The good news is that the Major Leauge Baseball season is upon us once again. And the even better news is that the Boston Red Sox won their opening game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The bad news is that this season I’m faced with a tough decision.
I grew up loving baseball and my hometown team was the Washington Senators. During the summer my pals and I would take the bus and the trolly to Griffith Stadium and watch them play as often as we could. One summer I even got a job walking around the stands selling sodas at the stadium.
Then storm clouds settled over baseball in Washington, DC. As I posted on this blog about a year and a half ago, in 1960 my homeboys skipped town to become the Minnesota Twins. The original Senators, though, were quickly replaced the next season by the New Washington Senators. And, of course, I became a supporter of the new team in town.
But barely more than a decade later, the New Washington Senators suddenly skipped town to become the Texas Rangers. Twice burned, I swore off baseball forever.
Back in the baseball saddle again
Forever, it turned out, lasted for nearly thirty years. Shortly after we moved to the Boston area in the mid-nineties, I rediscovered my love for baseball thanks to the storied Boston Red Sox. It was glorious and exciting to be an avid Red Sox fan when they finally broke the Curse of the Bambino and won the World Series in 2004. And then they won it all again in 2007. My wife and I would watch nearly all of the Red Sox games on TV and we would occasionally manage to get to Fenway Park to see them play up close and personal.
In the spring of 2010 we bought a condo in San Francisco and moved into it that summer, although we have continued to go back and forth between there and our home in Worcester, MA since buying the condo.
We didn’t know much about the San Francisco Giants baseball team or its
players when we moved into our condo. We
continued to follow the Red Sox as best we could from San Francisco, given that very few Sox games were televised there. The Sox finished in third place in the AL East that year and didn’t make it to the
playoffs. But the Giants not only won their division, they won the World Series.
This past season, for the second time in three years, the Giants went all the way and won the World Series. This time my wife and I were a little more familiar with the Giants’ players and were kind of excited about the team’s success in the post-season. Back east, though, the Red Sox had their worst season in years, finishing with 69 wins against 93 losses and in dead last in the AL East. It was heartbreaking for devoted Red Sox fans.
A rebuilding season
The 2013 Red Sox have a new manager, new coaches, and many new players. Most fans are fairly confident that the Sox will do better than last year, but no one is expecting them to have a stellar season. It’s what they call in sports parlance, “a rebuilding season.” The Giants, on the other hand, are bringing to the field pretty much the same team that won it all last year.
I am back in Worcester now and my wife (along with our dog) will be joining me within the next three weeks or so. We will be spending the first half of the 2013 baseball season in the Boston area and the plan is that we’ll be back in San Francisco for the second half. So my dilemma is whether to dedicate my fanhood this season to the Red Sox or the Giants.
Hey, I do have the ability to root for more than one Major League Baseball team, just not with equal passion. I can be happy for one team if it achieves success and sad if it doesn’t, but for the past decade I have been living and dying with the fortunes or misfortunes of the Red Sox.
So do I switch my full allegiance to the Giants, since San Francisco is most likely where I’ll be living from now on, or do I remain a loyal member of the Red Sox Nation?
I will try as best I can to closely follow both teams for the entire season, maybe the Red Sox more passionately for the first half and the Giants more closely for the second half. And maybe, just maybe, my baseball dream will come true and the Red Sox and Giants will, if not this year, then someday, face off in the World Series.
Then I’d really be on the horns of a dilemma.