Interesting give and take Thursday on our hypothetical trade, Dustin Pedroia for Nick Markakis.
Both are exceptionally good young players and I wasn't surprised to see so many Baltimore fans come to the aid of their right fielder. That's not to take anything away from Pedroia.
In fact, quick note to Dave T. and Sam: I believe Pedroia was the right pick for MVP. If Carlos Quentin had stayed healthy and kept posting big numbers, then he could have made a run for it. But Pedroia did everything for the wild-card-winning Red Sox in 2008. He even batted cleanup when they needed him to.
Remember, two media members from each American League city vote on the MVP, so it's not as if the Boston media got more sway than, say, Kansas City or Detroit. Pedroia won because he had great numbers and was an all-around catalyst for a playoff team. I also had no problem with Red Sox fans claiming that they'd never agree to the trade on their end. They shouldn't. Pedroia is their guy.
There was some ugliness in the bar between "Sox Fan" and some of our local folks. That, too, isn't surprising. We don't allow too much of that in here, but some goes with the territory.
Sox Fan said something that got me thinking. And it's gonna get us back to the old Connolly's standard – hatred. We should have an honorary barstool for Hate.
Sox Fan implied that Red Sox fans are hated because the team is good and others are jealous. I'm sure there is some of that. I think the New York Yankees are hated primarily because of that – because there is no counter argument to 26 championships.
But the Red Sox are a different story, in my opinion. Of course, I am no longer a fan, so maybe I am off here. And I am looking for your thoughts.
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s in Baltimore, when the Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles were all very good. I was taught to hate the Yankees and to want the Red Sox to lose, unless they played the Yankees. The Red Sox weren't really hateable; just rivals. They were a good team, with long-suffering fans and a history of painful losses.
But once the Red Sox won in 2004 and then again in 2007, it seemed as if some – and I'm not saying all or most, because there are a lot of classy Red Sox fans out there – forgot that history. And suddenly some acted as if they had won 26 titles in 26 years. And it was that attitude that has made Red Sox haters out a lot of people around here who previously had viewed the Red Sox only as a division rival, even when they were winning the AL East in the 1970s and 1980s.
One Baltimore friend of mine told me that right now the only thing he hates more than the Yankees organization are Red Sox fans. I've also heard people around here disparage Steelers fans, but say they hate the Redskins, as an organization, more.
Here's what I am wondering: Can you hate a team without hating its fans? Or hate a team's fans and not hate the team. You'd think they'd have to go together. But maybe not. It's Friday, let's get philosophical.
Daily Think Special: Do you hate a team, its fans or both? And can you hate one without the other?