It’s been a while since I posted about baseball, so if you’ve started following my blog recently and are expecting back to back book reviews, I’m sorry! It’s not been the best season so far for the White Sox, but we’re slowly climbing our way back up the standings. There are a few bright sparks on our team, like the fact that Paul Konerko is leading the AL in batting average, and Chris Sale and Jake Peavy are both in the top 5 for ERA in the AL.
But back to the reason for my blog post, MLB Europe posed this question on Twitter earlier:
If your favorite #MLB team switched rosters with its biggset rival, which team would you root for? Player love or team pride?!
— MLB Europe (@MLB_Europe) May 24, 2012
(If your favourite MLB team switched rosters with its biggest rival, which team would you root for? Player love or team pride?!)
It’s an interesting question because the players really make a team, so my first instinct was to say that I’d root for the players. But if you think about it more closely, the trade market in baseball is always so active that a team one year will almost certainly be different from the next, and two or three years down the line you might not even recognise it. It’s easy to get attached to the players on your team, but the chances are that unless you have a homegrown talent with a strong desire to play for the team, you’re going to lose him to a different team sooner or later.
There are players like Derek Jeter who are ‘franchise players’ and you know they’ll never leave, but most other players have a price – look at Prince Fielder, and more to the point, Albert Pujols. Both signed for new teams earlier this year and you wouldn’t have expected that to happen. So saying that you’d stick by your players is silly, because you’d eventually end up supporting every team in the league and it’d be a bit hard to keep up.
Another thing that would influence my decision is the fact that our biggest rival is the Detroit Tigers, and there are a lot of players on their team that I wouldn’t mind joining the White Sox; Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to name a few. And who wouldn’t?! Of course, I’d rather have these three alongside my favourites like Konerko, Pierzynski, Floyd and Sale, but we all know that’s probably not going to happen!
So for me, it’s definitely Team Pride all the way. Players are a big part of a team, but there are many other factors too. I love the team, the coaches, the ballpark, the city and the history. It would be hard to give all that up and switch to the team you’ve been programmed to hate.
So I’ll ask you the same question (if you’ve actually managed to read this far). Player love, or team pride? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.