Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Flagrant Fan: Portland Sea Dogs and New Friends

The family and I road-tripped it to Portland, Maine this past weekend to take in a Sea Dogs game, but also to meet up with a couple friends from the baseball blogging community.

Normally, I would write a brief post about such an adventure, but my pal William Tasker of The Flagrant Fan did a pretty darn good job of writing about it himself. So, I'll just link to his post here and add a few of my own comments:

The Flagrant Fan: Portland Sea Dogs and new friends

I'll reiterate William's sentiment that Bryan O'Connor, of The Replacement Level Baseball Blog, and his wife were excellent hosts, as were their two kids, who played well with Little Chuck.

Unbeknownst to me prior to the trip, Bryan's sister works for Maine Beer Company, so the visit included my first tastings of Lunch and MO, and both were excellent.

Lunch is their IPA, which is my favorite style, but I actually liked MO, a pale ale, a little better. The upfront citrusy aroma of MO was more dominant, which is actually a quality I love in my favorite IPAs. In fact, I'm prepared to put MO in a category with Dale's as my two favorite pale ales. For now, I'm just throwing Lunch in a category with many other very good IPAs, but not one of my absolute favorites.

Lastly, I want to share a little discussion the three of us had—in one of the rare moments we had to talk baseball rather than chase toddlers—regarding our perspectives as fans of rival teams. Bryan is a Red Sox fan. William and I are Yankees fans.

Bryan talked about why—although he has softened a bit—he can't seem to shake the attitude which is typical of most Red Sox fans towards the Yankees.

When the Yankees were in the midst of their run of three consecutive World Series victories—and four out of five—in the late '90s and early '00s, despite the fact there were plenty of stars on those teams, it was always a Jose Vizcaino or a Luis Sojo (I'll add Jim Leyritz and Chad Curtis) who came up with the big hits.

Fast forward to the Yankees' current season of imminent demise, and it's washed-up players like Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay who seemed to save their season in the early going. Bryan's point—if I'm interpreting it correctly—is it gives fans of other teams the feeling that, no matter how the Yankees' roster is constructed, they somehow find a way to always be successful.

I can understand how that would be frustrating, even ominous. On the other hand, William commented that this year's Yankees team is one of his least favorite in recent memory to follow. I wondered why, since to me, this season has offered Yankees fans the unique feeling of getting to root for a team that's kind of an underdog. William's response was to point out that he knew it was only a matter of time before the shoe would drop, so to speak.

He was right, of course, but I failed to see it that way. On the other hand, my opinion also points to the fact I went into this season with a somewhat indifferent attitude toward this year's team, in that I knew I wouldn't be terribly upset with an outcome that didn't live up to typical Yankee standards.

I suppose, perhaps, these perspectives provide a little insight that Bryan is on the emotional end of the fan spectrum, William is on the pragmatic end, and I'm somewhere in the middle. Which is just an observation, of course, although it may have something to do with where the three of us fall on the age spectrum as well.

Anyway, I had a fantastic time meeting up with my fellow bloggers this weekend, and I look forward to future occasions of a similar nature.


  1. Glad Mo was a hit. You captured my feelings about the Yankees pretty well, though I feel compelled to add that it's primarily where the Yankees are involved that my fanhood skews toward the emotional, rather than the rational. I like to think I approach my second most powerful allegiance, the pro-Red Sox side, with a pragmatism not commensurate with the typical Red Sox fan you described on my porch. 2004 was cathartic, 2007 was an embarrassment of riches, and by 2008, a big part of me was rooting for the upstart Rays in the ALCS.

    We certainly enjoyed hosting the McClo(u)skeys and hope to get the families together again.

    1. Thanks for clarification, Bryan. I definitely meant to characterize your emotional side as being in relation to your own team, while overall you're far more pragmatic and analytical than your average fan. You draw an interesting distinction, though, in that your hatred (I was going to use a less harsh word, but I think this fits) of the Yankees is much more emotional than your love of the Red Sox.