Our Little Experiment

As many of you know, either because you know me personally or because you’ve read WaB enough, I don’t follow baseball by any stretch of the imagination. Earlier today Bryan wanted to see if I could name every MLB team. It took me over 20 minutes to name all 30 teams in Major League Baseball, and that was with Bryan giving me a little direction near the end. That’s pretty bad, though in all honesty I’m surprised I actually managed to come up with all 30 without cheating. Bryan hates the fact that the only sport I really follow is football, which I am not about to deny. Of the 128 total posts I have written for our website, 108 of them are categorized under either “NFL” or “NCAA Football” so clearly I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to other sports. And of those remaining 20 posts, only one of them is categorized under “MLB” and it’s not actually about baseball at all.

Bryan has been trying to get me to follow baseball (and hockey for that matter) for quite some time now. So finally a few weeks ago Bryan said to me, not in the form of a question or request but definitely a command, that I will be following a baseball team this season. He threatened me with something, I don’t remember what it was, but I think it had something to do with refusing to talk to me about football until baseball season was over or something like that. Whatever the threat was, I didn’t really think he was serious but it wasn’t a risk I was willing to take, so I reluctantly agreed. The first task was obviously to figure out which team I wanted to follow. Bryan found this great article by Bill Simmons to use as a sort of template on my decision making process. In the article Simmons explains how he picked which EPL soccer team to follow. He lists out his six factors that mattered most to him when picking the team and then goes on to explain how each team faired in the six different categories.

I didn’t exactly list out my goals for picking an MLB team but I liked the idea of it and I didn’t use the same factors he did, but definitely took some of them into consideration. First let me address the question that I know some of you out there are asking: “why don’t you just pick the the team from your state, or whatever team you’re closest to?” I currently live in Lawrence, KS which is close to Kansas City and so I could have picked the Royals but I’m moving to Knoxville, TN here in just a few weeks, so that wouldn’t do me any good. I believe the closest team to Knoxville would have to be the Atlanta Braves, but I wouldn’t think they’d be considered the team that I “should” pick and on top of that the Braves are Bryan’s team and I’d almost feel like I was cheating by picking his team. If we’re trying to get me to follow a team then I should have to follow it. If I picked the Braves, I would just be able to talk to Bryan about it and not make too much of an effort. In short, I feel like that would be taking the easy way out.

Now the most important issue for me was that I didn’t want to be jumping on a bandwagon and be subject to people saying I picked a team just because they’re good. So I wasn’t going to pick a team like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets or Phillies (those were the teams Bryan gave me when I asked who the top 5 teams would be going into this season) and I didn’t want to pick a team that was just going to be terrible and miserable to be a fan of. This eliminated teams like the Nationals, Mariners, Pirates, Royals and Reds (again teams that Bryan provided.) The third factor along these lines was that I didn’t want a team that would provoke any sort of animosity from Bryan. This caused me to immediately rule out and teams in the same division as the Braves just because they would play each other too much, so with the Marlins and Phillies already out of the running, this threw the Mets and Marlins out the window as well. He also said that he wouldn’t approve of me picking the Yankees, Mets or Cubs but those three teams had already been taken off my radar. I also tossed out the Rays just because I don’t want to support a team from Florida just on principle. I don’t ever want their to be the possibility that I will agree with a florida gator fan on anything.

With about half of the teams remaining I really had to start thinking about what I want from my team. Two things came to mind. The first was that it would be convenient to have a team with orange as one of their colors, considering I already have enough orange clothing to… oh what am I saying? I could never own enough orange clothing. I love Tennessee. Anyway, back on track now, the second thing that came to my mind was that I want a team that I can be excited about it’s future. I want a team with some great young prospects and will be exciting to follow and watch them develop.¬† After sharing these thoughts with Bryan, he told me that the me being a Baltimore Orioles¬† fan was basically meant to be. The Orioles are obviously orange, and they have the top prospect in baseball, Matt Wieters. My decision was made.

I am a Baltimore Orioles fan.

The more I’ve found out about the Orioles the more I think Bryan was right when he said it was “meant to be” but I’ll save all of that for another time. I’m going to try to give updates on my progressing into baseball fanhood. It should be an interesting ride.

22 Responses

  1. If being a Met fan puts you on the bandwagon, then I want a new vehicle. The bandwagon I’m in has a choking problem for the last 3 years. The Mets may be the only team that is good and a laughing stock all at the same time.

  2. Haha, chalk that up to Bryan being a Braves fan.

  3. I support the selection of the O’s considering most of my family supports them. Good luck Weller. Also if you guys are driving through Nashville and want to stop and take a break there give me a call.

  4. Moving to Knoxville in a few weeks? When?

    And I figured Baltimore had something to do with orange. It was just to obvious to not have any connection. Baseball is fun! Enjoy your newfound fandom.

  5. Goodness, I am too sick for my own good. In my previous comment, I meant to say:

    “It was just TOO obvious to not have any connection.”

    Teach me to proofread.

  6. Michael- I’m glad you’re alright with my choice of the Orioles, and if I end up stopping in Nashville I will be sure to let you know!

    Erin- Haha, it looks like April 1 will be when I set out to move to Knoxville… and for future reference if you ever notice an error in a comment that you’ve left in the future you can just tell Bryan or me and we’re able to go in and edit it ;-)

  7. Hmmmm… as I recall, you also had an affinity for great number 8, Cal Ripken, Jr when you played little league baseball. Do you remember seeing him play at Kaufman Stadium a few years back?

    Great choice and very true to your favorite color!

  8. I do remember that, and I believe I had an orange sheet of paper that I printed on something along the lines of “Go Orioles! Cal Ripken #8” or something like that, if my memory serves me correctly.

  9. Dude,

    If you have no allegiances, wierd but that is how you are positioning yourself, pick a winner. The Bosox or the Yanks, I hurl at the thought as they make the Taliban look All-American, The Mets are supposed to be good, just a pick a pre-season fav. If you are going to invest your psycho-OCD powers into a team, pick a winner. I have followed losing teams, (two different big ten fb teams in two different years that went winless) most of my life, until The Jaysquawks. So take my advice, pick a winner!!! You can thank me in July when the O’s are circling the drain!!!!

  10. Haha, Kapp… I don’t want to jump on a team’s bandwagon just because they’re good. I’d rather be able to follow a team that isn’t good just yet but has the potential to be so that when they reach that potential I can say that I was a fan back before they were good and this team fits the bill.

  11. […] Fantasy Baseball Team Posted on March 22, 2009 by colts18 As you may recall, I am attempting to become a baseball fan this year. I took a big step in that direction by joining a fantasy baseball league on Yahoo. […]

  12. We’re undefeated so far! Good choice, me!

  13. Sorry to hear you think that the Reds have no chance, I think you are wrong but time will tell. In my opinion, Cincy has some of the best young pitching in the majors. In the next couple or years there will be some excellent young players coming to play. The previous Player of the Year was Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds.

  14. I’m happy with my Orioles pick… I’m actually about to write part three of the “Weller’s becoming a baseball fan” series… I might have considered the Reds if Griffey was still there.

  15. You should definitely join the dark-side and like the Yankees. Not only will you jump up in my book but you get to call people jealous when they bash Jeter (For nailing like 5 of Maxim’s Top 10) or a hater for picking on A-Rod and his mental handicaps (like banging Madonna and women who can bench cars). Not to mention the recent additions of amazing (but usually hurt pitcher A.J. Burnett and winner of the Most Pinstripes on a Jersey contest CC Sabathia. If you like power? Marky Tex. Prospects? Watch Joba grow! And Brett Gardener in CF is a speedster rookie.

    But hear me out, because the Yanks are definitely hurting after last season and are on the upswing. They battle in the best division in baseball with great Boston/NY rivalries as well as NYM/NYY rivalries. Lots of people to argue with.

    And lastly, I don’t recommend picking a 4th place team. Yanks-Sox-Rays-O’s-Jays. In that order. Count it.

  16. Logic – I definitely see what you’re saying, but I wanted to pick a team that was near the bottom but had a lot of young talent that I would be able to (hopefully) watch climb to the top, rather than picking a team already at the top and sticking with it. And I know that if you’re a New Yorker (I’m guessing based on you being a Yankees fan) you’re going to hate that I’m saying this, but the Yankees remind me a lot of the new england patriots.

    However, I think you’ll get a kick out of this post. It’s about me picking my first fantasy baseball team. I didn’t realize just how little I knew about the league now until I did this. And when you wrote about the Red Sox fan not knowing anything about his team it reminded me of this… granted I don’t walk around wearing an Orioles shirt and hat and acting like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to baseball, lol… Here’s the link:


  17. Reed-
    Yeah, it wasn’t so much that I thought the Reds had no chance, I just don’t know what to think about them. They probably shouldn’t have been on that list.

    Volquez is great, Harang can be, I’m not a huge Arroyo fan, Cueto will be good in a few years…I was a big Homer Bailey fan, but now I’m starting to think he needs a change of scenery. You are right though, Votto and Bruce will be stars.

  18. […] Part 3 in my “Weller’s becoming a baseball fan” series. The first one being about how I picked my team, and the second being about my first fantasy baseball draft. This one is about my Orioles laying […]

  19. […] March made Weller and baseball fan. […]

  20. […] this blog can easily guess at least one of the sports, that being football. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how overwhelming the ratio is between how much I write about football and how much I write about […]

  21. […] started this experiment last year and I intend to go for round two this year. They have orange uniforms and fit into […]

  22. You put a lot of time into choosing a team, that is really impressive

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