Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

This is for the people of Boston. I think two people in the area read this, so here you are.

I really want to root for the Red Sox. I really do. But I can't. After watching Manny Ramirez and Derek Lowe act like the spoiled brats they are the other night, I just can't bring myself to root for their team.

I will root for them to beat the Yankees, so there can be a Red Sox - Cubs World Series, but my heart won't be behind the Sox.

For those who missed it the other night, Manny Ramirez hit a huge home run against the A's. Instead of running to first like a good boy should, he walked halfway down to first, smugly admiring his home run, then pointing at the players in his dugout. It was the most immature, selfish celebration this side of Barry Bonds.

But OK. I'll forgive that, I thought to myself. I still have a lot of friends in Boston, and I'd like to see them win for once.

Then Derek Lowe came on to save the game in the ninth, and he threw two absolutely perfect and unhittable pitches that basically won the game for the Sox. On strike three of the third out, he started celebrating, pumping his fist -- like a good boy should. But then he looked at the A's dugout and did a variation of the "Suck it" celebration move made popular by pro wrestling. He looked right into their dugout and gestured towards his crotch. Nice.

Therefore, I can not and will not root for the Red Sox if they get to the World Series.

There was a moment I had that I thought I would forget these displays of poor sportsmanship and cheer for them, because of Johnny Damon. I've always liked that guy, and it was horrible to see him get the shit knocked out of him in center field. Pull for the injured guy who plays his ass off, I thought.


Lowe apologized after the game, saying he was caught in the moment and didn't realize what he did. Bullplop. He looked right into the dugout and did it. Ramirez was interviewed right after the game and the first thing he said was something like, "I just wanted to say he pitched a great game." I'm guessing that during the game someone went up to Manny and told him to say that, because the commentators were killing him for it. Some quick PR. I am looking forward to next year when Zito puts a fastball into Manny's ear.

You know how in elementary school when one kid would do something bad, then the teacher would punish the whole class? "This isn't fair!" the rest of us would protest. Well, Manny and Derek ruined it for the rest of the class.

It's one thing to celebrate. It's another to make a point of it to humiliate the people you are beating. I don't get that. Isn't winning enough? Isn't it enough to take pride in your accomplishments? Why try to make the loser feel worse than they already do?

Here is a story about why I am awesome:

Back in 2000, when the Mets were playing the Yankees in the World Series, I was watching one of the games at a bar. I was sitting there with a friend and there was a pretty intense moment late in the game. My Mets were in some trouble and desperately needed a double play to end a threat. I was also in some trouble, because I had to pee really bad, so I also needed this double play.

Lo and behold, Paul O'Neill hits a ground ball and it becomes apparent that this is a tailor made double play. My bladder shifts into second gear as I know the inning is about to come to an end. The double play is easily turned and I jump off my bar stool, do a little fist pump, and say "Yes!" to myself. I strolled to the bathroom feeling pretty good about my Mets (who, as usual, would go on to lose).

My bladder now empty, I started to walk back to the bar when I heard this guy sitting at a table say "Hey! Hey, buddy." I walk over to him, not having any idea what to expect (Maybe he wanted me to be in a porno?). Here was our conversation:

Guy: That was really cool.

Me: What?

Guy: What you just did - that was cool.

Me: Taking a piss? That was cool?

Guy: The way you just pumped your fist. It was cool that you didn't act like a jackass and rub it in. I can tell you're a real fan. I hate the way most fans act.

Me: Oh, um, thanks.

I think that might have been my favorite compliment ever. If I ever became a Little League coach, I'd always stress good sportsmanship before anything else. With the exception of Derek Jeter and George Steinbrenner, I don't really like to see people lose. (There is one other guy who I love to see lose. This guy is the reason I loathe the Yankees. Perhaps I will post that story tomorrow.)

Of course I love winning and I can be very competitive, and I can be a bitch when I lose. I think I actually lost some sleep when my company softball team was eliminated from the playoffs.

Anyway, because of Manny Ramirez and Derek Lowe, I will be rooting for the Cubs. Sure Sammy Sosa corked his bat, and he's probably done more steroids than Jesus, but he seems like a nice enough guy.

Sorry Boston. I want you to lose because of two bad sports. For right now, Chicago is my kind of town.
All material © Mike Toole; 2003 - 2006