Tagged: rays

What’s Cookin’?

The off-season is starting to heat up a little bit. Well it’s about time.

Dempster re-signed which wasn’t that big of a surprise and Coco “Fruit Loops” Crisp was traded to the Royals of all teams.
QHVJQE8r.jpgI always have some sympathy for Kansas City because they’re in such a small market and they face a steep up-hill climb every year. But I just don’t understand some of the moves they make. It’s like the Royals trade away all their good-young talent (Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye) and take on good players who failed elsewhere (Jose Guillen). It’s like KC is a giant experiment gone horribly wrong.

It’s not impossible to compete in a small market. Just look at the two teams that played for a championship in ’08. The Rays have built a good core of young talent and made it to the World Series without signing a truck-load of free agents. The Phillies are in a huge market but
act like a small market team, but they’ve basically done the same in building a good core. 7 out of 9 starters in the ’08 fall classic came up through the Phillies farm system. What it takes is great scouting, a disciplined philosophy and a good manager.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens the rest of the way. An off-season says a lot about where teams stand and how they want to move forward. Some teams stick with bad habits while others are taking notice to what has worked the last 10 years.

Stay tuned.

Fanhood

I take a lot of heat for being a Phillies fan. If its not the fact that we have 10,000 losses it’s the fact that we have a tiny ballpark or that we’re cholk-artists. I thought that winning the world series would change all that. I guess I was wrong.

Now I am relentlessly accused of being a “bandwagon jumper.”

I wear my 2008 post-season Phillies sweatshirt wherever I go along with the 2008 world series championship hat. I’ve been waiting for this since I was 8 years-old. Ever since Joe Carter hit the homerun off Mitch Williams. I want to show my pride and excitement for my beloved Phillies; a team my family has cheered on for 50 years, and I want to show it for more than just a week.

Aside from the Phillies, I am a fan of sports more than I am a fan of individual teams. My year runs on three seasons instead of four: Baseball, Football, Basketball. The year begins in January with NFL playoffs to the superbowl, then transitions to the second half of the NBA season followed by the playoffs (which seem to last three and a half years) mixed with opening day of baseball. I ride baseball all summer long and will hardly pay any attention to football until the Phillies are out of it. During each of these seasons, I get into “modes” where I don’t care about any other sports but the mode I am in.

Here it is November, a time when I am usually knee deep in NFL and college football, and I can’t get baseball off my mind. I still pick up a baseball bat and take practice swings in my living room and I keep bugging my friends to have a catch.

What bugs me though is how other people can call me a bandwagon jumper and ignore the entire Tampa Bay fan-base. Until this season, the Tampa Bay Rays’ fan-base consisted of Dick Vitale and the collection of team mothers (most of them, at least). Yet somehow, Tropicana Field was flooded with people sporting ray-hawks and cowbells. If that’s not a stadium full of bandwagon jumpers, I don’t know what is.

To find out, ask anyone with a ray-hawk to name the starting lineup from last year. Then you’ll know.

I watched a lot of people claim to be Red Sox fans in 2004, a lot of which were Marlins fans the year before. I really have no problem with it. If a great postseason like 2004 or 2008 converts you, admit it. Just don’t claim to be a lifelong fan and act like you were in agony for 100 years.

I haven’t quite waited a century to see my team win it all; and the curse of Billy Penn doesn’t quite measure up to the curse of the Bambino. But I finally have a reason to justify wearing a Phillies cap outside of eastern PA without getting laughed at, and I’ll do it with dignity.

I’ve earned it.
Philadelphia has earned it.

So please, don’t call me a bandwagon jumper just because my team won and your team lost. That’s not very good Fanhood.

~SL