 2004 the total number of games we could attend has dropped by a couple games because we just couldn't get tickets. This year we are not planning to attend any games at all.

I am not a Red Sox fan, I go to the games because I want to see the game but with all the Pink Hats taking up the tickets people who are fans of the game are being pushed out of the stadium and it sucks.

Edit: After posting this I just got an e-mail from the Sox inviting me to the "welcome back party". Now that sounds like an event that the Pink Hats will just rush to like someone announced they were giving away free Starbucks lattes (oh sorry, this is New England so it must be Dunkin' Donuts)

posted by Demophon at 02:06 PM on March 08

While much of the relatively recent growth of the Red Sox fan base is the result of their success on the field over the past dozen years or so, I firmly believe a lot of it is the result of highly successful marketing rather than the quality of the on-field product. Yes, the team has been good and looks like it will be better, but promotions like "Red Sox Nation" tend to make it more attractive to support the team, buy merchandise, buy tickets, and otherwise fill the coffers of New England Sports Ventures. One other myth that had been used in the past to boost attendance was the presentation of Fenway Park as a wonderful place to watch a game. Take my word for it, unless you are fortunate enough to get a seat in the approximately 1/2 of the park that actually has a decent view (and a seat wide enough for the average-sized adult of 2010, not 1912), it is not a great venue. Perhaps I should not dislike the pink hats as much as I do, because they really foot the bill for the team on the field. As long as NESN (or someone, even if it means listening to Tim McCarver) broadcasts the games, I feel no need to go to Fenway Park. I can get a good dose of live baseball at any number of high school, college, wooden bat league, or minor league games that are played within 30 minutes of my home.

Now for the reasons one should support a team such as Boston. Ownership has been willing to set aside a sizable portion of its profits toward maintaining a very good on-field product. Yes, like the Yankees, Boston has put out a lot of money in salaries, been very generous with top-level free agents, and willing to spend on its "home-grown" players. What is hidden is the team's spending on development of its farm system and its institution of its overseas programs (the Dominican Republic baseball program comes to mind). Building a farm system can lessen one's dependence on free agents by developing one's own quality players, and can provide quality prospects for trading to other teams who cannot or do not wish to pay for their own top-level players. Teams that use their money to improve their team are actually improving the overall quality of the game.

I have been a fan of the Red Sox since the 1953 season, when the Braves broke my 12-year-old heart and left town for Milwaukee. I was 63-years-old when I saw them win the 2004 World Series. I do not, nor will I ever wear a pink hat. I own one Red Sox sweat shirt and 3 Sox t-shirts. The sweat shirt and one t-shirt are unlicensed merchandise, and thus are cheap. The other t-shirts were giveaways during Red Cross blood drives, so you might say I gave my blood to support my team. I will be a Red Sox fan until they plant me, and unless I outlive him, I will force my Yankee fan priest to say nice things about my fandom at my funeral. I grew up near Boston in an era when your support went to your home team for no other reason than it was your home team. That's where I am, and that's where I'll stay.

posted by Howard_T at 02:57 PM on March 08

I will be a Red Sox fan until they plant me, and unless I outlive him, I will force my Yankee fan priest to say nice things about my fandom at my funeral.

Love the planning and I am willing to bet you know who Troy O'Leary and John Wasdin are. I wonder if the plan works out the other way around will you say nice things about his fandom?

posted by Demophon at 03:08 PM on March 08

bet you know who Troy O'Leary

Duh. I think I know the name of every Irishman who ever played for the Sox.

posted by yerfatma at 03:21 PM on March 08

Guys, guys, settle down. BOTH your teams are terrible parasites on the soul of humanity.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:33 PM on March 08

Uh, well, no, it really isn't. It's a joke

Of course it's a joke, but for the joke to work, it needs to make sense. So while it's a collection of cliches it has to work both ways, not simply a list of what other fans think of your team. If you follow the chart and it makes no sense, the joke fails (notice how many times it's right?).

Which is why the Red Sox and the Yankees are not treated the same; because what it was like being a fan of those teams was different for the vast majority of their history. That's not opinion, that's fact. Only in the past decade have fans lumped the Red Sox in with the Yankees.

or do you really, seriously believe that us Yankee fans say, "Yup, soulless -- that's me!"?

I think if a Yankee fan grew up in NY (or that area), lives there, has family or some other ties, then they're no different than any other fan. They simply hit the lottery.

If they have no connection but just decided one day to become a Yankee fan, 'soulless' is too good.

posted by justgary at 01:54 PM on March 09

Love the planning and I am willing to bet you know who Troy O'Leary and John Wasdin are. I wonder if the plan works out the other way around will you say nice things about his fandom?

Yerfatma just answered the question about Troy (It must be the luck of the Irish) O'Leary, and I have shuddered at the name of John (Way Back)/ Wasdin ever since his time with Boston. As for my priest, if he does predecease me, I may be administering the chalice at his funeral Eucharist. He has been with us for 25 years as of the 1st of this month. We read a congratulatory letter from the Bishop of NH, in which the Bishop listed our priest's many accomplishments in his pastoral career, but admonished him for tarnishing his tenure with his rooting for the Yankees. In short, the man loves his parish, and his parishioners love him. The Yankee vs Red Sox thing is just one way of showing how much we all have in common, and not what divides us. If you look at it carefully, its true in this very thread too. We are all fans. We may not support the same team, but we all support the sport. So may we continue, often with some vitriol but never with any hatred.

posted by Howard_T at 03:07 PM on March 09

People bitch and moan about John Wasdin, but I was 21 when the Sox traded Jose Canseco for him. That was easy enough to endure. Try being 15 when the first "big name" free agent signing your team ever comes up with winds up being a bust who loses both:

The ability to throw to first base.
A no-hitter.

posted by yerfatma at 04:26 PM on March 09

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.