Jordan Ellenberg, in a lovely slate article, explains perfectly what I don’t like about baseball.
I think the fundamentals of baseball as a sport are sound. I like the pace of the game, the variation, the statistics, the quirkiness, the history. But my problem is that I only started following baseball after I came to the US. I supported the A’s and the Giants (no doubt already poor form amongst serious baseball fans), and I went to a few games at each park. The A’s were (as they perennially seem to be) thriving on young talent, in this case the trio of Hudson, Mulder, and Zito; the Giants were in the peak of the Bonds era. But seasons passed and players came and went — either to other teams or into disgrace (Giambi, Tejada, Bonds, etc.). Whilst my move to Boston (presumably) inspired the Red Sox to their ’04 world series win, my allegiance to any single team became even more fractured. I’m not sure you can truly love baseball unless you either grew up with a team or have a deep sense of loyalty to a particular city. I’m not going to lament a past lost era when players spent their entire career with one team (Persiflage supports capitalism!), but I know that my top sporting allegiance will never stray from the Australian cricket team.