Saturday, April 19, 2008

Perfect baseball night.

Mets beat Phils, Red Sox won, Yanks lost (to the O's, no less). And, this morning, I find that the Mets have accomplished one of my goals for them: with their fourth straight win, while the Bronx Bullies flounder, they've supplanted the Yanks on page one of the Times sports section.

Update: Of course, the Mets have sucked mightily since I posted this, just before leaving for a short visit with my mom in Tampa. Driving past Tropicana Field, I wistfully thought of becoming a Rays fan. True underdogs starting to show some class, I reasoned, not perpetual (at least since 1986) underachievers. After all, I spent my middle and high school and university years in Tampa. Nevertheless, switching loyalties would be a violation of one of Bill Simmons's rules (of which I was unaware until August made his comment on this post, below), to wit:

Once you choose a team, you're stuck with that team for the rest of your life ... unless one of the following conditions applies:

Your team moves to another city.

You grew up in a city that didn't field a team for a specific sport - so you picked a random team - and then either a.) your city landed a team, or b.) you moved to a city that fielded a team for that specific sport.
(There are other exceptions that are irrelevant here. One of them is if the owner of your team has proved to be irredeemably loathsome. Of Fred Wilpon, I can only turn an oft-used New York-ism on its head: what's there to loathe?) As I've explained before, I first chose the Brooklyn Dodgers. When they went to L.A., they lost my loyalty (in accordance with Simmons's first exception), but it did not shift to another team. Instead, I simply lost interest in baseball. When I moved to Tampa, which then had no team (it was then, in pre-Steinbrenner days, the spring training camp for Cincinnati, so there was some local loyalty to the Reds) I didn't choose a random team, I just remained indifferent. Then I moved to New York and, in accordance with Simmons's rule, I picked the Mets as the logical successors to the Dodgers. But the Mets aren't moving (except into a new stadium next year), so I don't get the benefit of that Simmons exception, even though my old home town now has a team (which it didn't at the time I picked the Mets). Besides, my antipathy to the designated hitter rule makes it difficult for me to have any American League team as my primary loyalty. Finally, being a Rays fan would bring me into direct conflict with my wife's Red Sox fealty. So, I'll continue to suffer with the Mets and root for the Rays only when they play the Yanks.