I’d Rather Just Talk About Baseball [Friday Thoughts W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. Shh. Some people are trying to watch the movie. It’s Friday, April 5, Two Thousand and Nineteen. The weather in Brooklyn is 42˚ & Pantone 12-0404 and somewhere, somebody is debating between Cherry Coke and Regular Ass Coke. On one hand, Cherry Coke cuts through fried foods really well, while Regular Ass Coke goes good with salads. However, this person happens to be eating a french fry salad for lunch, so that comparison doesn’t help whatsoever. There’s also Vanilla Coke. Diet Coke With Lemon, Orange Vanilla Coke, Coke Zero, Coke XXX, Beef Coke, Cokey Coke and Coke With Lime. The options are nauseating. No matter what this person chooses, they’re definitely going to be late for work. Or not make it at all. And me? I’d just go for the Dr Pepper. That’s the superior Coke. I also have some things on my mind.

– I know, I know, the jig is up. As all three of you have pointed out to me, my streak has been broken. The Friday Thoughts spent the last two weeks in radio silence. This immense failure and disappointment has been a thorn in my side and I’ve expressed it countless times. Usually, my confession lead to responses like, “What’s that?”, “Oh, you’re still writing those?” and “Can you please move out of the way?”. I probably have no legitimate excuse for this hiatus, but here’s the top 5 reasons that I just pulled out of my ass:

5) I was busy trying to find a parking space
4) I was having constant panic attacks
3) I didn’t eat any sandwiches that inspired me
2) I ran out of Moleman quotes
1) I was busy watching baseball

And come to think of it, those are all sound arguments against writing. It’s hard to do my due diligence with a hobby while my attention is enslaved by Rob Manfred and his army of cronies. They’ve got me by the eyeballs and won’t loosen their grip. In honor of me selling my soul for some sick taters, the rest of these thoughts are just going to be focused on baseball. Tune in next week, when I rant about parking spaces, panic attacks and sandwiches. I apologize for the inconvenience.

– A few weeks ago, I was rocking a Padres hat because Machado. A guy passing by on the sidewalk made an audibly disgusted comment. Because apparently nobody in the right mind should ever be a Padres fan and admit it. Usually, this is a fair sentiment that I would bow down to and not mention. But this guy in particular was wearing an Edmonton Oilers hat. The paradox was perplexing. It was a Paraplex, which sounds like a large movie theater in the sky. I couldn’t help but laugh and make note of it in my “Potential Friday Thoughts” log. Weeks went by and it was the only thing in my log. That’s kind of sad. What’s even sadder is that I consider myself an Oilers fan.

– A lot of people that see me every day get confused about my baseball fandom. While I douchedly sport two Dodger tattoos, I also regularly represent the Mariners, Mets and Orioles [and I guess the Padres as well]. Whenever someone grills me about my bandwagoning, I have a very simple explanation: as a baseball fan, I love 20 teams and hate 10. As simple as it sounds, it leaves people even more confused. I frankly don’t understand what’s confusing about it. I love baseball. I want to do nothing but watch baseball. And when you have a 20/10 fandom ratio, you will have some shred of rooting interest in every game you watch. I could be watching Marlins vs Braves and still have a reason to get excited. Does it make me look like a psychopath? Oh, you better believe it. Because I’ve never put it down on [digital] paper and I love making lists, here’s my fandom rankings from top to bottom.

1) Los Angeles Dodgers – Fell in love with them when I first started following baseball, Vin Scully was the narrator to my summers, yadda yadda, you already know the story.

2) New York Mets – Because I need a local team to root for. Also, they have the best fans in baseball.

3) Detroit Tigers – Because I need to grasp onto whatever shred of Michigan roots I have.

4) Baltimore Orioles – They’re my local AL team. Camden Yards is my favorite park to visit and Chris Davis was my fantasy hero in 2013.

5) Seattle Mariners – Because they’re a total enigma. They have historically had so many good generations of teams and yet never won a pennant. I loved Griffey as a kid, I needed a west coast AL team to gun for and I look really good in teal.

6) Los Angeles Angels – Mike Trout.

7) San Diego Padres – When I was 7, I arbitrarily decided to be a Chargers fan. By proxy, I also claimed to be a Padres fan and was mystified by the prowess of Tony Gwynn. That magic feeling never wore off.

8) Oakland Athletics – They’re just a really scrappy team that’s generally fun to watch every year.

9) Toronto Blue Jays – When I was a kid, Ponderosa had mini baseball helmets to use at the ice cream sundae bar. For some reason, I yearned for a Blue Jays one. But the Tigers were always the only option. I cried every time.

10) Tampa Bay Rays – They play in a dank basement that reminds me of the Silverdome and other great hollow pieces of crap from yesteryear. Also, I really like trolling Yankees fans.

11) Houston Astros – Some may be surprised by this considering how painful the 2017 World Series was. But I said it then and I still stand by it: there was no other team that I would rather beat the Dodgers. Their dominance is just really entertaining and with a franchise that has seen the likes of Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell and Billy Wagner, having them finally win a championship was just really good for baseball.

12) Colorado Rockies – Beeg. Moonshots.

13) Milwaukee Brewers – I was also obsessed with their logo as a kid. They have really friendly fans and even when they’re the best team, they’re still the underdogs.

14) Cincinnati Reds – Because at this point, they’re basically a Dodgers AAA team.

15) Pittsburgh Pirates – Because Pittsburgh is just an alright city.

16) Cleveland Indians – Major League is still one of my favorite movies. As far as sports movies go, it’s downright perfect.

17) Minnesota Twins – I will spend all year marking out for Nelson Cruz and Byron Buxton.

18) Atlanta Braves – My future ex-wife is probably going to disown me for saying this, but I have a soft spot for the Braves. They were one of the few teams on TV when I was a kid and I thought Greg Maddux was really cool for wearing glasses. He made me feel better about being a nerd.

19) Texas Rangers – I think Globe Life Park is the coolest-looking stadium in baseball and will probably watch them more frequently this year just to get last looks at its glory.

20) Chicago White Sox – I really have nothing for or against them. I will be watching them for Eloy Jiminez all year, though.

21) Kansas City Royals – They broke my heart in 2014 by losing to the Giants and then broke it again the following year for beating the Mets. Fuck those guys.

22) Washington Nationals – I rank them above the other hated teams solely on the fact that they used to be the Montreal Expos. Luh the Expos. Hate the Nats.

23) Chicago Cubs – I like the idea of them, but every time they do something good, it’s at the expense of a team I like more. Unless they’re stomping a mudhole in the Cardinals.

24) Arizona Diamondbacks – They infamously have really long and boring games with the Dodgers and their uniforms make me wanna puke.

25) Boston Red Sox – I love them when they play the Yankees. I hate them the rest of the year. Their ticket prices are astronomical and their two championships came at the expense of my #1 and #3 teams. Also, a majority of their fan base is consisted of mouth-breathing disciples of Brady.

26) Miami Marlins – They’re the only franchise that truly bores me. Baseball would be better off without them.

27) Philadelphia Phillies – Fourth worst fans in baseball.

28) St Louis Cardinals – Third worst fans in baseball. Still mad about 2006 and 2013.

29) San Francisco Giants – Second worst fans in baseball. Bitter rival to the Dodgers. Still mad about 2012. And 2013. And 2014. And 2015. And 2016. And 2017. And 2018.

30) New York Yankees – The worst fans in baseball. They’re also the most toxic and annoying franchise in sports history. If I died tomorrow, I would be comforted with the notion that I never had to watch them win a 28th championship.

So when you see me walking around wearing a Tampa Bay hat, just remember: they’re my 10th favorite team and they’re probably playing the Yankees. Just don’t give me crap while you’re wearing a Milwaukee Bucks Starter jacket. Stay in your lane, bruh.

– When Rachel and I first started dating, she detested the Dodgers. I’m sure my fandom probably gave her pause about the relationship from the start. And she had every reason to. At the time, the Dodgers had Chase Utley, who is infamous for ONLY being good against the Mets. I’ve never seen a man more booed in my life. But as the years went on, her distaste started to weather. She found players that she could get behind and when they got traded, she mourned with me. She actually stayed awake past 1 AM to watch the last few games. And the other night, I got a text message from her on my way home. She told me Kiké Hernandez hit a moonshot. She was actually watching a Dodger game without me. She claims that she was only watching it because it was “on”, but I can see through the smoke screen. This is the ultimate display of affection and one of the many reasons why I love her more every day.

– Try this trick over the weekend: Meet somebody who hates your team. Trick them into loving you. And then trick them into loving your team.

Have a basebally weekend, everyone!

– TeeCoZee