A Hater’s Guide to the 2013 World Series

How to prevent the Red Sox and Cardinals, two of baseball's most insufferable franchises, from ruining your enjoyment of the Fall Classic

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Rob Tringali / MLB Photos via Getty Images

No one really wants to see this again, do they?

If you haven’t already, you’re going to be hearing a lot — and I do mean a lot — about “tradition” and “storied franchises” as the World Series featuring the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals kicks off tonight. And yes, it’s true that these are two of the premiere clubs in all of baseball, having won a combined 18 World Series and four of the last nine.

They’re both deep teams with strong lineups and talented pitching. But make no mistake about it, these are two aggravating franchises with even more insufferable fan bases. So if you’re a baseball fan who isn’t a supporter of either team, you’re going to need to find a way to enjoy the Fall Classic in spite of the Sox and Cards, not because of them. Here’s how:

1. Accept each team and its fans for what they are. Resistance is futile. The Red Sox aren’t going to suddenly become the “lovable losers” that they were when they ended their 86-year championship drought in 2004, no matter how many walk-off hits Big Papi smacks or how many unkempt beards they grow. The Cardinals will never stop insisting that they’re the shining example of all that remains good and pure in America’s Pastime, even if it is not now — or ever has been — true.

(MORE: Man Buys World Series Ticket for $6)

2. Don’t buy into the narrative that either team somehow “deserves” to win. Sure, the Cardinals might be the only viable sports franchise in St. Louis and it may actually be true that they have best fans in all of baseball. But their pious holier-than-thou act has worn so thin that using either as justification for another championship makes them just as delusional as they are polite. Boston has been through a year of impossible heartbreak, but the notion that a third World Series in 10 years would somehow heal the city and remedy April’s tragedy is patently absurd.

3. Root for every game to proceed as agonizingly as possible for each team. This doesn’t simply mean rooting for injuries (while the sentiment is understandable, it’s a bit unseemly). Instead, root for as many lead changes as possible, knowing that each fan base will be damn close to pulling its collective hair out with every momentum swing. All the better if a team’s star fails to perform as expected, whether it’s Koji Uehara blowing a leisurely save opportunity or Carlos Beltran finally realizing he’s not the postseason Babe Ruth and putting up golden sombreros in back-to-back games. (Note: It’s natural if, as a baseball fan, you have conflicted feelings about rooting against greatness — just know this is for the greater good.)

(MORERed Sox Grand Slam Advances Team to World Series)

4. Take advantage of every fan-related schadenfreude opportunity. Whatever you do, don’t ever get caught in the trap of empathizing with fans of either team. These are people who have gotten to fully enjoy baseball for weeks (or in the case of Mets fans, months) longer than you. They might be agonizing at this very moment, but they didn’t have to go to the trouble of figuring out how to hate-watch the World Series just to make it palatable like you did. At the very least, their team has won a pennant — a successful season by any measure — so don’t be afraid to make light of any minor misfortune via whatever avenue you deem most convenient (Twitter, text message, unnecessarily elaborate schadenfreude dance routine).

5. Appreciate the last week of high-quality baseball. These teams are definitely hateable, but they’re all we’ve got left till pitchers and catchers report in mid-February of 2014. And they don’t bunt much — might as well make the most of it.

11 comments
picot
picot

Funny, this coming from a 'New York city-based' guy -- sour grapes, maybe?  Is this is supposed to be a spoof or a commentary?  The writing is so poor it's impossible to tell.  From something under the 'Time' aegis one would expect some degree of wit and nuance -- not in this piece.

So many points to dispute but here's just one.  He says that a Boston championship has no relevance re the Marathon bombing and the healing process.  I live in Boston and I sure can say I'm feelin' the healin'.  Sports sometimes have transformative power -- just think of the post-Katrina Saints Super Bowl win.  That didn't help the city?  Seriously?

Here in Boston it wasn't the 'third championship in ten years' that mattered.  It was the whole worst-to-first story and the miracle of a group of mostly un-superstars coming together they way they did to achieve what they did.  Sad, really, that jerks like this Dodds fellow are too stuck in their own prejudices to see that. 


djmdenver
djmdenver

Hey Dodds,

This World Series will get the highest viewer rating of any World Series since '04, which, coincidentally, happened to showcase the Sox and Cards. Clearly the entire nation "hates" these teams. Learn something about your subject matter you mouth breather.

HansGruber
HansGruber

This is something I would expect to read on deadspin. Time magazine? Wow, the blogosphere has officially poisonsed media. Hate all you want, these are the teams with the 2 best records in baseball meeting in the world series. A rare occurrence. Don't watch if you don't love the game or are jealous of the fan bases. Sincerely, "insufferable" person who roots for a team in the region where he grew up. How awful.

safinder
safinder

Mr. Dodds,

Have you ever been to St. Louis? Have you ever attended a baseball game in St. Louis? Have you even played baseball? I bet not.

Look at the attendance record of the Cardinals compared to the other teams in baseball, regardless of whether they are winning or not.. It is right up there with the the largest markets. Cardinal fans actually know baseball and appreciate good plays. I've seen opponents get applause and cheers many times at Bush Stadium. Maybe that is irritating to you, but I find it admirable.

The Cardinals' record speaks for itself. It needs no explanation. 

I don't know where your information comes from, but I suspect a carton of sour grapes, or maybe you just had to pull something out of your you-know-what to write about. 

Jenna99649128
Jenna99649128

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LittleBlueBicycle
LittleBlueBicycle

@djmdenver Nope.  Third worst ratings ever for Game 2, and way down over '04 overall.  At least America knows the Giants aren't playing, so they won't be the lowest ever.  

This column is dead on, I watched probably 50 games this season but not a second of this series. ESPN's Sox-love and the "best fans in baseball" silliness just rubs me the wrong way.

mbauer82861
mbauer82861

@safinder haha, you're exactly the kind of insufferable Cardinals fan he's talking about

shinobi42
shinobi42

@safinder @mbauer82861  But being nice is SO insufferable.  GOD, everyone just hates it when you win, and you're nice about it! UGH. We're so horrible, we probably wont even flip over any cars or light anything on fire if we win.  Don't we know anything about being fans?  


I'm honestly surprised this Cardinal fan hate didn't start sooner.  It's like no one noticed the Cardinals were good until this year, and so they forgot to hate the fans.  Keep it up guys, and we'll keep clapping for your team.


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