Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ALCS Run Down

Which Racists do I root for…?

ALCS Run Down

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Before we get started, I should probably mention, this post isn’t going to be all that funny…kinda like the Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Saturday night, before I went liver-killing with my friend Katie (quick side-note about Katie: She’s a fan of the Red Sox, by proxy, but a fan nonetheless; and I started off the evening "right." When I met her outside her apartment, the Red Sox had taken a 6 – 5 lead and things looked bleak for the Indians. Seeing as I was furious, and I suppose stupid, I declared to her; that I didn’t like the Red Sox or Boston or anything associated with the two…yeah), I was watching Game 2 of the ALCS at my buddy Kilo’s place with a few friends of ours. His good buddy Curly was going off about how shocking it was that I was rooting for the Indians to beat the Red Sox and asked me how I could do such a thing. His logic was that the Indians beat the Yankees and I shouldn’t be rooting for the team that ousted them from the Playoffs.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always rooted for the team playing the team that ousted my favorite team, not the ousters themselves. He also was complaining about the racist nature of the Indians mascot and the teams’ name itself.
Curly’s argument was that the Indians are a racist organization because of their nasty little mascot (Chief Wahoo), which many people agree is an American Indian approximation of Little Black Sambo. My argument was that, apart from my inherent/inborn dislike of Boston, I think the city of Boston is fairly racist in-and-of-itself and would rather root for a team with a racist mascot than a racist city; because I don’t know about you, but I associate teams with the cities they play in and make judgments about those teams based on those cities. I mean, look, if I saw Ryan Garko and Grady Sizemore passing out bottles of gin at an Indian Reservation I’d be the first one willing to throw a can of paint on their collective fur coat.
You’re probably wondering how I came to this decision (that is, if you’re still reading that is) and the answer isn’t really that simple. I went to high school about 30 minutes outside of Boston in a little town called Southborough and made several trips into Boston during those years. On one such visit, I remember walking down Mass Ave. with a young lady of the Cauc-ish persuasion to have a passer-by, not-so-subtly express his displeasure at our apparent happiness. From that moment on, I’ve always had a rather sour taste in my mouth when it comes to Boston.
On the other side of the coin, my father is part American Indian; which pretty much makes me part American Indian. It shocked Curly that I could still root for the Indians even though my heritage would seem to be at loggerheads with that.
The thing is, part of me hates them both and could honestly care less what happens in this series. But there’s also a part of me that just can’t stand Boston. I think their fans are classless, I think the city is awful, I think their players are dirty, walk around with chips on their shoulders and have a double standard for everyone else in the League; especially the Yankees. Let me explain myself here for a moment. People in Boston went nuts when Joba Chamberlain “threw at” Kevin Youkilis although it seemed pretty clear the pitches slipped out of his hand (Joba’s got pretty good control, I’m pretty sure if he wanted to implant a 101-MPH heater in the side of
Youkilis's head, he could've done just that). Meanwhile, those same Bostonians joked about 72-year old Don Zimmer being thrown to the ground by Pedro Martinez during the 2003 ALCS…yeah, elder abuse is hilarious! I don’t even think I need to get into the “classy” ARod/Jeter t-shirts worn by many of the Boston faithful (which incidentally were only banned after the Red Sox won the Series in 2004) or how Boston continues to attempt to play martyr even though they own baseball’s second-highest payroll. But I’m getting off topic.
I’m not excusing Cleveland’s use of Chief Wahoo, I think it’s a despicable mascot that should be changed. I think that in 2007 tolerance should count for something and hell, I don’t know, change the team name back to the Cleveland Blues or Spiders from the NL (what better way to honor the winningest pitcher of all time, Cy Young?). But, I’m not here to propose new nicknames for Cleveland, just tell you why I’m willing to root for them over Boston.
In short, aside from 6 awful hours I spent in an airport once, I have no real reason to dislike the city of Cleveland. On the other hand, I have a visceral reaction to Boston and just because the Indians are playing the Red Sox doesn’t mean I’m going to run out and buy a bunch of Indians gear. So basically, I’m picking the city of Cleveland over the city of Boston and excusing their despicable mascot. But if, god willing, the Indians do beat the Red Sox and make it to the World Series, I’m going to dust off the adjustable Rockies cap I bought when I was 12 and cheer for them like they were the pinstriped Yankees who played in Denver! So disagree with me if you like, but that's how I feel.
As of my writing this (11:50, p.m. EDT, Tuesday night), Terry Francona is trying to explain how how Tim Wakefield didn’t screw the pooch, giving up 6 in the 5th, and allowing Cleveland to put Boston in a 3 – 1 hole.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curly here:

Yeah, I guess Boston can be a pretty racist town. As a Jew, and someone who uses the letter R, I am all too aware of that. But let's not crucify all Boston fans too soon. The fact is that while Boston fans have a pretty big chip on our shoulders, we also know our team. Which is more than I can say for all Yankee fans, many of whom are notorious for bandwagoning. As the Sox get more popular, this will change, and we’ll soon have to deal with same sunny-day fans as the Yanks.

But I am not saying that Boston is a better city than New York. I've heard that argument before, however short-lived it was, and cleared my throat in disagreement the whole time. I live in New York, and I love New York. But while the cities are different, and really not compared to each other in anything other than Baseball, the only thing that gives me a bit of heart is that Yankee fans, prior to 04’, couldn’t give a shit about the Sox. It was Boston’s rivalry, and Yankee fans were more worried about the Mets and the new-born Subway series. At least since 78.

The Yanks real problem is that they need a rebuilding year. They need to stop sending their talent over seas, and deal with a mediocre season for once, and then they’ll be really great again. Not just a band-aid filled team filled with former all-stars who have to hit thirty thousand homers every year just to keep em’ in it.

So in your hate of Boston (which may be justified as far as racism goes), I find solace. It is a victory for the Boston fan who had to deal with Yanks fans chuckling at us for putting our money on a sure loser for the past 80 years. Well now we got some money, and we’re competing, and it’s a true rivalry now.

And even though Boston has some racist people, so does New York. And Cleveland fans root for a big toothed, smiley-faced, red-skinned, giggling little Native American version of black-face. Fuck Cleveland. Fuck Hafner. Fuck ShapYro, Fuck that little pretty-boy Sizemore, and fuck their racist mascot. If they wanted to be true to their citizens, they’d call themselves the Cleveland Crackers, and their insignia would be a fat-faced, toothless, dog fucker, who beats their cousin/wife, and listens to Larry the Cable Guy.

8:36 PM  

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