Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Right-thinking people this baseball post-season will find themselves in one of those quandaries that occasionally confront the fan who follows the game but isn’t a natural rooter for any of the teams involved; like the vegetarian dining at the steakhouse whose only choice is the soggy baked potato or the overcooked broccoli, we are forced to throw our allegiances behind what would in most situations be rejected out-of-hand. I speak, of course, of the American League Championship Series in which we face the conundrum of pulling either for the hated New York Yankees or the despicable Texas Rangers, both options being—to carry the food metaphor a bit further—extremely difficult to swallow if not downright vomit-inducing.

If rooting for the Yankees is like, as the old quote goes, rooting for US Steel (although today you’d probably want to substitute some contemporary high-tech monolith like Google or Microsoft in its stead), then rooting for the Texas Rangers is like rooting for British Petroleum or Exxon-Mobil, what with the team’s historical ties to none other than that oiliest of oilmen, onetime president of the club and onetime President with a club, George W. Bush.

Anyone with taste will always have despised the Bronx Bombers: their bloated payroll stocked with stars whose bloated egos barely fit in their bloated ballpark; the fans whose expectations of success has them booing their team for doing anything less than winning it all; even I, who make no claims whatsoever to a proper appreciation for the finer things have always hated them—probably by osmosis from my dad who was a proper Brooklyn Dodgers support; but it’s also the case that refined palettes will likewise detest the Rangers just—I dunno—on the simple principle that any club that was willing to pay Alex Rodriguez 150 million dollars (in 1997 dollars) over 10 years deserves our undying scorn.

Fortunately, the National League Championship series offers an antidote: Tim Lincecum and his SF Giants.


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