We interrupt the series of articles involving speculation of the Reds trading Brandon Phillips to remind you that baseball is still being played. Unfortunately, it is still being played in Boston and St. Louis; the two most annoying baseball cities in the country. Sure, some could throw New York into the mix, but the Mets are terrible and Yankee fans are already miserable. Oh, and at least the Yankees are honest about spending money to get the best players, which is a stark contrast to the pseudo-populist Red Sox with their $157 million payroll.
We Reds fans aren't going to "root" for either team during this series. However, we'll passively hope that the less-offensive team emerges with the championship. So, which team would be more insufferable if they won the World Series? We break down how terrible the Red Sox and Cardinals are:
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Red Sox: In order to fully understand the dynamic of the Red Sox fanbase, we need to separate their fanbase into two factions: New Englanders and Non-New Englanders. I have a soft spot for New Englanders with their charming accents (outside of Southie and Chelsea) and their surprising Protestant warmth. Prior to 2004, Red Sox fans had been long-suffering and were meant to be pitied from the error of Buckner and the exploits of Dent and Boone. When their egos are not inflated, Boston fans are alright cats. Non-New England Red Sox fans, however, are an unholy amalgamation of Oakland Raiders and Duke Blue Devils fans. Their "Red Sox Nation" shtick is as loathsome and tired as their primary excuse for being Red Sox fans: "they're not the Yankees."
Cardinals: Unlike the Red Sox, most Cardinals fans are relegated to America's
heartland Boring Belt. Because of this, they have too much time on their hands. This results in excessive naval gazing about how great they are and how terrible everyone else is. Evidently, this also gives them plenty of time to engage in some pretty racist, homophobic, and misogynistic stuff too. They also do not take well to criticism when they are confronted with their embarrassing actions.
Who's Worse? Cardinals fans, by a wide margin. A consistent inferiority complex is always more charming than a sense of infallibility.
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Red Sox: The beard thing is pretty annoying. Actually, it's just as annoying as the Rally Monkey was a decade ago. Frankly, the only way it could be worse is if the team signed Brian Wilson to boot. That being said, the Red Sox have former-Red Jonny Gomes on their roster who is perhaps one of the great characters in baseball. The downside is that the rest of the Boston roster is comprised of former free agents that the Reds were priced out of in the offseason. Well, except David Ross. We finally realized in 2009 that we didn't need 8 catchers to finish fourth in the NL Central .
Cardinals: Sooner or later, even the wide-eyed and innocent-looking rookies on this team will be infected with the horrid characteristics of Yadier Molina.
Who's Worse? Cardinals.
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Red Sox: After the inmates ran the asylum and kicked Terry Francona to the curb, Boston hired Bobby Valentine and had the most hilarisad season since Derek Bell's "Operation Shutdown." Valentine was fired at the end of 2012 and replaced with an unassuming, benign, and successful John Farrell. However, this didn't stop Valentine from making stupid comments in public.
Cardinals: Mike Matheny isn't Tony LaRussa and that's two-steps forward. He hasn't exactly changed their culture, so that's one-step back. While the barbaric yawlps of accusing other teams of poor sportsmanship have not waned by Cardinals players, Matheny has not been as vocal as his predecessor in backing up his players.
Who's Worse? The Red Sox, for firing Valentine and not giving me the entertainment I deserve. Imagine how absurd Valentine would have been if someone gave him another season-long pulpit in 2013.
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Red Sox: The Red Sox have a long history of being the second fiddle to the Yankees. As a Reds fan, I am nearing the point where I can closely relate to this aspect of their history. They sold the greatest player in league history for a hundred thousand dollars. They had the last player to hit .400 in a season and that player's best years were cut short because he helped win World War II and served in Korea. As Americans, we got a pretty great deal for that.
Cardinals: The Cardinals organization was respectable and was source of pride before Tony LaRussa brought the steroid circus to town in the late 90's. Stan Musial's teams had plenty of success and unlike the present iteration of the Cardinals, they actually went about it in a professional and respectful manner. Meanwhile, Bob Gibson is nowhere near as awful as fellow members of the 2,500 strikeout club.
Who's Worse? Thanks to the recent transgressions of the Cardinals, I'll take Yawkey Way over the idiotic Cardinal Way any day.
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Red Sox: The Red Sox are essentially a champagne team masquerading as a team on a beer budget. They have the league's fourth highest payroll and they attempt to persuade casual fans into thinking that they are not part of the problem, it's the Yankees. If they weren't bailed out by the Dodgers in a deal that could even make TARP seem fair, Boston's payroll would have been the largest in the league. That doesn't exactly correlate with the "blue collar" puff pieces written about them by Boston media. However, at least they have Bill James on staff. That cat's cool in my book.
Cardinals: I cannot put my finger on it, but there's some serious voodoo going on in the Cardinals front office. I used to think it was just Dave Duncan, but even with him gone, they're finding ways to piece together ace pitchers with table scraps. This time, it's someone who gets his namesake from the catch phrase of Fozzie Bear. Next year, it'll probably be some guy they drafted in the 54th round who took three years off from baseball to pursue a career as a mime.
Who's Worse? Boston. The Cardinals are honest about their complacency. Dishonesty is probably the worst characteristic would can exhibit about oneself.
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Red Sox: Fenway Park is the only remaining baseball shrine that still hosts meaningful baseball games. The facilities aren't up to snuff and you'll likely have to sit next to some Townie who will consistently yell "Yankees suck" even when it's the third inning and the Astros are in town. If you're hungry, you'll have to resign yourself to eating a Fenway Frank, which is a standard beef-pork hotdog in a bun that resembles a smashed slice of white bread.
Cardinals: Busch Stadium III is certainly an improvement over Busch Stadium II, which was better known as Riverfront Stadium West or Three-Rivers West-West. While the name "Busch" can be deceiving, the stadium does serve Schlafly beer from St. Louis Brewery. While the stadium looks great on TV, you must remember that you will be seated next to Cardinals fans if you attend a game there.
Who's Worse? Push.
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Red Sox: Baseball writers are not happy unless Boston is a relevant team. Well, allow me to rephrase that. Baseball writers are not happy unless the Red Sox and Yankees are concurrently relevant. When this does not occur, writers act like basset hounds whose owners have moved their food bowl. They simply do not know how to react. Even when the Red Sox are heavily favored and have greater resources, they're still painted as David in battle with Goliath when they're playing a three game set against the Royals. I guess it's hard to completely blame the media for this since it's entirely ratings driven. However, continually promoting the Red Sox and their storyline creates a vicious circle that only increases their ratings compared to other teams and guarantees more coverage. This is why you do not watch ESPN.
Cardinals: Honestly, outside of Bob Costas and Joe Buck, not too many folks are still peddling the idiotic "Best Fans in Baseball" myth. Sure, the east coast writers will pat them on the head for being a quaint Midwestern market, but it's not exactly a primary focus for the media. Baseball loses if the best story it can produce relates to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals. Nobody outside their division cares too much about them.
Who's Worse? Red Sox. By a hair.
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Red Sox: If the Red Sox win, it'll be the top story until Tim Tebow signs with the Jaguars or Johnny Manziel decides to go shopping at an outlet mall.
Cardinals: If the Cardinals win, we'll have to hear about it all next season.
Who's Worse? Cardinals.