Yanks, Phils feel fans' love ... and their ire
No one noncommittal in pledging Fall Classic allegiance
NEW YORK -- You have Red Sox fans jumping on the Phillies' bandwagon because they disdain their rival Yankees, and you have Mets fans choosing the lesser of two evils.
You have Los Angeles fans still wishing it had been a Freeway Series, and now either declaring allegiance to their league -- or wanting that club to be swept out of spite.
Game 1 of the 105th World Series is Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, and MLB.com asked fans for its ongoing Pulse of the Postseason exactly who they are backing and hating between now and the clincher in the first week of November. As with this postseason in general, the response was overwhelming and is a bellwether of massive viewership to follow.
Fans around the world already are declaring their allegiances, building alliances and street teams and bandwagon caravans. The Phillies have their regular fans who followed them to the National League pennant, the Yankees have their regular fans who followed them to the American League pennant, and just wait until you see what everyone else is doing.
"Definitely going against the Bankee$," said Reds fan Jeff Ford of Jeffersonville, Ind., in an e-mail to MLB.com. "That's a no-brainer. I'm rooting for the Phils, because they represent the National League."
Lisa Boudreau is a Red Sox fan who moved to Phoenix 11 years ago and now has a boyfriend who is a Yankees fan. She said she already misses "my team" but will have no problem picking her spots to back the defending champs.
"Are you kidding me? I'm a diehard Sox fan who didn't speak to anyone on Oct. 11," Boudreau said, referring to the date Boston was eliminated. "So please count me in on the Phillies' bandwagon! Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino ... go Phillies."
Stephanie Primavera is a Red Sox fan in Pompton Lakes, N.J.. She's hoping Pedro Martinez is on the mound for the Phillies in Game 2 at Yankee Stadium. It turns out that Pedro is a common denominator for many Red Sox fans who were borderline.
"I'm rooting for the Phillies, because No. 1, I hate the Yankees, and No. 2 for Pedro," Primavera said.
Hiba Thamer would like to jump into the conversation right there. She is a Bronx native currently living in Dubai, and a regular Yankees diehard tweeter. She said she is amused by the bandwagon jumping of Red Sox fans and the overall Yankee-hating.
"As a Yankees fan, I think it's great that fans of other teams are rooting against us," Thamer said. "I've learned to embrace the hate, because nobody hates a nobody. The more they hate us, the more they boo our players, the more it shows that we're doing something right. The Evil Empire is striking back, and the non-Yankees fear us. Whenever I ask a Royals fan or a Brewers fan why they're rooting against us, they say, 'We don't want to see another dynasty. As long as the Yankees are on top, none of us really stand a chance.' That makes me smile.
"As for Red Sox fans rooting against us, well, that's expected. They're once again back in their rightful position of inferiority, and order has been restored to the universe. It brings back memories of the days before 2004. It must really burn them to see us dominating once again. It must hurt them to see their beloved Red Sox Nation struck by the Bronx Bombers. Fact of the matter is, Red Sox Nation has been destroyed. Welcome back to Yankee Country. This is a Yankees Universe, and they're just bitter to be living in it."
Them's fightin' words, and they can be settled next season when the Yankees and Red Sox not only open the regular season but also close it against each other.
Jon Rossi has a bigger problem right now. He is a Mets fan.
Just when you thought the 2009 baseball season could not get much harder for his lot, this fan from Staten Island, N.Y., said a Phillies-Yankees World Series is basically your worst nightmare. Mets fans typically don't like the Yankees because of the intracity rivalry, but they may like the Phillies even less, having finished behind them three years running in the NL East.
"No matter what, I'll be rooting for the AL team in this year's World Series," Rossi said. "I'm a Mets fan; how could I root for the Phillies?"
Molly McDermott of Chicago said via Twitter: "Lifelong Cardinals and NL fan. Unless by some miracle it is the Cubs in the World Series, NL all the way."
There is no miracle in 2009.
It will be Yankees or Phillies. Either a 27th World Series championship or a repeat champ.
Carson Daly is going with the former over the latter.
"Yankees!" he exclaimed in a one-word tweet after the clincher, just one of many Yankee-centric tweets he threw down the past few days.
Visit Pulse of the Postseason and you can find a steady stream of tweets, videos and pics from celebrities who are talking baseball. Follow @mlbpulse and see for yourself. That's what everyone is doing this fall. The truth is, it has happened all the time. But this year, for the first time, it is easy to show it as Pulse incorporates Twitter into the app. From Reggie Bush to Fabolous to Glee, the band's all here.
"I'm rooting against the Yanks in the World Series," said Ryan Ritter of Irving, Texas. Asked to explain why, he added in a direct message to @MLB: "They've been responsible for taking my Rangers out of the postseason twice!"
Trae Lewis is a Dodgers fan in Baltimore, and he said he's backing the Phillies because "anyone worthy of defeating my beloved Dodgers two years in a row is worthy of a World Series title."
There have been many alliances formed along the way since the Phillies clinched. One fan asked another: "I know you wanted a Dodgers World Series but will you help me cheer for my Phils?" In 2009, fans are able to rally groups together easier than ever. There will be less "drifting" as in past years, where it was easier to let baseball go.
Not this time. You can be indifferent about some things, but not Phillies vs. Yankees.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.