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The Defecting Red Sox Fan

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I never thought there'd be a Red Sox fan defecting -- not now, at least.

But there's a pretty interesting column in the Philadelphia Inquirer by former Sox fan Daniel Rubin. Rubin essentially says he's done with Red Sox Nation:

So how do I renounce my citizenship in Red Sox Nation?

I've been a member for so long I could still fill out a scorecard for the 1964 team. (Mantilla, Bressoud, Yaz . . .) I've rooted as my hometown nine went from bottom-dwelling to heart-breaking to dominating.

Now I want out. I sensed something had happened to me on the subway Tuesday and then in the stands when Boston bandwagoneers started chanting "Beat L.A." as if neither baseball nor Philadelphia - championshipless since 1983 - mattered.

I watched them stand and cheer when the Sox did something well, then I started to enjoy it as the Phillies fans booed them down, like dogs spraying their turf.

By Wednesday, I'd had enough. I walked out of the Businessperson's Special a few innings early, Sox up, me down.

I can't take the hangers-on. I can't take the pink and green ball caps and "Green Monstah" T-shirts.

I can't take the winning.

I don't think Rubin is too far off. Although I'm never going to turn my back to the Sox -- it's just not an option -- I completely understand what he's saying. I would predict that the majority of "fans" that enter Fenway Park on a daily basis really can't be considered "fans" at all. They're the people with the money, the connections and the attitude of, "hey, maybe I'll attend the Boston Sox game at Fenway Stadium today."

I'm not saying there is no place for these type of "fans," but there's just too many of them. There were none of them in 2004 until the World Series trophy came home. Now there are millions of them everywhere. Why? They cling to success. The Red Sox are the popular and "cool" thing in New England; who doesn't want to be apart of the cool crowd?

Personally, I hate talking Red Sox or baseball with people that really don't know anything about the Sox or baseball. I can pick a poser fan out of a lineup nine times out of 10. When a poser fan asks my thoughts, I have a standard answer that doesn't divulge any detail of my thoughts because I know they won't understand.

When I talk to a true Sox fan though, I know I can let loose and they'll understand everything I say. When I say things like, "J.D. Drew can't struggle for long because of his beautiful swing," or "Dustin Pedroia just isn't taking any pitches," or "center field isn't big enough for both Coco and Jacoby," those fans know what I'm talking about. Try explaining those things to the casual "fan," and you're just going to get a dumb look in return.

There are enough true Red Sox fans at Fenway Park on a daily basis though to keep the heart of Red Sox Nation alive. For example, remember videos like this one? Or this one? That's not a normal thing for baseball fans around the country. We're Sox fans. I'm proud to be one, that's for sure.

At this point, we really can't change anything unless we start losing -- which, also, is not an option. I guess I'd rather be surrounded by a bunch of phony "fans" and win than be a Royals fan.