Guest Post: Choosing Sides by Billy Coffey

I’ll be doing quite a bit of guest posting during the month of April. The link to today’s guest post on Billy Coffey’s blog is at the end of this post.

In honor of today being Opening Day of the 2010 MLB Season, my friend Billy Coffey and I exchanged guest posts regarding our respective love for the Yankees and Red Sox. Hope you like…

Choosing Sides by Billy Coffey

I’m trying to write this with the non-baseball fan in mind, if there is such a thing. I suspect there is. While baseball is still considered our national pastime, there’s no denying the allure of sports like football and basketball, those bastions of instant gratification. Baseball is different. It is cerebral and methodical and all those other brainy words that end in “-al”. It’s God’s game. There’s no doubting this.

The rules are many and somewhat complicated, so I won’t get into them here. What I will do, however, is touch upon the one thing you need to do in order to be considered a true baseball fan.

You have to pick a side.

Yankees or Red Sox.

You can be a fan of another team of course, though I can’t imagine why you would. It’s like dancing with the ugly person at the prom when the two prettiest people in school are sitting there for the taking.

But it’s fine if that’s your thing. I’m not one to judge. What I am, though, is an educator. A shining beacon of wisdom who is here to guide you along the proper path of making that choice between Yankees and Red Sox. And in the interest of fair play, I’m going to put all bias and personal opinion aside. I’m the Joe Friday of baseball. Just the facts, ma’am.

Since baseball is all about the numbers and numbers are boring, let’s get them out of the way first. The Yankees have won a total of 27 World Series and 40 American League pennants. The Sox? Seven World Series and 12 pennants. Which means the Yankees have more world titles than Ric Flair, while the Sox are struggling to pull ahead of Ivan Koloff.

But of course numbers aren’t everything, even in baseball. There are other, more telling ways to make an educated decision. Because if you really want to know what’s good and what isn’t, plunging headlong into popular culture can’t miss. Right?

Let’s go with nicknames. Chances are even if you’re not a baseball fan, you’ll recognize some or all nicknames of the more famous Yankee players. The Babe. The Iron Horse. The Yankee Clipper. The Mick. Mr. October. And then there’s my favorite, Donnie Baseball.

The Sox, though? Not so much. Ted Williams was called The Splendid Splinter. Carl Yaztremski was Yaz. David Ortiz has adopted the moniker of Papi. I have a favorite Sox nickname, too. Dennis Boyd was called “Oil Can.

I’ll leave the winner of that particular category up to you. I will say, however, that shortening your last name does not really qualify as a nickname in my book, and that I’d rather not be called the Hispanic slang for Grandpa. But I guess both would be better than being known for what you choose to call a can of beer.

I’m a movie guy and have had the pleasure (more or less) of seeing some films that center around both teams and their individual players. Who can forget Gary Cooper in Pride of the Yankees? A classic. I can think of no one better to play Lou Gehrig, that icon of perseverance and suffering grace.

On the other hand, there was Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame who played Red Sox outfielder and all-around nut job Jimmy Piersall, who once stepped up to bat wearing a Beatles wig and playing an air guitar. Classic? Maybe. Classy? Hmm…

The Yankee organization has been referred to as The Bronx Bombers and, more recently, The Evil Empire. They even play that scary music from Star Wars before home games. The Sox? A few years ago they were known as The Idiots. I’m not sure what music they played before games. Maybe Vanilla Ice.

I could go on. I won’t. I think there’s enough here to make a rational choice. And again, I remain impartial. I’m Switzerland.

Even if I sometimes dream of Jack Bauer interrogating Kevin Youkilis.

Billy lives in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. A product of his small-town locale, counts as assets his rural authenticity, unwavering sense of purpose, and insatiable curiosity–all of which tend to make his front porch a comfortably crowded place. On most days, you can find him at his blog What I Learned Today. He is also a regular contributor for High Calling Blogs , The Master’s Artist and Hey Look a Chicken. Billy’s debut novel, Snow Day will be available later this year.

PS… You can click here for my guest post at Billy’s blog on why you should be cheering for the Red Sox instead of the Yankees. It makes much more sense than this Yankee-lovin’ hooey.

PPS…if you’re new here, click here and check out my featured posts. I promise you’ll laugh at something.