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Red Sox fans have to root for the Yankees, right?

Sep 20, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Red Sox fans

We’ve talked about the strange rooting interests that crop up late in the season. The unbalanced schedule means that the odds are great that fans of one team will have to root for fans of a division rival.

But not everyone feels that way. This AP report set out to find some Boston fans and to ask them whether they’re doing what logic suggests is wise: root for the Yankees over the Rays this week. The answer is not a unanimous one:

“Absolutely not. Anybody that’s going to beat the Yankees, I don’t care,” said Pat Smith, a plumber from Cambridge who watched the Red Sox lose to the Orioles on Monday afternoon — their 12th loss in 15 games. “Even if it hurts the Sox. You never root for the Yankees. I’m sorry. I don’t care” … “You’ve got to root for the Rays,” said Ted Sellars, a grocery manager from the Boston area. “You can’t root for the Yankees. Ever! Ever! Ever!”

I suppose rooting for a rival is hard. And it can make you ashamed of yourself if things don’t work out (see, me last night, rooting for Roy Halladay to beat the Cardinals and then feeling dirty about it when he lost).  But man, how do you not hope against hope that the Rays lose this week?  Even if you’re a plumber from Cambridge?

  1. paperlions - Sep 20, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Maybe it’s just society

  2. offseasonblues - Sep 20, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    No, not rooting for the Yankees. Rooting for the Rays to win the rest of their games with the Yankees. Rooting for the Red Sox to do the same. Problem solved.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    If you are the Red Sox and you win all your games, then it really doesn’t matter who wins or loses the Rays/Yankees games. If the Rays win all 7 and you win your games, then by golly, you will find yourself in first place!!!

    The problem with the Red Sox is that they aren’t winning their games…so it almost doesn’t matter what happens with the Rays/Yankees…even a split will put them ahead of the Red Sox if Boston continues to play .265 baseball.

  4. jimbo1949 - Sep 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    It’s all in how you tailor the question for your demographic:
    1) Do you want the Yankees to win tonight?
    2) Do you want the Rays to lose tonight?

  5. Joe - Sep 20, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    I don’t root for the Yankees under any circumstance. I do assume it’s inevitable that the Rays will lose a few to them, and so if the Red Sox take care of business it’s no problem.

    Put another way, if the Sox suck so bad that they can’t beat the Orioles enough times to lock up a playoff spot, and they have to rely on the Yankees to get rid of the Rays, I’m not going to be a party to it.

    • spindervish - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM


  6. adowding3 - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    I’m sorry. As a Sox fan, I don’t buy this for a second. I want my team in. Anything that helps the club (even if it hurts my ego a little bit in the process) is what I want. People who can never ever root for the Yankees are more in love with the idea of being a Red Sox fan than they are with the team itself.

    Grow up, hope the Yankees cool off the Rays, and get ready for October baseball. Pulling for Yankee wins once a season is better than dealing with the aftermath of an epic collapse.

    • Joe - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      If it helps you any, do know that I’m not rooting for the Rays to win, either. I’m rooting for the Red Sox to be good enough to get in on their own.

      • marshmallowsnake - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        Me too…if they get in, things could change in a heartbeat. Anything is possible in October!

    • spindervish - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Grow up? Eh. This is a children’s game, after all.

      Look, if the Sox ultimately fuck this up, then they deserve it. There’s no reason to wish that any good come to the Yankees, ever.

      Now, if the Yankees happen to beat the Rays a few times, I’m not exactly gonna tear my hair out and rend my garments…

  7. stevejeltzjehricurl - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Maybe they’re hoping the Yankees lose their last 10 and both the Rays and Sox get in.

    If this happens, Theo Epstein will be a genius again, Joe Girardi will catch crap for screwing up the karma by not letting Jorge catch Mariano’s No. 602, and it will all be A-Rod’s fault.

  8. spizzjr - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Cuz sox fans are retarded Thats why case closed

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      how’d you get in here?

  9. mornelithe - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    I root for the Red Sox because they’re closest to my home State, once their season is over, I simply don’t pay attention to Baseball anymore.

  10. bigleagues - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    It’s really quite simple:

    The Red Sox still have the upper hand with a 2 game lead. Thus, the Red Sox control their own destiny. If they win, there is no need to root for the Yankees or any other team.

  11. sparkycon - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Let Sox root for the Rays. I’m rooting for the Red Sox to stay home yet again from the playoffs.

  12. marshmallowsnake - Sep 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Pat Smith needs to realize that you root for the best outcome for your team…and if that means rooting that the Yankees beat the Rays, you do it.

    If I were the Yankees, I would let my team get swept just to make things interesting. Then how would the Sox fans react?

  13. Jonny 5 - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    LOL!!!! This brings back memories. Rooting for whoever beats the Mets so the Phills can get in.. I’ve done it.

    • CJ - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      My second favorite team is whoever’s playing the Mets :)

      • marshmallowsnake - Sep 20, 2011 at 5:18 PM

        But do you really worry about the Mets?

      • CJ - Sep 20, 2011 at 7:46 PM

        LOL. Nope, not for a while, but old habits die hard.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

      We could feel the love in RFK in September 2007, while we were beating up on the Mets. Not to mention the despair of the Mets fans.

  14. CJ - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Sox fans aren’t rooting for the Rays because they’re stupid, they’re rooting for the Rays to prevent the Apocalypse. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that it won’t happen until Sox fans root for the Yankees…

  15. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    GO RAYS!!!!!!

  16. poprox13 - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Sox win, yankees lose, everybody wins!

  17. mianfr - Sep 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Red Sox Nation: Low on education, high on spite.

    • Ari Collins - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM

      Yes. Boston is a city with very little higher education.

  18. hedpyn - Sep 20, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    I will vote for any team to win so long as the red sux are taken out of contention as they are nothing but a bunch of babies to begin with! Go ANY TEAM BUT THE RED SUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. er0ck5 - Sep 20, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Why would we have to root for anyone in the Yankees/Rays games? All I have to do for is root for the Red Sox to win. They have the WC lead by 2 games still last I checked. If they give up what was once a seemingly insurmountable lead, they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.

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