I don’t mind people who say they don’t like baseball. They just don’t get it, and at least they’re honest.
But I have a big problem with people who say they’re baseball fans, but who put football first during late September and October. To them I say this: You are NOT baseball fans.
I can’t understand people who start watching baseball in April, then abandon the sport just when it gets most exciting. The only explanation I can come up with is that despite what you say, you are NOT baseball fans.
It’s unfortunate that the seasons overlap at this time of year, but let’s be honest: If you say you support a baseball team — especially one that is in playoff contention right now — but you’re not watching them because there’s a competing football game on television, then you are NOT a baseball fan.
Furthermore, just because your favorite baseball team was knocked out of the postseason (my team, the Astros, were eliminated on Sept. 4), that’s no reason to stop watching. If that describes you, then you are a FRONT-RUNNER, not a baseball fan.
Certainly we have favorite teams and favorite players. We also have teams and players we love to root against. No problem. I hate the St. Louis Cardinals because they were my bitter division foe for many years. But at least I recognize them for being a class organization, and I’ll have fun rooting against them, no matter which team they play.
I detest the steroid cheats as much as you do, but most of them I still recognize as having been pretty good ballplayers before they ever used a banned substance. I’m looking at you, Ryan Braun, you rat-bastard.
I also appreciate those players who had great careers and did it the right way. Thank you, Derek Jeter.
But the fact is, a real baseball fan’s love of the game should extend beyond any one team and any one player.
If you can’t appreciate the Kansas City Royals returning to the playoffs after 29 years of ineptitude, then you are NOT a baseball fan.
If you can’t appreciate the Pittsburgh Pirates for being a good, fun-to-watch team again after so many years of badness, then you are NOT a baseball fan.
If you can’t appreciate the Oakland A’s for drawing rabid fans to a lousy stadium to watch a good team with a historically low payroll, then you are NOT a baseball fan.
If you don’t know what a good team the Baltimore Orioles remain despite a slew of crippling injuries, then you are NOT a baseball fan.
There’s a lot to love about this sport, and this is the best time of year. So turn off that meaningless football game and watch some meaningful baseball this weekend as the regular season wraps up and we head into the playoffs.
Your team may be toast, but there’s still plenty of exciting drama to come. If you say you’re a baseball fan, then for chrissakes act like one!