*A disclaimer: Before reading this article, please be aware that this diatribe is solely directed at members of the Boston Red Sox bandwagon and NOT members of the true Boston Red Sox fan base.
To the real Sox fans, much respect for your years of enduring futility between world championships. Your stick-to-itiveness is admirable.
To the bandwagoners, nobody likes you. Read on.
The Boston Red Sox are coming to Seattle later this week, and we’re here to prepare you for the bandwagon that may very well run you over on your way to the ballpark. Because we care about our fans.
The first thing you need to know about Red Sox bandwagoners is that most of them aren’t from Boston.
Many of them are actually from around here, in fact, but have been brought down by the Mariners’ losing ways over the years. They are misguided souls, often in the same mold as prostitutes or drug addicts, who are searching for something to cling to when all hope seems lost. They’re not bad people, just full of bad habits.
The second thing to note is that these individuals often feel empowered by the gang environment they’ve created around themselves.
That “strength in numbers” mentality (combined with a heavy dose of adult beverages, usually) gives many a Red Sox bandwagon member the testicular fortitude to shout bad things about your mother, or simply try and pick fights with any Mariner fan (or fan of any other team, for that matter) who dares make eye contact with their holiness. Consider the bandwagon a traveling throne of superiority.
Third, a large majority of passengers on the bandwagon are rather limited in their knowledge of both the Sox, and the game of baseball in general.
For instance, if you get the opportunity, ask them to name more than five players on the current Sox roster (they’ll know two for certain, Ortiz and Papelbon, but it will be a crapshoot after that).
Or, perhaps, see if they can recall former closer Bob Stanley, the man who essentially squandered the ‘86 World Series on a wild pitch to Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson.
If you really want to sabotage their failing memories, ask them who the Sox obtained relief pitcher Larry Anderson for during the 1990 stretch run. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll be pissed. But if they actually do happen to know the answer, they’ll be even more pissed (it was Jeff Bagwell, by the way). Either way, it’s a win-win scenario.
Fourth, don’t hesitate to comment on the brand new Sox hat the casual bandwagoner just picked up from the Mariners team store. The one he scrambled to get at the very last minute, desperately trying to find any piece of apparel to don in support of the team he’s almost a fan of.
Fifth, if you get bored, start noticing little things about the wagon, such as how many “Garciaparra” jerseys you can count, or how many of the Nationers are dressed like “bros” (khaki cargo shorts, brown leather flip-flops, a too-tight tee-shirt, and the “vintage” looking faded denim blue/Kelly green Sox cap with the curved bill…how’s that for specific?).
Finally, if a bandwagoner gives you any trouble, kindly remind him that since Safeco Field opened, the Sox have a 21-28 mark in the not-so-friendly confines. Call it a small victory (or, more aptly, a series of small victories) for the hometown nine.
You see, the difference between us and them is quite simple. We live and die by our team, and we’ve been there since day one. We haven’t bought high or sold low; we’ve weathered the ups and downs like real fans do.
No, we Mariners fans may not have a championship to our credit, or even more than forty years of history just yet. But at least we can look ourselves in the mirror each morning and know, deep down in our heart of hearts, that we’re true, real-life, honest-to-goodness fanatics of our hometown ballclub. No faking, we’re for real.