I think we can all agree that this is one of the toughest stretch in club history. It is definitely the worst period since 2008. We’re floundering here and, based on the season this pitching staff has had, squandering a potentially huge opportunity.
Watching us go down in flames like this is brutal. I feel an obligation to be honest about it because I think I will lose credibility with ya’ll. Clint disagrees. And I think Clint raises an interesting question worthy of analysis:
Do I have some obligation to be loyal in the face of adversity if I want to call myself a fan?
After all, I write this blog but I am not a journalist. I’m not even an analyst. I am just a lawyer that used to work in baseball who still follows the game as a fan. (While it isn’t the point I think it is worth mentioning that I think most sports journalists take themselves and their subject far too seriously. But I digress.) Perhaps I don’t owe the people that regularly read this space any duty of honesty. Perhaps this is exactly the space that Rays fans should come for some belief in the face of overwhelming doubt. After all, there is no shortage of negative analysis in the media. My honest evaluation isn’t some lone voice in a world of overly positive coverage.
The counterpoint, of course, is that loyalty isn’t necessarily inconsistent with honesty. I can be loyal to the Rays (I watched last night’s debacle) while being frank about their performance. I try to avoid the gratuitous negativity and sensationalism so common to the media generally and to blogs specifically (I’m the first to admit that I don’t always succeed in my avoidance). But I think I can root for the Rays to win while being honest about the bad decisions they make that lead to them not winning. Right?
[This point-counterpoint is a little strained without Brendand. I tried to call myself an ignorant slut but, it rang hollow. Bear with me.]
So, I open the floor for discussion. Does fan-dom require blind faith? (Yes, you lost tonight, and you lost because you are playing poorly or because you aren’t that good, but I am going to find the silver-lining regardless.) Or, can fan-dom include some negativity? (I hope you win tonight but I don’t think you are going to win tonight because you aren’t that good at baseball.)