Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Hate the Player
2008-08-04 10:30
by Emma Span

At the end of June the Mets acquired Trot Nixon. (Not primarily because, as Michael Kay would have you believe, they needed Nixon’s “tough” and “gritty” presence in the locker room, but because Moises Alou is as old as God and much more easily injured). I noted this transaction with a “huh, makes sense” – the signing cost them nothing, couldn’t hurt – and then I was immediately surprised by my own calm. Because, man… did I ever used to hate Trot Nixon.

I mean I hated him. Back when he was on the Red Sox, just about every time he came to the plate I’d feel compelled to point out to a roommate or friend just how much I disliked the man. He was one of a whole bunch of similarly squat, goateed white guys on the Sox back then – Varitek, Mueller, Millar – and I loathed all of them.

The thing is, watching Trot Nixon’s first game with the Mets, I couldn’t for the life of me remember why, specifically, I’d reserved such vitriol for the guy. What the hell did Trot Nixon ever do to piss me off so much? I know I used to have reasons -- I would happily expound on them at the drop of a hat -- but now I can’t remember even a single one. Probably he said something catty about A-Rod once.

In fact, other than Varitek – because I do still think it’s pretty tacky to start a fight while wearing a catcher’s mask – I can’t come up with a solid reason to dislike any of those guys. Millar seems endearingly goofy these days more than anything else. As for Mueller, damned if I can come up with a single salient fact about him offhand, other than his aforementioned squatness, whiteness, and goateed-ness.

Which brings me to my larger point: I don’t dislike the Red Sox nearly as intently as I used to. I mean, they’re still the Red Sox, and it goes without saying that I’ll always root against them, no matter who they’re playing. But there’s no venom to it. Whereas for a while there – starting in the late 90s for me, and really peaking in 2003 and 2004, natch – it really felt a little personal. Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez: those were perfect controversial figures, great at stirring things up.

(Ramirez, obviously, is not exactly endearing these days and he is no longer a Red Sox, but disliking a player for shoving an old man – or, say, allegedly beating his wife* -- isn’t really what I’m talking about here. It’s one thing to dislike a player because they in fact behave like scumbags; it’s another to convince yourself you hate a player for manufactured reasons.)

Now I’m sure a lot of you are going to disagree with me here, which is, of course, fine --I’m not trying to tell anyone how much they should or shouldn’t dislike the Red Sox. Hating them is a long time-honored tradition and if I were a Boston player, and the New York crowd DIDN’T scream obscenities at me, I think my feelings would be a little hurt.
Very clearly many Yankees fans have no trouble loathing Pedroia, Papelbon, Youklis, et al; I've got no problem with that. I just can’t get into it, not like I used to. I’m wondering if this is just me, or if other people feel the same way.

To my mind, there are a few factors at work here. The first and most obvious for me personally is that I started writing about baseball professionally, and that makes you at least somewhat detached whether you’re trying to be objective or not. (I never really was – I’ve always written in the first person and acknowledged my New York fandom up front – but it sort of happened anyway). I’m sure that’s a big part of this, but I do think there are general issues, beyond that ,which would’ve brought about a change in my perspective anyway.

For one thing, the Sox have earned some grudging respect: They hired Bill James. They’ve spent money while also building up their farm system. And none of them have made bitchy Spring Training remarks about Alex Rodriguez or his workout regimen in years. Credit where credit is due.

But I think the real issue is something else. I read about a study a while back (which unfortunately I can’t seem to find at the moment) which found that people tend to have an exaggerated idea of just how badly negative events are going to affect them; basically, we’re not good at estimating our own emotional reactions. That stuck with me. We might dread a breakup, for example, or getting fired -- imagine it as a life-shatteringly terrible event; but when it actually happens, well, it's awful, but after a little while we pick up the pieces and we move on, for the most part. When bad things happen, it turns out, humans are rarely as upset as they imagined they would be, and not for as long.

And so yes, I think something similar happened with the Sox: five years ago, losing to them in the playoffs had become this unthinkable disaster in my mind. (…I use “disaster” here in purely a sports context, obviously). I mean, no one even really gave a damn that the Yankees lost to the Marlins in the 2003 Series; mainly people were just thrilled to have beaten the Sox. When the worst actually happened, when Johnny Damon’s home run soared into the upper deck in right field… well, it sucked. But we all adjusted and moved on, and life returned to normal. I don’t think disliking the Sox has had the same urgency for me since then; the cat’s already out of the bag.

In closing, I’d like to wish Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar, and those other random ex-Sox the best of luck in their future endeavors. I’m sorry I hated you guys for so long and for no rational reason.

*In fairness Lugo was acquitted, but if you read up on the case, it’s not exactly convincing.

Comments (52)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-04 10:38:14
1.   mehmattski
Kevin Millar may be goofy, but he lost a lot of points with me for saying this last week:

"He's a cute little fella," Millar said of the very thin Ramirez. "He doesn't throw very hard and doesn't have very good stuff. It was probably a good idea that they did throw him out because it would probably have been (a shot to) Monument Park.

"He's good hittin'."

It made me wish, for a brief moment, that Ramirez's pitch had hit him in the head. Yesterday's meltdown notwithstanding, Ramirez is one of the least hittable relievers on the team (the 40-batter hitless streak, he's given up runs in just five of his 36 appearances). Just a dumb, dumb comment from a guy who's not so bright.

I don't hate a lot of players (I advocate the signing of Bonds, for example) but Millar is definitely on the short list.

2008-08-04 10:47:45
2.   unmoderated
nixon seemed to own rivera back in those days.
2008-08-04 10:51:01
3.   RIYank
Here's a recent report on Mo from

New York Daily News - Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is suffering from some shoulder soreness and was not available for Sunday's game against the Angels, according to The New York Daily News.

He felt spasms and soreness between his shoulder blades after pitching against Los Angeles on Friday night, and the issue flared up on Sunday again.

"I felt it on Friday and I really didn't pay attention to it," Rivera said. "(Sunday), I was stretching and I felt discomfort there and they decided to shut me down."

Rivera's status for the start of New York's series against Texas on Monday is not yet known. [

2008-08-04 10:55:32
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Certainly writing about the game has made me more objective, and my wife has had to pick up a lot of the slack by venomously despising the Red Sox on my behalf, but guys like Nixon and Millar I still can't stand. I never hated Pedro or Manny, they were too great to dislike (though Manny's antics this year have certainly given me pause), and I never had a problem with Mueller beyond his being a pest on the field and the cognitive dissonance created by the relative spelling and pronunciation of his last name, but Nixon and Millar I just can't stomach. Of the newer crop of Sox, Youkilis and Papelbon are easy to dislike for opposing fans (and writers). Pedroia and Beckett can be similarly off-putting. And my wife has little problem conjuring ire for much of the rest of the team, but guys like Drew, Ellsbury, Lowell, and Okajima are inoffensive. Wakefield was always the likable one, Ortiz falls in the category of players who are too great to truly hate, and it's hard to root against Jon Lester.
2008-08-04 11:01:16
5.   RIYank
My feelings are remarkably similar to Cliff's. Let me add that I used to despise Schilling, but things have changed. Local sports writers and personalities have started to dislike Curt, because he blogs and yet it's very difficult for them to insist that he lives in his mother's basement. (And of course for the same reason that Curt does it, namely, that he gets his opinions, which I still hate, out there without the middle man, and they really don't like that at all.) So now I can't dislike him so much.
2008-08-04 11:04:48
6.   Shaun P
Nixon's 2 run home run, with 2 outs in the top of the 9th, in the classic Pedro-Clemens duel in May 2000 - where Clemens finally outpitched Pedro - is where my dislike of him began. I always felt Clemens deserved to win that game, but Nixon took it away from him. Completely irrational, I know.

But with all the stuff that's happened to Clemens, and Pedro, over the last few years, Nixon doesn't bother me anymore.

That he's a shell of his former self (like 'Tek, and Nomar, and Pedro, etc.) helps a lot.

But Millar - he still, to this day, fills me with a sense of dread when he's at the plate. I'll be very happy when he's retired.

2008-08-04 11:19:39
7.   pistolpete
Sorry Alex, but I echo Cliff's sentiments. I still have a great amount of venom for mostly everyone on that '04 team, and just because Schilling's been on the shelf doesn't mean he's excused either.

The only one who got a pass in my mind was Damon, and this was even before he joined the Yankees. He was just too likable to hate, and he earned my respect after the '03 ALCS by being one of the only members of the Sox to sit with the media and talk. Everyone else basically pouted & went home without an interview.

Oh, and if you need another reason to despise the current second baseman, here's about 10 or 11:

2008-08-04 11:21:44
8.   Just fair
I have an irrational disdain for the current line-up of Red Sox. It's like uncovering an ugly, obnoxious set of Babushka Dolls. Each doll is worse than the next. The Biggest one is Papi, though. He is the only one I like despite his heroics vs. the Yanks. But underneath him, I am hopeless in giving any of them a fair shot. They curdle my blood. Especially the tiniest doll, the one that's about the size of a thimble. Bleh.
Fortunately I don't have to be objective, and my wife doesn't like em' either. : )
2008-08-04 11:21:45
9.   Cliff Corcoran
7 Emma wrote this post. Check the byline.
2008-08-04 11:32:12
10.   ms october
7 oh man i read that "article" last week.
what an annoying little gnat.

yeah i think i dislike this bunch much more than the circa 2004 bunch.
i never hated pedro either and my dislike was mostly confined to varitek, millar, nixon.
this bunch has youkilis, pedroia, paplebon, beckett, and though he is just a shell varitek is still around.
i also don't like schilling, but it is mostly his red light, sanctimonious stuff - which he doesn't really bring to the field the way the other aholes like beckett and youkilis bring their jerkness to the game.
i was beginning to soften a bit on schilling since management turned so much against him, but when he had to join in on the kick manny campaign - i'm back to my original levels of not liking him.
i am quite sure living here in boston has added to my loathing feelings.

2008-08-04 11:35:05
11.   Shaun P
In happier news (and maybe this is old news, I didn't read any of the weekend game threads), here's something good about Hughes, from Kevin Goldstein over at BP:

". . . his fastball sat in the low 90s and consistently touched 94-95—the kind of velocity he showed frequently in the minors, but rarely with the Yanks."

Boy I hope he's finally healthy.

2008-08-04 11:35:43
12.   pistolpete
9 Whoopsie.

Wow, the reason I guess I made that mistake is because my brain automatically sees a more 'casual' style of writing and associates it with Alex.

Your posts are definitely a little more left-brained...

Would it be a huge undertaking to have a little icon or picture next to the start of each article? Sort of like in newspaper bylines?

Or, you'll probably respond, I could actually take the time to read who wrote what. :-)

2008-08-04 11:36:47
13.   uburoisc
Of the current crop, I think I hate Beckett's soul patch even more than the man, but together they create a special kind of loathing; like I felt for Bo Arroyo Derek a few years back. And I am especially enjoying Varitek's decline. Wakefield is too cool, and for some odd reason I mind losing to him the least; anybody to stands out there and throws a 60 mph knuckler to major league hitters, daring them to take a cut, is above partisanship. But any ballplayer named Dustin rubs me the wrong way, can't stand that twit.
2008-08-04 11:45:36
14.   rsmith51
The first Red Sox player that I really despised was Roger Clemens. Of course this was back when he "stole" Mattingly's MVP and then threw at Jeter a few times as a Red Sox/Blue Jay. I never really liked him as a Yankee as I only wanted him to pitch well in the post-season.

I didn't like Pedro, but loved to see him carve up the K zone. I wanted Manny to be on the Yanks as he was such a great hitter, not now though. I never really disliked him. I didn't like "The Mouth" when he was with the D'Backs or the Sox. I really don't like Varitek, partly because Red Sox fans said how much better he is than Posada and partly because I see the C on his uniform and think of a certain C word that fits just perfectly, and it's not Captain. Any other Red Sox I didn't like was because they did well against the Yanks, but no other reason.

Now I don't like Youklis or Paps, because they come off as jerks. I wish Joba would stop throwing at Youk's head, however.

2008-08-04 11:49:43
15.   JL25and3
Funny, I never hated Trot Nixon. He never seemed interesting enough to hate.

I loathe Schilling and Varitek. Really, I hate everything about Schilling. I always liked Pedro and Manny too much to be able to hate them.

I really disliked Ortiz for quite a while - he'd take about five minutes to walk back to the dugout after striking out, as if it were a miscarriage of justice; there was the pointing-to-the-sky crap; and, lastly, the hubbub all of New England kicked up about him, as if they'd just discovered hitting.

That last is what makes me hate Red Sox players most of all. That's what fuels my hatred of Pedroia, Ellsbury, Papelbon and Beckett (though those last two have earned it on merit). I can even hate Lester the player on those grounds, even if I respect him as a person.

2008-08-04 11:51:36
16.   JL25and3
15 Oh, I forgot Youkilis. He's right there with Beckett and Papelbon - hateable on pure merit.

Tops on the list is probably Lucchino. Him, and a whole lot of the fans...

2008-08-04 11:58:17
17.   Marek
My only religion died when the Red Sox won in 2004. Since then, baseball hasn't been nearly as much fun. I thought that at least if the Sox won the World Series, their fans would (eventually, not immediately) become less obnoxious, but that hasn't happened.

I despise Varitek most of all, for the reason you stated, Emma. Bars around here still hang up pictures of him trying to hit A-Rod while wearing full catcher's gear. What a coward.

Wakefield I've always liked, and I wish he had signed somewhere else when he had the chance. I think his contributions to the Sox are underrated.

Papelbon I hate for his antics; now that I read the article about Pedrioa, I feel pretty much the same about him. Too bad they're both so damn good.

Never hated Ortiz, but was bitter that he was never this good for the Twins. Can't hate Manny. Can hate Pedro - wasn't it he who clocked Don Zimmer? Also, Drew's a punk - but then I have family in Philadelphia, where he has not been forgotten.

The rest of them, well, if it wasn't for the facial hair that they all seem to wear - either grow a beard or don't! make up your mind! - I only dislike them because they're the Sox. Which is less that it used to be since 2004.

2008-08-04 11:59:32
18.   Marek
Oh, forgot Schilling. Hate him for his politics and for (I am convinced, don't try to talk me out of it) making up the bloody sock thing.
2008-08-04 12:01:58
19.   ms october
16 now that you've opened it up to ownership/front office throw john henry and theo on that list. their phoniness and underhandedness is disgusting.
2008-08-04 12:02:27
20.   Alex Belth
I hate Jason Bay because I can't think of anything to hate about him.
2008-08-04 12:13:14
21.   Max
I never really despised Nixon (though I did hate the whole "Dirt Dogs" phenomenon), maybe because of his ties to the dark days of the Duquette era -- I felt like his success was deserved after having to put up with the likes of Carl Everett and Joe Kerrigan.

I always liked Manny and Pedro because of their skills and their eccentricities, which made them more interesting as ballplayers than the sanctimonious Varitek (with the "C") or the loudmouth Schilling. I think the press conference where Pedro made the infamous "just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy" was probably one of my favorite and one of the most fascinating press conferences delivered by a great player.

On the 2004 team, I really disliked Foulke (just a very awkward and unpleasant person) and Cabrera was a hot dog as far as I was concerned. The current version of the Sox is a mix -- Youkilis is probably the player I dislike the most (just takes himself way too seriously), and I have a pretty healthy dislike for Youk's angry man-sex partner Beckett. Pedroia is pretty annoying (though I see through the act and don't think he's terrible).

Living in the heart of enemy territory, though, it's not really the players I dislike intensely, but rather the marketing of the whole Red Sox Nation (god, just typing that made me nauseous) phenomenon throughout the region as something trendy and cool and sexy. So many dweebs locally actually have email signatures or post on forums with tags like "Proud Member of Red Sox Nation" and "Big Papi". The pink hats and the sweaty beer-soaked fratboys wearing "ARod Swallows" t-shirts and the cheesy marketing and all the bandwagoning are really what turn me off and make me hate the Sox so much.

The summer is probably when I'm most annoyed...I'll be driving up the coast of Maine or viewing a beautiful Vermont landscape from my car window, and then some car radio or PA system from a local store has sports radio talking about the Sox, and it's like that screeching needle sound on a turntable ratcheted up to 11 -- music and beauty disrupted and disfigured by boorish RSN fandom, even in the most rustic and remote locales.

2008-08-04 12:25:59
22.   JL25and3
21 Great point on the "C" on Varitek's uniform. That's incredibly obnoxious.

And thanks for putting my dislike of the whole RSN phenomenon in much clearer terms. (Apologies to Josh Wilker, but I hope it's clear we're not talking about all Sox fans as monolithic.)

16 I streamline my hatred by blaming all the underhandedness on Lucchino.

2008-08-04 12:27:57
23.   Raf
I couldn't hate Manny, Pedro, or Ortiz. Can't hate greatness. In Pedro's case, I always liked the way it appeared he was having fun out there, whether it was dancing merengue in the dugout or on the field, or throwing 4 plus pitches for strikes.

Also gotta give him props for that relief efforts against the Indians, back in 1999 (I think).

I became a fan shortly after a near no hitter against the Reds (believe it or not, the Expos had fans back then). I remember he had the no-no going, then he hit Reggie Sanders, who charged the mound, which started a brawl.

Much later, I gained even more of an appreciation for him after the "mango tree" story.

2008-08-04 12:39:34
24.   Max
23 Yup, Pedro's relief performance against the Tribe made me a fan. What an amazing pitcher at his peak.

Oh, and to second everyone else here, I'm a fan of Wakefield. I think his best days are behind him, but he's definitely seen the best and worst as a bridge from the Duquette regime to the current one. I was probably happiest for him when the Sox finally won it in 2004, especially after the Boone HR.

2008-08-04 12:59:48
25.   riclaimbeer
I understand how yanks fans can hate the sox players for various reasons... but ive never understood why so many yanks fan crap on varitek for wearing the "C" like its the most obnoxious thing in the world. I realize that Jeter would never degrade himself with the patch, but wearing a "C" is hardly odd... why the hate for it?
2008-08-04 13:16:31
26.   JL25and3
25 I think it's classless.
2008-08-04 13:16:44
27.   nick
I generally keep the hatin pretty simple.
I have two subsets of ballplayers
a) beefy truculent goateed meathead
b) Red Sock
Members of both sets get my hate.

The weird thing about the Yankee facial hair policy over the years was that it's actually made their players look MORE individual....

which reminds me: have we had a moment of silence for the Stache yet?

"It is far! It is deep....
a Mustache Riiide!"

2008-08-04 13:18:17
28.   Vandelay Industries
Can we add Terry (Tito) Francona to that list?

The night of Bay's first game, Francona said the welcome recieved by his new Left Fielder from fans was so very special, not because of the cheers and signs, but because: "It only happens here."

Putting aside for a second that it is fairly obvious to all that Tito isn't the sharpest pencil in the box, it has recently happend in Chicago with Harden, in LA with Manny, and in Milwaukee with Sabathia, just to name a few. In my eight years in Los Angeles, I have never heard an outburst like that from Dodger fans. What makes me hate Boston so much isn't that what Francona said is true, but rather that he and the fans actually believe that it is. Now Boston fans want to co-opt the "World is against us" mentality that existed prior to 2004 into some "We are the best fans in the world and our team can't be beat" attitude. Heads up Boston fans, you don't cheer any louder than anyone else for new players, but having only a lousy 30,000 fans in that shithole that should have been forced to be torn down decades ago in the interest of fairness, just makes it appear that way.

2008-08-04 13:19:14
29.   YankeeInMichigan
My teenage daughter's best friend has the chutzpah to root for Ellsbury in my house because he's "so cute." That's reason enough to hate him.
2008-08-04 13:21:03
30.   Andre
I hate jerky loudmouth Red Sox players. See:


I hate Red Sox players who feel the need to show people up when the perform well. See:
former Pedro
former Manny pimping on home runs

I used to hate Johnny Damon when he grew the stupid caveman hair.

I hate Varitek because of the stupid "C" on his jersey, and his batting music "Superman"

Of course, any of these players may be redeemed if they do something really good (schilling's a tough call because of his efforts to raise money for ALS, and Johnny D has been redeemed ever since he toned down the obnoxiousness when he joined the Yanks).

If I were a Red Sox fan, I'd probably want to hate Jeter because of his fist pump when he/Yanks score, but I'd have to also respect his clutchitude. I also probably would have hated Paul O'Neill because of his dugout antics destroying water coolers, etc. I never hated Kevin Brown so much as when he punched the wall and broke his hand. Grow up and act like a pro instead of a psycho rookie.

That's what I like most about the Yankees. They (mostly) perform without pimping at the plate and I don't hear many obnoxious comments from them on radio/post game. They may sometimes seem a bit corporate or bland, but mostly, they seem to me like professionals. They act like they've been there before.

2008-08-04 13:21:16
31.   weeping for brunnhilde
21 What really chaps my ass is that this "Red Sox Nation" has expanded to the point where I literally (or at least, so it seems) see as many or even more 'B' caps than 'NY' ones whenever I visit New York/Brooklyn. It's exasperating.

It never, ever used to be like that. Back when I lived in Brooklyn in the nineties I don't think I ever saw a 'B' cap. Today, they're ubiquitous.

2008-08-04 13:23:27
32.   Vandelay Industries

Because the wearing of the "C" is anathema to everything being a team Captain is supposed to stand for. Baseball isn't unique in this regard. Well, the NFL forces the players to wear the "C" but then again, Goodell, a dozen more arrests, one more internal fistfight, and Green Bay have proven once again this past month that the NFL and Class are inherently opposed to each other.

2008-08-04 13:23:34
33.   Shaun P
25 The captain wearing a "C" on his uniform is hardly odd . . . if you are a hockey player. Varitek is not a hockey player.

21 Here, here! The Yanks have done some obnoxious things over the years to make money, but nothing like "Red Sox Nation", with its levels of membership, president, vice-president, and governors. The whole thing sickens me; its marketing run amok, and I can only imagine the huge revenue stream it brings in for the Sox.

I keep waiting for the un-ending hype that seems to have gripped New England since early 2003 to come down from its high, but it hasn't happened yet.

2008-08-04 13:24:27
34.   YankeeInMichigan
In the old days, we hated Fisk because of his rivalry with Munson. We hated Bill Lee for his "hit with their pocketbooks" line. In 1978 in particular, Torrez and Burleson made their share of inflamatory remarks to invoke our ire.

We could never hate Yaz.

2008-08-04 13:24:41
35.   Vandelay Industries
31 We can only hope they go the way of the last sports "nation." I'm talking to you Raider fans.
2008-08-04 13:25:04
36.   pistolpete
31 Because it's easy to root for the current World Series champion, no?

Ask people from other parts of the country how many 'NY' caps they saw in their home town in the late 90's...

2008-08-04 13:30:49
37.   Shaun P
28 I respect Tito. I've never seen him act like anything other than a real pro. From a distance, he seems to run a bullpen well, uses his bench wisely, and doesn't employ foolish tactics. He also seems to have the utmost respect for the Yanks as opponents.
2008-08-04 13:38:17
38.   weeping for brunnhilde
28 Why should Fenway have been/be torn down?

That's the one thing I like about that organization.

2008-08-04 13:43:24
39.   Vandelay Industries
38 I'm torn on the one too, only because baseball is set apart by the uniquness of its parks. However, it is so different from any park in the league that it creates an unfair advantage.
2008-08-04 13:47:18
40.   YankeeInMichigan
37 28 Agreed. Tito is a classy manager. Can't hate him. His anti-smoking activism wins him some additional points.
2008-08-04 13:49:02
41.   yankster
I want to vomit any time I see a sox cap - on a player or otherwise. It's that same emetic extinct that hunters get. I want to be light and nimble when I duck the first punch and slip a jab into the soxian throat.

It certainly hasn't gotten milder over time. I find it repulsive to see foreigners move to Manhattan and immediately don a Sox cap and become a fan. I figure the cost side of the calculation should be incremented a bit with a black eye. Then I'd be impressed by their rebellion. And one of the only things I hate worse than a Sock is a meek Yankee that can't stand up for themselves while in The Stadium.

Just thinking about the actual Sox players makes me start to black out with rage... including the old turncoat, Damon.

2008-08-04 13:50:01
42.   YankeeInMichigan
29 More so than the Metrodome? Or the Tropicana Dome?

The only ones with a right to complain about Fenway are the players who have to deal with the vistor's clubhouse (and the opposing fans who take put their lives at risk -- but then you'd have to tear down every Boston area bar as well).

2008-08-04 14:12:22
43.   Bagel Boy
Our long national nightmare is over - Christian in CF!!111!!
2008-08-04 14:20:54
44.   RCK
I love that we can all agree that the Red Sox facial hair is generally a crime against humanity and reason enough to hate them. (I'm not being sarcastic. Seriously, what is with those awful goatees?)

Youklis' batting stance (combined with his beard, of course) sends me into an irrational rage. In the most recent series against them someone pointed that Joba's pitch wouldn't have been anywhere near Youklis' head, if the man didn't insist on squatting at the plate.

I also agree with people who find Ortiz too great to hate, though, and I used to find Manny too entertaining to hate.

2008-08-04 14:33:03
45.   Vandelay Industries
42 The Trop should never have been built in the first place, and yes, the Metrodome should go.
2008-08-04 14:34:06
46.   RIYank
Agree that Tito has real class. Also, he's relatively quietly battled illness and other serious personal difficulties. The fact that most people don't know it tells you something about him.

This thread seems to have brought some lurkers out into the open! Good job, Emma.

Oh, one more thing. Serious Sox fans are very uncomfortable with the fact that those 'B' hats are everywhere now. On the one hand, they know it means they're tapping into a revenue source that will help make the team competitive with the Yanks. But on the other hand, well, those newcomer 'fans' are what we call 'pink hats'. You can probably grasp immediately all the connotations.

2008-08-04 14:56:31
47.   Bama Yankee
The only Red Sox player I ever liked was Eric Gagne, because it seemed like he was always giving up a hit or a run everytime I watched him pitch for them. Otherwise, I don't really care for any of them (Pedro vs. Zimmer, Manny being Manny, Schilling's red Sharpie sock, Youkilis' stance/whining/sweaty bald head, Papsmear dancing, Varitek fighting with the mask on, Damon's caveman look, Ortiz overhyped by ESPN, names like Coco and Trot, Okijima looking down on every pitch and last but not least Mark Bellhorn because he went to Auburn).

For the record, if any of the above were suddenly signed by the Yankees, then I guess I would start to like them. I never thought I could ever like Wade Boggs or Johnny Damon, but I do. So, I guess it really comes down to pulling for or against the uniform... Boy, I sure hope Jeter or Mattingly (it's bad enought that he's with the Dodgers) never end up in the Red Sox organization.

2008-08-04 15:18:46
48.   YankeeInMichigan
47 Though we certainly root against the guy in the other uniform, a player or manager still has the ability, by acting with class on and off the field, to transcend partisan emotions. I don't know whether you are old enough to remember Carl Yastrzemski, but no Yankee fan hated him. I don't remember ever hating Jim Palmer or Rod Carew either. And I cannot imagine anyone, even a Red Sox fan, truly hating Mariano Rivera.
2008-08-04 15:27:41
49.   Vandelay Industries
48 I agree. I never hated Jim Palmer until he began broadcasting Orioles games. It doesn't take too many views of that spectacle to change ones opinion of him
2008-08-04 16:28:45
50.   weeping for brunnhilde
48 Rod Carew was one of my favorite players. I discovered him after Reggie moved to California and I became an Angels fan.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-04 21:43:48
51.   Jen
I never liked Nixon because of his dirty, sweat-stained cap. He just looks like a scumbag, so I always assumed that he is one.
2008-08-04 22:36:56
52.   steveb1234
I'm a Sox fan who lurks around here and enjoys the write-ups by the fine writers here, but I can't get down with hating teams or players because I love baseball way more than I love any team. And immersing myself in hate---even if it's joking, or part of some community/tribal/meme thing---tends to drain the joy I get from watching any baseball game.

However, I am down with hating the unfortunate facial hair for Sox players. Yikes. It's a plague throughout baseball; they all look like the douchebags they probably are in their personal lives.

As for Sox players, Pedroia has a classic little man chip on his shoulder, so while I would normally be bugged by his false bravado, at least it's understandable. Youk's personality is somewhere beyond annoying, though it's interesting how people now seem to undervalue him now because of it since he's a poster boy for sabremetric analysis. I loathe Schilling's politics, but like the fact he isn't afraid to say what he thinks; for those annoyed by his big mouth, do you prefer the Jeter-like alternatives of saying nothing of interest ever? (I've also had personal and business correspondence with him due to his gamer geek side. He was totally cool and approachable.) I feel privileged to have seen Pedro pitch and Manny hit. Papelbon's an immature lunkhead and Beckett's an arrogant Texan like Clemens. I hate their personalities, but their egos probably make them better pitchers. (Papelbon's lack of brain probably helps too.)

As for Yankees, I've always loved Rivera and am just happy I got to see the best ever at his role pitch. (My favorite Mo moment was when the Fenway fans gave him a big sarcastic cheer at the 2005 opener; Mo just had a big smile, laughed, and tipped his cap to the fans. Pure awesome.) Always liked Mussina and his slowpoke rainbow knuckle curve, have been curious to see how guys like Chamberlain and Hughes turn out versus their hype. And though I love his game, I doubt I could ever be a huge A-Rod fan because he comes across as overly calculated, though he did have one moment where I became a fan: during a home run derby when he was in Texas, he swung and missed and the mic picked up him saying, "Shit, I suck," which I thought was just awesome.

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