Baseball is a game rich in tradition. If you stare at a pitcher after a home-run, you will get beamed by a fast ball three years later. If you take too long to round the bases, you will get beamed by a fast ball. If the best player on one team gets hit by a fastball, the best player on your team will get hit by a fastball. Every year these “unwritten” rules are brought up year after year and never go away, it shows just how much baseball never changes. Another thing that never changes about baseball: the best seasons have someone to cheer against. As much as we all love a feel-good story, we need someone to boo, and baseball this year has plenty of that.
There are players you want to boo. Bryce Harper is cocky and gets in fights, Yasiel Puig doesn’t like the crowds, and Ryan Braun is a cheater. The thing is, if you are a fan of any of their teams, you disagree with me. That’s how it always works, but when one player or team can have everyone who’s not a fan of their team boo them, it makes the game better. The games mean more, and when your team isn’t playing in October, you may just want someone to root against. Let’s be honest, for every bandwagon Cubs fan who popped out of nowhere last year and all of the maniacs happy for the first time in a century, there was someone hoping that maybe, just maybe, the Cubs don’t quite get there. Because we love underdogs! We always do, in every sport. Boo Lebron, Boo Tom Brady, boo Nick Saban.
And that is why this year has two big villains that always make baseball better: the Yankees and the Dodgers. Because, they are so GOOD! Are you kidding me? Why!? They are villains because they have money to spend every year, and they always have been good. And on top of that, they also have the two best rookies in the league. How!? Why not San Diego? Or Minnesota? Or Atlanta? If Bellinger or Judge played in any other towns, they might be national heroes, but now they’re national super-villains. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. I get it. The kids are good, and their teams should benefit from that, but what happens when they start winning pennants, huh? Then, I bet you will come to my side. Because, perennial winners are villains. And that’s good for baseball, because the best stories always have great villains.