First, a few questions.
Are you a Red Sox fan anxious and worried about a late-season swoon?
Do you still have nightmares about last year’s dismal season?
Are you the kind of Sox fan whose mood is contingent on the success of the team?
Well, I’ve got some advice for you. Pick another team to root for or, better yet, two teams.
Many years ago, I was a Dodgers fan and nothing else. I followed the team through thick and thin, lived and died with every game.
I knew every player and, growing up in New Jersey, listened to late night games from the West Coast. I never missed a game if boyhood idol Sandy Koufax was on the mound.
My parents would know in the morning by my mood if the Dodgers had won, just like Sox fans often reflect the team’s success by how they act.
It’s not a happy way to live, but it remained that way for years until I moved to Illinois and became a Cub fan without relinquishing my devotion to the Dodgers.
By cheering for two teams, even if one was the Cubs, it increased the likelihood that one of them would win on any given day.
It became even better when I moved to Massachusetts and started following the Red Sox, a team I had already appreciated anyway. With three teams to follow, my chances of following a winner got even better.
Now, if even two teams go in a slump, there is a good chance that the third one is playing good baseball.
Using this formula, you’re bound to have a more settling summer. The baseball season is a long one and, like last year with the Sox, it can be an extended time of depression.
This summer has been a pleasurable one for me — thus far. The Red Sox got off to a hot start and are trying to hang on. Meanwhile, the Dodgers got off to a horrible start but have been the hottest team in the game since the All-Star break.
The Cubs, of course, have struggled almost all year but you tend to expect that with the Cubs. Anyway, Theo Epstein is accumulating some exciting young players and they could be competitive in a few years.
How can I root for the Dodgers? A large part of it is longtime loyalty, but I’ve been intrigued recently with some of the more exciting players (Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig) in the game.
The everyday play of former Sox like Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, who is having a good year as a leadoff batter, and Adrian Gonzalez adds to the interest.
Right now, I like the postseason chances of the Dodgers a lot more than the Sox, but who knows? That’s the beauty of rooting for more than one team — there’s a good chance that one of them will put a smile on your face.
Give it a try. If you don’t get a lot of pleasure out of it, it should at least calm the nerves.