30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): Alex Rodriguez’s arrival at Yankees camp, in the minds of some people (SATIRE)

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Today, I talk about Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees by showing you an alternate world where Alex Rodriguez’s arrival at Yankee camp was as horrific as some people thought it would be or make it out to be:

We all feared this day would come. We told ourselves it was just a bad dream, a prophecy that would never be fulfilled.

But, alas, that bleak day happened. Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s greatest monster, arrived at Yankee Spring Training on Monday, coming days early by way of an ominous Zeppelin of Doom, powered by the tears of orphans and the death-cries of starved kittens.

After all, that is what Alex Rodriguez is all about. Himself. Some would move with the flow, be one with the team. But not Alex Rodriguez. Everything about him is looking out for number one. And yet, he is one of the ones who he has failed, right alongside his family, his team, his sport, America, and, indeed, all of mankind.

And, yet, he doesn’t even seem to know what, exactly, he has done wrong. Not today, not yesterday, not ever.

“Some of the mistakes.”

“Would not elaborate on what they were.”

Oh, and he said that while drinking the blood of a hapless victim. But that’s now important: he wouldn’t elaborate.

How could you not elaborate, Alex? Perhaps it is because of all of them. After all, your many crimes may include some of the following:

  • Lying
  • Getting caught with steroids
  • Using steroids in the first place
  • Kidnapping a young damsel and tying her to train tracks
  • Assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand and indirectly starting World War One
  • The ending of Man of Steel
  • Misplacing Thurman Thomas’ helmet in Super Bowl XXVI
  • Slapping at Bronson Arroyo’s glove
  • Tricking Howie Clark
  • Global Warming
  • Selling the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four to FOX Studios, thus depriving the world of seeing The Hulk fight The Thing and Wolverine hanging out with Captain America during WWII.
  • The Union’s defeat at Bull Run
  • The throwing of the 1919 World Series
  • The Lego Movie not being nominated for Best Animated Feature
  • The demise of MVP Baseball
  • Ken Griffey Jr.’s injuries
  • The episode of Lost about Jack’s tattoo
  • The disappearance of Flight 19
  • Centaurs

That’s a lot of potential things you could have possibly done, and the fact that most of them you had nothing to do with has nothing to do with that, A-Rod. You are a disgrace, a fraud, and a poo-poo head. Please go away.

In reality, of course, nothing interesting happened and amazingly nobody went quite this over-the-top with their blistering hot-take thinkpieces. Although we did get this picture of  journalists trying to catch a peek of his workout from a distance:


30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): The Seattle Mariners could save the baseball fan experience

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. This is the fourth post of the series- look here for the rest. Today, I look at how the Mariners may be the team to introduce a new generation of the American baseball fan experience.

Not too long ago, I lamented the state of baseball fans over at Hall of Very Good (which is somewhat recycled in this post). To make a long story short: American baseball fans are horrible when it comes to cheering at ballgames. With a few exceptions, the only cheers that happen are those prompted by the scoreboard or during or after plays. It’s a far cry from the days when Boston fans taunted Honus Wagner with rewritten songs, Brooklyn fans had a small amateur band of musicians and Wild Bill Hagy led the “Roar from 34” in Baltimore, and it is far more sedate than the madhouse atmospheres in Japan or the Caribbean.

However, there is a place where I believe American baseball fandom could make a return to the raucous years of old: Seattle.

Why Seattle?

A few reasons:

1) It’s known to be very loud and supportive of it’s other sports teams.

Seattle is famous for how much it supports it’s teams. The “12th Man” of the Seahawks is famous for how loud it can get, at times even registering on the Richter scale. Their soccer team, the Sounders, were featured on Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel due to how they have been able to replicate the European soccer crowd environment. The loss of the Sonics is a open wound that more was the result of corporate greed than any lack of support. Therefore, the residents of the Pacific Northwest know how to get loud and organized in support of their teams and can be ridiculously devoted to them.

2) It has deep Japanese connections

The Mariners are one of the most popular MLB teams in Japan, a result of the many Japanese imports who have come to Seattle, as well as Seattle’s large Asian-American population. Nintendo, a Japanese company, owns the Mariners. Is it really that hard to imagine that perhaps the Mariners would have the inspiration and the means to form some Japan-style cheering sections, perhaps throw in some ouendan?

3) The King’s Court provides a template/Jumping Point

A king reigns in Seattle. He is King Felix of the House Fernandez, First of His Name. And when he’s on the mound, the Mariners have a section devoted entirely to them, and it looks like this:

Look at that and tell me that wouldn’t make an excellent jumping-off point for forming Japan or Europe-style fan sections with chants and waving flags and all of that! You can’t, because it’d make a perfect jumping-off point for forming a Japanese or European-style fan section!

4) The Mariners are going to return to the postseason sooner rather than later.

It feels like, during the postseason, the fans who had to survive long droughts are wilder. In 2012, Baltimore was raucous while the Bronx was a morgue. Pittsburgh waited years to return to the playoffs and turned PNC Park into a madhouse. Atlanta was in the postseason for so many years that they ended up having trouble selling tickets to NLDS games.

The Mariners haven’t made the postseason since 2001. Guess what type of crowd they’ll bring when they make the playoffs next? The answer: a lot closer to the Baltimore or Pittsburgh experience. It’ll be loud. Very loud. And it is then, perhaps, that it will happen: Seattle will bring a new evolution of the baseball fan experience. And then, the Baseball Gods willing, nothing will be the same again.



Picture of the day: Polo Grounds stands, 1912

This picture, which I found on the Library of Congress Flickr feed and basically chose just because I felt like it, is of the stands of the Polo Grounds during the 1912 World Series. Look at all those hats!



Back Then: Red Sox Fans

The Library of Congress has lots of pictures from the earlier part of the 20th century available for free online. Take this picture of Red Sox “Royal Rooters” during the 1910s:

(Click the picture for a bigger view)

As you can see, everybody has a hat on, they are all white men, they are waving pennants, wearing suits, and generally looking old-timey. Although there is one guy on the right who seems to be making a finger-pistol at us.

I wonder what would happen if a group dressed like this showed up at Fenway today…